Manufacturing Today - January/February 2016 - 65

General Parts

Midwest

"we have relationships
with over 300 manufacturers of equipment. if
they need warranty service, we provide that."

"So when that thing isn't operating
they are severally hampered by what
they can serve," Hodge says.
The need to reduce that downtime
and keep customers in business is
why General Parts continues to invest in training its technicians. The
company spends between $500,000
and $750,000 each year on familiarizing its workers with new machines
and technologies. General Parts has
even opened training centers in Indiana, Arizona, Minnesota, Denver and
Wisconsin where its technicians can
attend hands-on classes held by manufacturers. The training centers are
also available for product demonstrations, Hodge adds.
The company is also involved in
management training through the
Commercial Food Equipment Service Association (CFESA). Hodge is
a regular speaker at the trade organization's seminars and events. That
knowledge-sharing spirit extends
directly to its competitors, too, as
General Parts has helped train other
foodservice equipment services on
industry standard computer systems

such as Davisware. "You don't see
that in competitive business," Hodge
says, adding that those efforts benefit General Parts as well. "If all of
us have a good understanding of the
system, then program changes will
help us all."
General Parts' service to its cus-

tomers and its active involvement in
the foodservice industry has prepared
it to continue paving the path for its
market. In the past 10 years, acquisitions and new branch openings have
raised General Parts from a company
with eight locations and $24 million
in annual sales to 24 locations and $60
million in annual sales. Hodge expects
the company will keep growing at a
consistent pace as foodservice industry giants continue to consume independent competitors.
"You have to be aware that either
you move forward or you'll be gobbled
up," he says. "Even if you're on the
right track but standing still, you'll be
run over by the next train."
General Parts wants to be the train
that's always moving. mt

training centers, like this one
in minneapolis, are used by
general parts technicians and
for product demonstrations.

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016 manufacturing-today.com

65


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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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Manufacturing Today - January/February 2016 - 1
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Manufacturing Today - January/February 2016 - Cover3
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