Meritor’s “Real Deal” suite of services has received considerable acceptance by warehouse distributor (WD) authorized parts outlets, say company officials.
More than 75 percent of parts orders are placed electronically and more than 300 parts outlet locations - across the United States and Canada - are now relying on the Real Deal to help lower transaction costs, increase customer fill rates, improve profitability and enhance cash flow.
Designed to lower the operating costs of distributors, this unique services package is built around a host of critical factors: broad product portfolio, short lead times, flexible packaging capability, Vendor-Managed Inventory (VMI) and high fill rates, all of which are backed by a high level of technical service and customer care.
“This is a win-win arrangement to drive the lowest possible transaction costs for our customers while improving fill-rates to the fleets they service. In fact, participation in our VMI program is up more than 42 percent from last year and expecting a similar increase this year,” said Joe Mejaly, president, Aftermarket & Trailer, Meritor, in his remarks to industry media at the 2012 Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week, held last week in Las Vegas, NV.
“The Real Deal enables customers to analyze our suite of services, their own business practices, and then provides insights into transactional costs,” he said. “They can use this information to select the services they prefer to provide their customers, thus elevating a customer’s performance to new heights.”
John Minor, chief operating officer of Midwest Wheel Co. in Des Moines, IA, said: “The VMI of Real Deal helps our business be faster to market on new part numbers, reduce the number of stock-outs, and saves our company on purchasing, or managing the purchases, for our seven locations. It’s vital to our inventory management and increasing turns.”
“Using VMI and electronic data interchange (EDI) are an integral part of our business,” said Bill Ryan, president of Point Spring & Driveshaft Co. in Pittsburgh. “The automation addresses inventory so we can focus on other customer issues or growth ideas.
“The program helps us a great deal. The part is 'never' out of stock and that’s critical since we service vehicles at all nine of our locations.”
During the past year, Meritor’s sales management team met with hundreds of WD customers to discuss their businesses and demonstrate what the Real Deal suite of services can offer them in potential annual operational savings.
The savings are a result of improved supplier utilization, purchase order management, reduced order expedition, reduced invoice processing, increased parts numbers stocked, increased inventory turns, electronic commerce, sales and technical training, quality, and engineering support.
“Virtually every customer wants a deal that relates to the piece-price of a part,” Mejaly said. “We understand that piece-price plays a role in the profitability of our customers, yet managing the total transactional cost can improve profits for our customers as well.”
Ongoing Commitment to the Aftermarket
The company’s aftermarket product portfolio consists of more than 20 product lines encompassing more than 200,000 part numbers - ordered, stocked, managed and shipped with a high fill rate and optimum accuracy via Xpressway Plus.com, EDI, Transnet, VMI and an industry-leading customer care team.
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