Keeping a sufficient number of school bus parts in stock at one’s shop in the event that a technician needs to make a repair will help maintain a smooth running operation. However, parts suppliers recognize the challenges that contractors and school district transportation departments face in today’s economic climate.
“We understand the need to cut inventory costs and the effort school districts and contractors are making to reduce the amount of parts on their shelves,” says Shelle Johnson, sales manager for Bus Parts Warehouse in Manlius, N.Y.
In addition to Johnson, SBF spoke with officials from Unity School Bus Parts, Heavy Duty Bus Parts and Easy Way Safety Services about the practices they have implemented at their companies to meet customers’ needs and provide efficient service.
Companies maintain large inventory, ship orders quickly
Like Bus Parts Warehouse, the team at Easy Way Safety Services, based in Cincinnati, understands that many operations don’t stock large amounts of products, so both companies have a large inventory.
Thomas Sackett, president of Easy Way Safety Services, says he has found that because operations typically have a small parts inventory, they usually need products quickly.
To accommodate this need, he reviews recent years of sales history to determine when peak buying times are.
“We stock up ahead of those times in order to meet demand. We try to stay a couple of months ahead of the curve,” Sackett says.
Fast product shipment is another critical component to effectively serving customers. The companies offer same-day shipping on most orders.
“Orders received that are processed that day usually ship out the same day,” says Ed Mastry, president and owner of Unity School Bus Parts in Marine City, Mich.