Supply guy Featured

8:00pm EDT August 26, 2007

In the supply industry, availability is everything. For every order or request — regardless of in-house stock — the answer must always be “yes” if a supplier hopes to grow and thrive.

At PartsSource LLC, a hospital replacement part supplier, A. Ray Dalton has turned this tenet into the company motto.

As the president and CEO of PartsSource, Dalton implemented two notable innovations last year to create a client-supplier relationship where, “The answer is yes.” First, Dalton introduced the Web-based application to help clients order and manage their parts purchases more efficiently.

In the past, customers had to call suppliers, place an order and wait for a call back regarding availability and pricing. Now, they only need to visit the online site to gather all the necessary information, almost instantaneously. In addition, the site allows clients to place and manage orders from suppliers other than PartsSource.

While the system provides obvious benefits to customers, it has paid off for PartsSource, as well. The company has significantly increased its revenue stream with four major hospital groups since the system’s introduction — a 236 percent increase from 2005 to 2006 — and projects a 214 percent increase in 2007.

Secondly, Dalton and his team have created an alliance of suppliers to ensure the availability of any product in the hospital replacement part industry. Aptly dubbed the National PartsSource Alliance, this vendor-partner network allows the company to meet customer demands even when parts are unavailable in-house.

In those cases, PartsSource contacts one of 6,500 vendors on the open market to secure the best pricing options for customers. The company then contacts the customer within two hours to relay product and pricing information.

Despite these recent innovations, Dalton doesn’t dismiss old-fashioned methods of bolstering inventory. He has continued to stock his warehouse with high-demand products, such as batteries and bulbs, to accommodate long-term demand. In an industry where availability matters, it’s never a bad idea to have a few extra parts lying around.

HOW TO REACH: PartsSource LLC, (330) 562-9900 or