Insider Interview Series – ShowMeTheParts, Branded Catalogs For Aftermarket Parts Suppliers
Today, we’re talking with Ronald Garand, Vice President of Vertical Development about the company’s product, ShowMeTheParts. Advertised as, “All the information you need to find the correct part for every application,” this up-to-date, public parts catalog is a big success. ShowMeTheParts accounts for 70% of Vertical Development’s sales and has averaged 25% growth yearly over the past five years.
Can you describe your product/service as if I knew nothing about it or the market?
ShowMeTheParts is the most up-to-date public parts catalog available – providing aftermarket suppliers, do-it-yourselfers, installers, jobbers, repair shops, warehouses, and ecommerce solutions with information on millions of products from over 350+ suppliers and manufacturers of aftermarket replacement parts.
What’s your standard ‘elevator pitch’ for your company?
ShowMeTheParts was developed to help manufacturers distribute data to their clients quickly. The ShowMeTheParts database now has over 1.9 million SKUs and 30 million applications, including AG, marine, med/HD Trucks, and power sport; along with cars/light trucks, dating back to 1900.
It also includes over 10 million cross-references, 6.1 million product attributes, and over 320 GB of images and exhaust diagrams. Other catalogs in the market have no “other motive” non-car and light truck coverage and only cover vehicles from 1951 or later to current.
Can you tell us briefly about your parts industry experience?
I personally started in the industry in 1974, working for industry leaders like Fel-Pro, Chicago Rawhide (SKF), Wagner Brake, and Dynagear – so lots of parts and market experience. Our company as a whole is a group of industry experts with diverse backgrounds including stints at BWD Automotive, Borg-Warner, Echlin (BWD, Niehoff, Raybestos Brakes), Filko, GE Rail, and Midas.
Because of the combined experience of our team, we are able to create tools to help increase sales like our full-featured ShowMeTheParts site used daily by the industry, and our mobile-app that was specifically developed based on customer feedback and their need to access ShowMeTheParts and all its features from their phone or tablet while in the shop or under the hood.
What is your favorite part about your job?
Helping companies solve their complex problems using our many solutions! We aren’t considered consultants, but with the broad experience we have as a team we are regularly asked for solutions when a client or prospect has complex questions or needs.
Are there any common misconceptions that people have about the products or services you offer?
Since we have lots of brands listed many think we can send them data or use an interchange to create data for their products. All data in ShowMeTheParts is protected and proprietary to the brands listed to help those companies sell their products. We also get lots of calls asking how to buy parts, which is why we have the Where-2-Buy feature.
When you’re talking to potential customers, what are the 3 most important things you want them to know?
Our industry experience, excellent customer service, and flexibility. We try to make business relationships easy – meeting or exceeding our clients’ expectations!
What do you attribute to your company’s success?
Our longevity in the marketplace and deep industry experience has helped us grow. Our customers are our best sales people! During our time in the market, we’ve watched dozens of competitors come and go. This is why we strive to stay nimble. One thing in life that’s a sure thing – CHANGE!
How long has your company been in business?
Vertical Development, the parent company of ShowMeTheParts, was founded over 30 years ago and added the ShowMeTheParts brand back in 2007. It was created to service existing clients with their web cataloging needs.
How did you choose your current business location?
We wanted to be conveniently located, so our Naperville office is within an hour of both Midway and O’Hare Airports, allowing easy access for clients. We are also in close proximity to the Illinois Technology and Research Corridor, which gives us access to a great talent pool.
Where do you see the market for your product/service moving over the next 5 years?
As ShowMeTheParts continues to expand we have moved from simply being a web catalog to now being an integration partner to ERP Providers who need catalog data, ecommerce solutions, and search engine tools like ChannelAdvisor. With ecommerce constantly growing and ERP Providers looking for additional catalog data integrators, we feel there is lots of growth in those areas. And as client needs change, I am sure we will be developing new features, solutions and tools to meet them.
Recent innovations include integrations with leaders like ChannelAdvisor and GCommerce. ChannelAdvisor allows its clients to access ShowMeTheParts to improve SEO capabilities of their sites using enhanced product data feed to ChannelAdvisor – and placing orders within their fulfillment partners network. The GCommerce integration allows its VIC clients to offer a catalog allowing stock checks, price inquiries and placement of orders through their network.
Finally, ShowMeTheParts had added B-to-B capabilities with its cart integration, allowing client login to determine inventory and pricing viewed for transactions using their own back-end systems. It features controls alongside back-end resources for managing customers.
Takeaways: ShowMeTheParts is the most up-to-date public parts catalog available. If you’re a supplier of aftermarket parts, a branded catalog helps your customers and improves your sales. Ron and his team work hard to make using this public catalog convenient and beneficial for their customers.
Even more convenient, the newly updated ShowMeTheParts Mobile-App provides full access to the largest public parts database on the market, on the go. Users can find parts and check photos, specifications and other information while working on their vehicles. Users will see faster look-up speeds and smoother navigation to the freshest data in the aftermarket through a user interface tailored to work with small touchscreens. Putting the power of ShowMeTheParts’s catalog in their pockets!
Learn more about ShowMeTheParts here.
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