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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Salt Lake City/Tooele
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    5,172
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    Distrbutor Parts Program or education

    One thing I have run into from day one is getting parts through my distributors for any of my YJ equipment.
    My YJ distributors here in in Utah is pretty much everyone; Johnstone, URI, AirCold, US Air Conditioning, Contractors HVAC, Bakers Dist, RSD, etc.

    One thing they all have in common is that they sell the equipment and maintenance items such as O-rings, some manifold parts, etc., but are just about clueless on how to find, locate, and order individual parts for equipment.

    When I talk about parts, I mean individual components for vacuum pumps, recovery machines, tube benders, tube expanders, etc. I realize there is a point where a product is no longer supported, but I am talking about current products, or the foundation products, for example: the YJ 6CFM Super Evac pump....probably one of the most popular pumps I see out there.

    Cases in point:
    1) 6cfm vacuum pump took a 6ft drop off a roof when lowering it with a rope. It landed on the oil drain area of the front side and cracked the aluminum housing. It is a perfectly god pump, so just need to replace the front housing. Drop by every distributor that day and no-one, I mean no-one knew how to order a replacement part. I went home and researched the part number, and put Johnstone to work on it. They made phone calls and would call me back...."do you need an O-ring, cause they do not offer a replacement O-ring?" I would say "no, O-ring is good, just need front". Hour would go by and get a call....."hey I think I found it, but YJ says that it will have the site glass, vent cap, and drain plug all as one kit, do you want that?"..."if that is what it is, then order it", I replied.

    So in this instance, I had to do all the leg work to find a part number, my poor distributor wasted half a morning on phone calls, and finally, after I am wasting time with phone calls, the part was ordered.

    2) 7/8" mandrel for my tube bender. Had a mandrel crack on me, recently, when I was attempting a unique bend, all my fault, but in any case need to get it replaced. Again, I talked with my distributors and they are clueless. Told by all that I would need to simply purchase a new bender kit. Again, did my own research and found the part number. Went back to two of my distributors whom I just happen to be grabbing parts and asked if they could order up this particular part number for me. They both were deer in head lights on how this process would work. I explained you need to call YJ and give them the part number and they will give you a price plus shipping, you then will then have it shipped and call me when it gets in, you will either be really nice and just sell it to me at cost, or you can add on your mark-up, in either case.....could you order it? I do not have time to wait as they call their corporate purchasing division to figure out how things work, so I just say "never mind"...off to Johnstones, I already put one guy through the process with my vac pump, he can go through it all over again with a single mandrel.

    So in this instance, the distributors from corporate down are innate and uneducated as to how to simply get a part that is not listed in their computer.

    I have many other scenarios and cases over the years.

    I know YJ has overhaul, repair, and warranty programs at the factory(s). But many are not repairs at all but simply a broken/lost part or accessory.

    I tend to gravitate to FP on certain things because I can by-pass the distributor on the odd-ball stuff and get it resolved directly with them. Trust me, YJ is not alone in this matter. Distributors are only as good as what they have on the computer in front of them. Whether a UEI, TPI, JB, CPS, whatever the product...equipment sales are a breeze, it is replacement parts that are a nightmare.

    Guess what I am suggesting to YJ, is to take a quick look at your parts replacement program with your distributors/vendors. I know you will not sale directly to the actual troops in the field and we must submit our concern up through the chain of command. But in the case of this forum, I feel YJ has hopefully opened up a line of communication between the grunts in the jungle and the 5 star General back in Pentagon.

    So create an on-line parts finder/store, access, portal, whatever for your vendor/distributors that they can access with a pre-arranged account based on their corporate affiliation and contracts with you. The parts counter guy at anyone of your thousands of down stream wholesale warehouses can access, find the part, and order it directly and efficiently.

    I know your website can be navigated and find a part, there are picture breakdowns with part numbers. But take that information and streamline it in a place for your distributors to easily access, navigate, and order the parts. I am 99% of the time, going behind the counter, using their computer to find your site dig through the information, and say "here, see that part? That is what I need."

    Maybe parts sales for equipment is not what YJ wants? I don't know. If I was an owner of a company I would rather sell a new 6cfm vac pump to a guy that dropped his, than behind the scenes have to pay for a guy to dig through a bin at the factory near the assembly line, pull the part, package it, label it, forward tracking numbers, ship it, take status phone calls from vendors, and ultimately grow into a whole new division.....when all one wants to do is just sell the equipment, why mess with the hassle of parts?

    Just some input on stream lining and putting your products and services a level above the rest out there.

    Thanks for your time,

    SLCTECH

    PS...being told that the 70's era Brawny Paper Towel guy that is on the YJ University videos is a local actor?? I would hope it was an actual HVAC guy

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Baghdad, Iraq
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    499
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    I ordered a new housing for my super evac 6 online from century tool. They have a good array of what your talking about.

    Sent from my HTC6435LVW using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Salt Lake City/Tooele
    Posts
    5,172
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    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by SgtBone View Post
    I ordered a new housing for my super evac 6 online from century tool. They have a good array of what your talking about.
    I do not mind going on-line and ordering a part if necessary, and there are many on-line stores through ebay, amazon, our own trutech tools, etc. They have done a good job on filling a niche of supplying parts. Not arguing that parts are hard to find on-line, making a point that the vast majority of brick/mortar distributors nation wide are not set-up to search, price, and order replacement parts.

    In my case, my company pays for any repairs or upgrades I may require. I would much rather utilize a distributor to purchase parts on my company account than play the reimbursement game, when I need to get something on my own dime.

    I guess my feeling is, if a distributor sells it, they should have the tools and know how to support it, goes hand in hand in my mind. Got to be a way to streamline the process for everyone.....YJ makes money on part, distributor makes money on mark-up (doesn't lose that little margin to a guy spending 3 hours making phone calls), and a happy end user (who has not wasted half a day on something that seems sooooo menial).

    Heck, for all I know the program is there and has been well established and received by many distributors? But apparently ALL my distributors didn't get the memo.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9ckrY1cOfM

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Bloomington, MN
    Posts
    148
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    Thanks so much for taking the time to share this with us. Your feedback has been communicated up the chain. We are always interesting in hearing what we can do to make things easier for you.

    p.s. do you know of a local contractor who has a great on-screen presence and can read full script through an ear teleprompter? Actually, this guy did have his own construction/home improvement show on a cable network, so he knows what he's talking about!

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