Tell us about your company and the products that you offer.
Big “D” Auto Parts was established in Dallas, Texas, in 1963 and has been continuously owned and operated by the same family. We were a full-service auto recycler. Then, in the 1980s, an extended warranty company contacted us looking for a reliable source of alternative parts. Supplying parts to VSC companies is now our largest market. We specialize in used (like, kind and quality) and remanufactured major drive-line components. We also offer most smaller parts.
How does your service work and how is it different from other parts providers?
Because it is impossible to stock all parts for all cars, we rely on select suppliers to supplement our inventory. Most of the remanufactured units are shipped direct from the factory. However, all of the used parts are processed through our facility. It is our belief that the first impression a repair facility gets when they open a crate goes a long way toward their acceptance and treatment of that part. We check, drain, clean and sometimes paint every part we ship. Since we do not require any action by the shop, we check and often replace seals, gaskets and timing belts. All of the parts we sell have a part-and-labor warranty on the entire unit and that warranty can be tailored to meet the customer’s demands.
Who are your customers? What message would you like to express to them?
We treat a contract holder and a repair facility as though they were our customer. We like to work with VSC companies that are just as interested in a satisfied customer, repair shop, and selling dealer as they are in buying the cheapest part. We are price competitive, but we are more focused on providing good parts and good service which reflect positively on the VSC company.
What channels do you use to sell your services?
We do both online and offline. We’ve done direct-mail campaigns and sent out postcards, and we have placed ads in newspapers and magazines. In addition, we’ve placed banners in online newspapers and magazines, including P&A, and have sent out emails.
But we still get the best results from building a personal relationship with our clients by calling them or by just going out and visiting potential customers and clients. Meeting clients, talking with them, trying to understand their needs and building a personal relationship with them gives us a chance to show them our service and products.
Looking back over the past five years, how has the parts industry changed and how do you see it changing in the future?
Only going back five years is tough, as I think most changes started more than five years ago. One is the increasing availability of aftermarket parts. Another is the reliance on electronics and computers, not only in the parts, but also on the repair side.
What technology or additional services do you believe will drive your future success?
I wish I had some kind of an idea of what was coming.