Joshua Gwózdz, Social Media Specialist at Truck Parts Solutions, based in the US, discusses the issues with supply chain and what steps can be taken to improve this.
After the annual Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week (HDAW) festivities,, thousands of folks returned from Grapevine, Texas, with knowledge about the heavy truck parts industry and how to put it to use. Over the course of four days, much was discussed about the current state of the world and what effects it might have on the heavy-duty parts industry. In particular, the current supply chain issues drew much discussion. So we’ve created a quick summary guide on how you can improve supply chain issues as an industry professional.
A distributor, supplier and remanufacturer weighed in to discuss how aftermarket distributors can improve supply chain shortage issues during SOLD. Their insight? Over-prepare. You can never have too much inventory these days.
For starters, plan ahead. That might sound difficult given the current state of things, but operating on a fixed trajectory will help in the long run. Overbuying might sound undesirable, but having excess inventory is a lot easier to manage than not having enough. By ordering excess products to keep your stores, depots and yards supplied for a set period, you’ll avert the crisis of running out of things to provide to your clients.
To help accomplish this goal of staying ahead, many sellers are forming ad hoc committees with their managers to coordinate supply efforts, thus ensuring at least some inventory is available for customers. By over-purchasing, sellers can offset any impacts to their supply chain and ensure that they have some breathing room to coordinate future supply issues.
Another useful tip is to utilize the full capabilities you have as a potential remanufacturer. Joe Kripli, President of Auto Parts Remanufacturing Association (APRA) and the Heavy Duty Reman Group, believes in using every asset you have to maintain control of your product.
“There’s this huge demand [for parts], and I really feel remanufacturing is a great solution because you as distributors, shops and fleets can use that to your advantage…You control supply [in that way].”
Kripli refers to the usefulness of remanufacturing and having the ability to salvage and reuse parts such as turbos, which are often cast in America. Kripli estimates that close to 90 percent of turbines, housing, and compressors have solid resale value. This means a potentially untapped market for some sellers.
Remanufacturing is often easier to manage than salvage or heavy-duty parts because most of the initial manufacturing and casting can be done in North America. So even if you don’t have the gear or personnel to do the job yourself, there are plenty of groups you can work within a more “local” sense, rather than attempting to import and export your products over borders. By utilizing remanufacturers in your state or beyond, you can have some semblance of control over supply chain issues.
In case you couldn’t make it to HDAW, below are their suggestions on how distributors can improve the supply chain issues many have been experiencing:
- Add more human resources and increase your internal and external communications with your team members and suppliers to ensure your procurement ordering process is as expeditious as possible.
- Do not cancel backorders. Increase supplier communication to ensure you are getting truthful and honest feedback. Ordering extra parts from a secondary supplier will allow the buffer room you may need.
- Adjust your minimum and maximum inventory numbers upward to allow for increased inventory. Also, adjust your lead times as some suppliers’ lead times are 12 weeks or more.
- Identify and develop second, third and fourth supply chain partners.
- Increase your top movers to a six-month supply.
- Increase your shop supplies to six months, maybe a year. This includes all required PPE.
- Look into reman partnerships and develop larger core banks that can be remanufactured when needed.
All of these helpful tips can make your life easier and take some stress out of running your company. You can further remove stress from your life by taking advantage of programs like Truck Parts Inventory, which makes every aspect of buying, selling and running your businesses easier.
If these tips gave you some insight into how to deal with supply chain issues more effectively, consider using Truck Parts Inventory (TPI) to have the same effect on your business.