Playing A Part

15 April 2008

IPS is now offering far more than simple parts supply.

IPS is now offering far more than simple parts supply.

If the manufacturers are intent on getting more of the aftermarket, they are facing increasing competition from the new breed of independent parts suppliers, companies like Equipment Parts Wholesale (EPW) in the US, Independent Parts & Service (IPS) in Europe and Australia, and Belgium's TVH.

These independent suppliers source aerial lift parts from the original manufacturers. As Bernard Vandromme, TVH business development manager for inplant vehicles, says; “we look for the manufacturer of the component and we order the item directly from that manufacturer. In this way, we talk about an identical part at a better price.” It is a trend, says IPS, that follows the industrial forklift market.

IPS has taken this business beyond the simply supply of parts for multiple brands of equipment and added other services such as on-site servicing, machine repair and refurbishment facilities and parts management. IPS now offers, for example, emergency breakdown cover, outsourcing of parts management and online purchasing and sourcing.

Both IPS and TVH emphasise that they can offer rental companies a one-stop shop service, covering all the brands in a fleet. TVH's own fleets, but increasingly they “compare the prices for parts... they don't like to be obliged to order their parts from the OEMs.” TVH does, however, offer equipment servicing in Belgium.

An interesting development at IPS is its parts management service, which is now being run with several big UK rental companies. As IPS explains; “As part of the Parts Management package IPS initially assess clients' parts stores, images and part numbers on them. This makes it easier for customers to identify which parts need to be re-ordered and locate the information needed to do so quickly. “Together, IPS and the customer, analyse fleet mix and decide upon a parts stores inventory list. Simple ‘max-min' quantities upon necessary orders.” IPS says the key to the programme is having a “strong relationship with clients whereby they are comfortable to entrust IPS with such an important task and permit access to confidential information.”

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