Torqued Distribution: A WaaS™ Platform For Racing and Performance Parts – Insider Interview Series
CEO Tim Trampedach shared some details about his business, Torqued Distribution. In 2020, Tim launched this Warehouse as a Service (WaaS™️) offering that should help level the playing field for an upstart dealer. Connecting with eCommerce systems, such as Shopify, WooCommerce and BigCommerce, or an ERP system to the Torqued Cloud, this solution offers dealers real-time and up-to-date inventory, pricing, product information, images and more. That’s not all this WaaS can do.
Here’s our interview with Tim, where he shares all of the best features his service offers.
Can you describe your product/service as if I knew nothing about it or the market?
Created in Silicon Valley, Torqued Distribution is a technology-focused warehouse distributor set up to service modern performance parts dealers through its industry-leading Warehouse as a Service (WaaS™) platform. WaaS features integrations for Shopify, BigCommerce and WooCommerce stores which allow products to be uploaded to dealers’ stores with one click. And once uploaded, a product’s inventory is kept in sync on stores in real-time through an advanced high-throughput asynchronous processing system, not via delayed batch processing which can lead to out-of-stock situations and a poor user experience. Further, when a product sells, the order is routed to Torqued Distribution for fulfillment, we pick, pack and ship it, and the customer gets tracking information. This is fully seamless for a dealer, truly giving them a warehouse they can rely on, but as a service, not something they have to run themselves.
We couple this technology with being the exclusive US distributor for a number of foreign brands like Tillett Racing Seats, Nuke Performance and BOOST Products, where we have shown tremendous success in growing their US business.
What’s your standard elevator pitch for your company?
We are the most technology-focused WD which allows us to provide a number of free value-added services such as our Warehouse as a Service platform as part of being a dealer. We are set up for the modern seller who wants to run an asset-light business model, but we can, of course, service dealers large and small. For example, we have some larger dealers who have integrated with our modern REST API for inventory, product data and orders which they have directly integrated into their ERP system.
We also obsess about the details, like accurate stock levels, excellent product data in easy-to-use formats, fast order fulfillment, best in class customer service and more.
How do you choose which brands to distribute?
We focus on bringing foreign brands to the US, exclusively whenever possible. This allows us to build up a U.S. program for the brand, acting as much more than just a WD. We couple that with adjacent domestically sourced brands to round out our portfolio.
What are the most common misconceptions people have about your business and about automotive parts WaaS™ (Warehouse as a Service) in general?
I’ve been told by a handful of people that I’m essentially an outsider to this business because we’ve only existed for 3 years, thus implying that we don’t know what we’re doing. Our sales and track record very much say otherwise, so I completely shrug this off as jealousy.
I personally believe that most other WDs are stuck on a very old business model and not catering to the new upstart dealer. Shopify has taught us – right or wrong – that it’s a piece of cake to create a store. What they gloss over is that actually building a catalog of parts to sell on your new store and having the inventory on hand to ship it takes significant time and money. That’s the gap we fill with our service. You don’t have to pay another subscription to get access to our products and data. We believe this is a value-added service any modern WD needs to have, whether it’s through simple apps for modern eCommerce platforms or via APIs for more sophisticated dealers to directly integrate with us.
What is your favorite part about your job?
Everything where I live is “tech tech tech.” I like working on tangible real problems (at heart it’s physically putting widgets in boxes), but solving them with as many digital solutions as possible to drive efficiencies. I get immense satisfaction in seeing our dock overflow with outbound and inbound shipments.
How do you quantify the value of the services you offer? Is there a good way for auto parts retailers to estimate ROI?
We take the manual labor out for nearly all product listings and order processing for dealers. Whatever that time or cost is, that is the savings.
When you’re talking to potential customers, what are the 3 most important things you want them to know?
We carry some amazing products and iconic brands that nobody else carries. (After all, we can have the best technology, but if the products suck then there’s no point!)
You will love using our systems because they give you the tools to run your business efficiently.
We provide a personal touch whenever needed, sometimes helping a dealer get set up with online selling and doing things we probably should be asking to get paid for.
What do you attribute to Torqued Distribution’s success?
Dedication, individual attention, and fun. There are all the platitudes of “we’re car guys, etc.,” but for us it’s about obsessing over little things that can make a big difference. For example, whenever we used to see an inventory mismatch, we would dive really deep into why it happened, using all sorts of debugging tools, inventory movement logging and instrumentation to prevent it in the future. Our rule is that mistakes are human and they happen, but we want them to only happen once.
This dedication is working – we haven’t had to debug an issue like this in nearly 6 months now.
Where do you see the market for your product/service moving over the next 5 years?
Fewer PDFs, emailing or manual order processing. More and more systems will get connected through apps and server-to-server connections via easy-to-use APIs. We’ll continue to build out more apps and interfaces to other cloud-based systems that dealers use.
Torqued Distribution’s “Warehouse as a Service” is the industry’s first 100% virtual warehouse for online retailers and dealers selling racing and performance parts. With apps that are easily plugged into a Shopify, BigCommerce, or WooCommerce store, you will be ready to upload products, sync inventory so the stock count is accurate, and send orders to Torqued Distribution’s warehouse system to be fulfilled.
A startup dealer can take advantage of the WaaS service management and metrics tools that make managing your parts business easier. The REST API simplifies ERP integration and omnichannel selling while the real-time data helps larger dealers make executive decisions quickly.
Learn more here.
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