Have you ever had a customer come in and drop some old, rusty, nearly indistinguishable part on your counter?
He tells your counter person he needs a new one. Your employee responds with a “No problem,” then comes in to your office and says he says no idea where to get one.
In the aftermarket these situations are rare but unavoidable.
No one wants to turn a customer away, so you say yes to requests you’re not sure how to fulfill. You agree to provide a part you don’t have — figuring once the customer leaves you can call around to your suppliers and find it.
More often than not we know this strategy works.
Your counter person might not recognize the part, but one of your veteran techs does. He tells you what it is and you go from there. Or maybe you call your supplier who manufacturers a different version of the component, and they are able to help you or direct you to the business that has what you need.
The only time the strategy fails is when no one can give you a lead.
In situations like that, it helps to have a guide.
Truck Parts & Service has that guide.
The Truck Parts & Service Buyers’ Guide has been linking distributors with suppliers for decades. Originally an exclusive print product, our Buyers’ Guide is produced in December and has an online component available around the clock.
In my opinion, it is one of our greatest resource tools.
The Truck Parts & Service Buyers’ Guide connects people.
For an example, let’s go back to my original proposed problem. You’ve got an unfamiliar part and you need a replacement. What do you do? How do you get another one?
Well, if you know what the product is, you can go to our Buyers’ Guide and find a complete listing of all the companies in the heavy-duty aftermarket that manufacture that part. In our print publication, you are provided each company’s web address. On our website, you’re provided that web address, a phone number and mailing address.
Our online guide also offers the option to search for products via supplier, allowing you to see what products your vendors offer that you may not be selling, or if other suppliers have a component you’d like to add to your inventory.
Suppliers also are welcome to add, update or change their online listings through the site at any time, and the most up-to-date changes are provided in our December print edition.
And that’s not all.
We have more information, too. Our online database also has toll free and fax numbers, supplier email addresses and personal contact information for most listings.
(Note: This information is not publicly posted on our online listings but can be provided to inquiring buyers at any time.)
And most importantly for you, all of this information is completely free.
We want to give you the information you need to find that replacement part. We know how stressful it is to desperately need something and not be able to find it. As an editor I’m no stranger to scouring dark corners of the Internet in search of news. I hate spending an hour looking for something I should be able to find, asking myself over and over “Why isn’t this easier?”
I’d imagine a parts search is equally exasperating.
We hope our Buyers’ Guide can make things easier.
So be sure to check it out online here and in next month’s edition of Truck Parts & Service. We hope it helps you. We hope it makes things easier.
We can’t stop customers from bringing you a rusty mystery part; but we can help find you another one.