Keeping business moving
The tall sign for Peterbilt Truck Parts & Equipment LLC is easily seen for passengers along Interstate 80 on the east side of Sparks.
The Sparks franchise of Peterbilt and its sister company Silver State International both located just down the street from each other on Larkin Circle, have become very visible to its customers in the transportation and logistics industries.
It serves as a dealership in sales and leasing of vehicles as well as providing parts, equipment and maintenance all the vehicles.
Peterbilt and Silver State together have a massive inventory of more than $4 million in parts and equipment. They have found ways to keep that inventory moving off the shelves, even at times when some products are hard to get rid of.
The companies are constantly looking at product lines on a daily basis, rather than annually, to check the sales volume of each item. When they discover items aren’t going out the door, they look at various avenues to get rid of those parts and recoup at least a portion of their investment.
“If you’re not looking at that daily, next thing you know, you can see 10, 15, 20 of your inventory isn’t moving so you’re holding cash,” said Mike Altimus, vice president/general manager for Peterbilt and Silver State.
They may end up running sales specials on particular items that have sat around for long periods of time. It also may research places around the country where those parts may be in demand. They then send them to vendors who can distribute them in those areas.
“With parts, they may not expire, but if it’s a part over a year old, it’s probably not used in the region,” Altimus said. “There may be packages of obsolete parts and some guy, say in Mexico, may buy those parts and make them work on whatever equipment he has.”
Some part sales are seasonal, such as truck tire chains in the winter or air conditioning filters in the summer.
Both companies provide new and used truck sales including light-duty pickups to Class 5 through 8 vehicles while Peterbilt also offers a line of trailers. Silver State also offers leasing and rentals of trucks.
Silver State also builds and sells a line of IC buses, including ones for the Washoe County School District. It supplies vehicles for other municipalities such as police departments.
Peterbilt and Silver State don’t just supply parts for the trucking industry. They also have parts for domestic products such as lawn movers or parts for domestic and foreign cars.
The company delivers its inventory to customers anywhere within a 400-mile radius, including places like Bishop, Calif., Lake Tahoe, Winnemucca and Tonopah.
“We run eight to 20 delivery vehicles on the road every day all delivering parts somewhere,” Altimus said.
It also has invested heavily in its facilities in recent years to service vehicles in-house.
A few years ago, Peterbilt added a 13,000-square-foot, 10-bay service center to work on various lines of vehicles. The service center provides them the ability to service any clients’ line of delivery vehicles or build a customized line for a particular customer’s vehicle regulations or desires.
“Some of our customers love to have all the bells and whistles on their vehicles,” said Shawn D. Gallagher, fixed operations manager for Peterbilt and Silver State.
Silver State also provides many of the same services and provides complimentary services to Peterbilt or vice versa. Silver State has auto body shop onsite for collision repairs and paint jobs.
Peterbilt and Silver State have the challenge of keeping up with all the new technologies of various lines of transportation vehicles.
It even offers education and instruction on new technologies for drivers in the transportation industry.
Peterbilt has a staff of 140 workers in the various departments, including an onsite IT staff that handles the companies’ web presence and social media issues. Gallagher has challenges many companies face in finding skilled workforce, but is generally pleased with the quality of people the company attracts. He says the company has found success finding vehicle technicians on the job site, Indeed.com.
“A lot of professionals come to us via Indeed.com. I’m really happy with that service,” Gallagher said.
Gallagher is most proud of how the company finds the right people for the companies and develops their skills once they are hired.
“The more we develop, the more we empower and get to know you and what you are about, the better you can help our company,” Gallagher said.
John Philips, who purchased the franchised dealership in 2007, owns Peterbilt. He has also owned Silver State since 1987.
In Reno, Amazon opened a new 140,000-square-foot delivery station at 9740 N. Virginia St. in October; a second building for handling large products under the company’s “AMXL” division is planned for 2021 at 1316 Capital Blvd.