Manufacturing Today - January/February 2016 - 63

General Parts

It also services dishwashers, beverage systems, HVAC, refrigerators and
most any other device needed to operate a kitchen.

Sustaining Growth
Its reputation in the foodservice industry has enabled General Parts to
grow its customer base, but the company is also expanding through acquisitions and branch openings. In 2014,
General Parts purchased the inventory of a company with branches in
Tulsa, Okla., and Oklahoma City and
opened a new location in Pensacola,
Fla. Recently, General Parts began operating in St. Louis at the request of
one of its large customers in Chicago.
"Business comes to us in a number of
ways," Hodge says. "First and foremost is that we have relationships
with over 300 manufacturers of equipment. If they need warranty service,
we provide that."

"we've been around
long enough that
there's not anyone in
the industry on the
manufacturing side
who doesn't know
who general parts is."

Midwest

General Parts has been able to maintain that level of service because of its
long-term relationships with the companies it represents. Hodge says key
manufacturer groups such as Manitowoc Foodservice, The Middleby Corp.,
ITW Food Equipment Group, Unified
Brands and the Ali Group have worked
with General Parts for 25 to 50 years.
"It's not typically something that's
done overnight - building relationships," Hodge says. "But we've been
around long enough that there's not
anybody in the industry on the manufacturing side who doesn't know who
General Parts is."
The company has maintained those
successful relationships by delivering
on its obligations. "When we make a
commitment to them for inventory
and pricing we honor that," he adds.
Likewise, General Parts leverages
its relationships with its customers.
National franchisees are often counted on to switch their business over
to General Parts whenever it opens a
branch or acquires another company.
"We give them consistent pricing and
programs wherever we open," Hodge
says of the General Parts advantage.
"They get the same service price in
Fargo [N.D.] that they get in Chicago."

- Bruce Hodge

Establishing a
Distribution Network

Although much of its new business
occurs during the warranty period,
General Parts hopes to retains its clients even after the manufacturer's
warranty runs outs. Hodge likens it to
taking a car into a dealership for service. If the service is good, the customer will keep coming in even after the
vehicle passes the 75,000-mile threshold. The difference is, instead of the
equipment coming to General Parts,
General Parts goes to the equipment.

Being able to provide consistent services at consistent prices requires a
standardized infrastructure. Further,
customers demand speed in their
equipment repairs. A Pizza Hut that
has an oven go down is out of business
until the technician shows up. To support those quick service turnarounds,
General Parts opened a national parts
distribution center in 2013 in Waukesha, Wis. The facility holds about onethird of General Parts' $6 million in
parts inventory, and functions as the
JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016 manufacturing-today.com

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Manufacturing Today - January/February 2016

Contents
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2016 - Cover1
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