Driven by uptime: A trip inside Radiator Works

Updated Nov 11, 2015

Radiator Works, an LKQ Company, knows end users have no patience for downtime.

And with more than 6,000 available part numbers, 16 national locations, next-day delivery and its own custom production facility, the company is doing its part to push coolant-related downtime toward extinction.

That commitment was clear last week during a tour of company’s manufacturing and distribution facilities in suburban Detroit.

With a shared focus on high-quality parts and fast, reliable distribution, Radiator Works is striving to be an end users “complete cooling solutions vendor,” says David Dabasinskas, marketing manager at LKQ Heavy Truck.

That message is clear in the company’s inventory decisions. If a customer needs a coolant system part, Radiator Works says it will stock it.

In addition to its namesake radiators — the company sells copper and brass, aluminum and plastic and aluminum radiators — Radiator Works also offers one of the aftermarket’s most comprehensive coolant product portfolios, with charge air coolers, A/C condensers and other related products.

Each product category was added and developed with downtime in mind.

“We listen to customers when they tell us what they want and need,” says John Snyder, general manager at Radiator Works, an LKQ Company. “We want to have what they need on stock when they call us with issues.”

As expected, the company’s bread and butter is its expansive radiator catalog.

Radiator Works sells aftermarket radiators for light-, medium- and heavy-duty trucks, as well as construction, industrial and agricultural equipment. The company has exclusive relationships with its suppliers for its highest volume radiators, and produces copper and brass cores and complete radiators for older model or unique customer orders at its suburban Detroit facility.

“We source the best [raw materials] for all of our radiators,” says Radiator Works Sales Manager Anthony DePonio. “Most customer buying decisions aren’t based on price, but quality.”

And quality is an area where Radiator Works takes pride. The company says industry research shows the average first-generation heavy-duty radiator lasts just 14 months, but Radiator Works backs most of its radiators (and other components) with an unlimited two-year parts warranty.

In its battle against downtime the company also relies on its warehousing and shipping prowess.

Over the past two years Radiator Works has debuted bar code inventory tracking in each of its 16 nationwide distribution centers. The advanced technology has significantly enhanced the company’s shipping speed and success rate — its Wyandotte, Mich., location has a 99.98 percent correct order fulfillment record over the last 12 months, for example — and has allowed the business to offer its entire nationwide inventory for immediate order and purchase online.

The latter was introduced at just last week.

“We hope [the website] becomes the industry’s default reference tool for cooling products,” says Dabasinskas.

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