Daimler Trucks North America opened its latest parts distribution center in Whitestown, Ind., to serve dealers and service locations in the region (formerly serviced by DTNA’s PDCs in Chicago, Canton, Ohio and Bridgeport, N.J.) with next-day parts delivery. DTNA also announced breaking ground on a second PDC in Grimes, Iowa, to serve customers in the Midwest region.
The Whitestown PDC opens in July, and the Grimes location is expected to begin operation in late 2017 or early 2018. When both are fully operational, the two facilities will stock more than $15 million of inventory and 20,000 product SKUs. As part of its strategy to optimize its PDC footprint, DTNA said it will shutter its Chicago PDC in the near future.
“Our PDCs are located strategically in geographic areas to give us the best reach to our customers,” said Jay Johnson, general manager of aftermarket supply chain for DTNA. “People bring their personal retail experience expectations to work. Customer expectations certainly are higher,” referring to the increased demand for quicker parts availability.
The completion of the Whitestown PDC is DTNA’s latest investment in its 2013 promise to improve customer service by creating a supply chain network that provides next-day parts delivery for dealer locations across North America.
“This is the visible proof of our ability to deliver on our promise to enable our dealers to be faster to service our customers better,” said Stefan Kürschner, incoming senior vice president for DTNA Aftermarket, referring to supply chain improvements. “This is just one example of more things to come.”
DTNA’s goal in its aftermarket group is to supply next-day parts delivery for 90 percent of its dealer and service location network. At present, DTNA provides next-day parts for 60 percent of its network. With the two new locations, as well as the Dallas PDC facility opened last year, that number will increase to better than 75 percent by year-end 2017, said Johnson.
DTNA’s expanding PDC network is part of creating a larger supply chain ecosystem that includes Service Parts Planning, Dedicated Delivery and Variable Cut-Off processes for faster parts delivery and its RIMpro parts inventory management system to serve customers more efficiently and increase uptime, said Ray Addison, marketing and communications manager for DTNA Aftermarket. “There are so many layers to it with an end goal of it being anticipatory in nature. We strive for the goal that the part is available on a dealer’s shelf when they need it. In the event that it is not there, RIMpro and direct delivery service make sure that those parts get to the service location as quickly as possible to deliver uptime and provide a great customer experience.”
Stoops Freightliner, a division of Dubuque, Iowa-based Truck Country, has eight locations including a dealer facility in Indianapolis with 110 technicians, 100 service bays and $3.5 million in parts inventory on hand. John Frigge, vice president of operations, credits direct delivery service and variable cut-off for helping overhaul its inventory to provide a wider breadth of SKUs on-hand but lowering the number of any one part it carries. He added the Whitestown PDC and DTNA’s supply chain focus will have a significant impact on its operations going forward.
“Historically, we’ve run about 36 hours [part delivery] from the time an order is placed,” said Frigge. “That forces us to pass on or eat the freight cost to get it there earlier, or lose the sale. Being able to order the part and have that part in our possession the same day is a huge win for us.”