Monthly Archives: March 2019

Supplier Highlight

Supplier Highlight

Getting to know BorgWarner and the Delco Remy® brand

 Nick Tosie, national accounts manager

Please briefly describe the history of your company? Please briefly describe your company’s sales structure: What do you sell, who are your customers, etc.?

BorgWarner Inc. is a global product leader in clean and efficient technology solutions for combustion, hybrid and electric vehicles for the light, medium- and heavy-duty markets. BorgWarner Corporation, the predecessor to BorgWarner Inc., was formed in 1928. Founding companies include Borg & Beck, Marvel-Schebler, Warner Gear, and Mechanics Universal Joint. Today’s company, BorgWarner Inc. is a result of Borg-Warner Automotive spinning off from the Borg-Warner Security Corporation in 1993 and becoming an independent company in 1993.

The Delco Remy brand became a part of the BorgWarner family in 2015 when the company acquired Remy International. Today, BorgWarner’s produces and sells Delco Remy starters and alternators for the commercial vehicle aftermarket as well as major truck OEMs. In addition to the Delco Remy brand products, BorgWarner also manufactures and sells fan clutches and fans for medium and heavy duty commercial vehicles. The company sells original equipment (OE) products to both commercial vehicle original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) as well as aftermarket sales through a network of independent warehouse distributors, buying groups, national wide aftermarket companies and OES truck dealers. The company also manufactures products for the transit bus, coach, school bus, and off highway markets.

BorgWarner’s customers are local and national truck fleets, owner-operators and other end users.

With manufacturing and technical facilities in 66 locations in 18 countries, the company employs approximately 29,000 worldwide.


What separates your business from competitors in its marketplace?

The quality of our products and our coverage in the marketplace. As an OE supplier, all of our products are the same quality as the OE products. They are designed and engineered to OE standards, with the OEs. We work with all the major OEs and we have coverage for 100 percent of Class 7 and 8 vehicles and significant coverage for Class 5 and 6 vehicles. When it comes to mounting configurations, power, service parts, etc. none of our current OE competitors offer the complete line that we do, BorgWarner and the Delco Remy brand offer the most complete coverage in the industry.


How do you believe customers perceive your business?

BorgWarner and Delco Remy brand genuine products are known for offering quality components and product leadership in the heavy-duty industry for the products we design, engineer, and manufacturer.


How and why do your customers stay loyal to your business?

Customer stay loyal to our business because of our product leadership, which was established due to the quality of our products and coverage for the heavy-duty industry. Since we are an OE provider to all major OEMs we have coverage for all Class 7 and 8 vehicles which allows a distributor to stock one brand and cover all of their needs; additionally, the after sales support we provide through product training, our industry leading cross reference tools, literature, and other marketing support is second to none. We also have an entire sales team of experienced, direct sales people covering the U.S. coast to coast that have formed lasting relationships with our customers both at the fleet and distributor level.


What is one thing most customers/suppliers don’t know about your company that would surprise/impress them? (i.e., tell us something about your company we don’t know) What makes your company a great place to work?

Many people in the heavy-duty aftermarket are surprised to learn BorgWarner is now the parent company for Delco Remy. It’s important to understand Delco Remy has really been a brand and not a company for decades now and that Remy was acquired by BorgWarner to expand our electrification capabilities.

The automotive world is in the process of making a major shift to electric and hybrid vehicles and that is a space BorgWarner is a major player in. That technology is coming to the heavy-duty field with more and more components becoming electrified on the truck which makes our components that much more important. 48-volt systems are on the horizon so more components on the truck can be electrified and hybrid or full electric trucks are not that far off either. For these reasons, it makes us a great strategic partner for the heavy-duty aftermarket, we supply todays needs and are in position for our trusted brands to supply the future needs as well.

Many people are surprised at all of the technologies BorgWarner offers. If you own a passenger car, truck, or heavy duty vehicle, there is likely BorgWarner content on it. So, don’t just think of us for Delco Remy starters and alternators or BorgWarner K series fan drives, we offer much, much more. A great overview of all of our products can be found here:

Last, BorgWarner is a great place to work for several reasons. As a young person, I appreciate that we are not just involved in legacy technology (combustion) but that we are also heavily invested into the emerging technologies of the future (hybrid and full electric); with BorgWarner being involved in these technologies whichever propulsion platform takes off we will be positioned for continued growth. On a personal level BorgWarner is a great place to work because of our amazing health and retirement benefits, the employee focus, and the continuous investments in technology.


How vital is it to have quality employees entering your business from younger generations, and how are you trying to recruit these younger professionals?

Without fresh, quality talent we would lack fresh ideas and new perspectives and thus we would slowly start to become irrelevant and uncompetitive. Bringing in the younger generation is key to long term sustained success for any business and is especially important in the heavy-duty aftermarket due to the large number of industry veterans that will be aging out of the industry in the coming years. We work to recruit these younger professionals through industry associations, such as GenNext, as well as through career days and various colleges and related events. We also offer a lot of co-op and intern positions around the globe. Additionally, we have a heavy social media presence for BorgWarner globally to highlight our industry leading innovations, the cutting-edge technology we develop and work with for our business and the culture of our company. It helps people get to know our company.


Does your business feel it is in the position to change with the times? If so how?

Absolutely. Our focus at BorgWarner is to be the industry leader in propulsion- whether it be combustion, hybrid, or full electric. We are positioned to play in all of these fields so that wherever the future takes us based on varying regulations, customer demands, and industry requirements we can be a dominant player. The most exciting thing about that is our growth will continue to be sustainable and these solutions support a cleaner, energy-efficient world.


Do you have any advice for the next generation, as they work in this industry?

There’s a lot of technology in the heavy-duty industry that makes it an exciting field to be in but there’s also still many old-school trends that remain and are worth embracing. Most important of those is that relationships still matter. So, take the time to meet people and further your connections and contacts through organizations such as GenNext. People buy from people and the best careers start with a connection, not just a post on a website or an email.

The other thing I will share is don’t be afraid to speak up and suggest or help make a change when you see an opportunity. Our industry is full of history and tradition but that doesn’t mean we should be set in our ways. As a young person in the industry you have a different viewpoint and it is important to be knowledgeable of and respect the traditions, but also to suggest areas for improvement and innovation.


Why did your company join GenNext? How can GenNext help your employees?

BorgWarner joined GenNext because it offers a unique opportunity to interact with the young talent within the industry for ideas and strategies that we might not otherwise hear about. It also offers us an organization where we can expose our young leaders to mentorship opportunities as well as to offer the expertise of our seasoned, industry veterans to be mentors to those who are new to the industry.


What are the three most pivotal moments in your career that you either learned from and/or that got you where you are?

  1. When my branch manager at MHC Kenworth in Dallas, Lynn Harris, pushed me into outside sales. My background was in service as a tech and a service advisor. I admittedly wasn’t a parts person and didn’t think of myself as a sales person either. Lynn forced me to change and experience the best position in the dealership- outside sales. I’m glad he did, otherwise I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing today. I learned to keep an open mind, try new things, and listen to those that have more experience; all of which are worthwhile lessons for not only work but life. So, don’t be afraid to say “yes” to an opportunity you never thought about.
  2. When I went to work for Phillips Industries as a territory sales manager. This took me from working from a distributor/dealer and to working for an OE manufacturer. This position was so valuable because it gave me my start working for a manufacturer in a traveling sales role. Phillips provided a great deal of support and training which really accelerated my growth. Additionally, I learned the importance of selling a quality, top tier, name brand component and how to couple that with building relationships for maximum sales growth.
  3. A few years ago I started shadowing Craven Mabrey to begin training me to transition into my national account manager role as he prepared for retirement. The connections were obviously priceless, but the other big thing Craven provided was the history of how the aftermarket developed and how our company and products developed along with it. This insight is important in looking at where we’ve been and where we are headed.


Are there any industry leaders that have influenced you/mentored you? Who were they and how has their knowledge assisted you?

I don’t like to do lists because I couldn’t possibly name everyone that’s mentored me during my career but I’ll name a handful as the list overall is long. I’ve had the great fortune to work with a ton of really awesome people. Terry Tosie (my dad), Lynn Harris, Randy Andis, Craven Mabrey, John Minor, Pete Joy, Randy Walker, John Nugent and Bob Phillips. All of them have taught me the importance of hard work, doing the right thing, following through, loyalty, and the importance of relationships among many other things. I wouldn’t be where I am today without their support and mentoring. The best thing about the heavy-duty industry is the willingness to show a new comer the ropes and to develop relationships, regardless of your role or position.


Distributor Highlight

Distributor Highlight

Getting to know Potter Webster Company

Rich Calcagno, vice president and general manager


Please briefly describe the history of your business (a quick summary is fine).

Potter Webster Company was started in 1918. The Websters bought out the Potters in 1940 and we have been family owned since.


Please briefly describe your company’s distribution structure: What do you sell, who are your vendors, who are your customers, etc.?

Our venders involve many areas; we are looked at as the one-stop shopping source. We have so many venders it is hard to name them all. The big ones are Meritor, Philips, Grote, Truck-Lite, Bendix, Dana, Neapco, Parker, Hutch, Dexter, Ecco and many others. We sell into many markets, including over-the-road, mining, off-highway, logging and construction. We also have divisions of the company that supply original manufacturers.


What separates your business from competitors in its marketplace?

Service. We believe service is the difference. We really try to make this the most important part of the equation.


How do you believe customers perceive your business?

I think most customers view our company as a solution-based company. We value that we are not going to be the cheapest but we have the experience and knowledge to solve their problems. Dennis Webster always preached we are “Nationally known and locally owned.” This really hits it home. We also like to say, “We are big enough to supply you but we are small enough to care about your needs.”


How and why have your customers stayed loyal to your business?

Customers stay loyal for many reasons — a few are we treat everyone as friends. It comes down to people sell people. We have a very long tenure here. We have teammates that have only worked here their entire life. Some more than 40 years. When our customers come in to our stores and see the same people year-in and year-out it really makes a difference to their trust. They know they can rely on great service with a fair price.


What is one thing most customers/suppliers don’t know about your company that would surprise/impress them? (i.e., tell us something about your company we don’t know)

What people don’t know is we are a family-owned third-generation business. Most of the leaders in our company started at the bottom and worked their way to the top. I started with the company cleaning toilets and sweeping the floors. We started in the industry selling fenders and generators, not in the trucking industry at all. We got into it by filling a need and seeing opportunities.


What makes your business a great place to work?

What makes our company a wonderful place to work? We have fun every day. We are very team-based organization. We also take our work very seriously. We are a family. Dennis has made it a point to support everyone in so many ways. We offer the best benefits we can along with profit sharing and a 401K.


How vital is it to have quality employees entering your business from younger generations, and how are you trying to recruit these younger professionals?

It’s very important to have the best people possible. Most of the time we don’t hire because of what people know, we hire based off attitude and their ability to communicate and learn. We can teach this industry very well. It’s not rocket science. We usually try to promote from within our organization. We look to our warehouse as an area where, if those employees can do what is needed with a great attitude and good attendance, they have what it takes to move up.


Do you feel your business is in the position to change with the times? If so how?

I feel the business is going to change in so many ways. On one hand, the sales staff will have to be more computer savvy as time changes. We also are going to have to understand more about advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and other onboard computer systems. The trucks are changing so fast and have to keep up.


Do you have any advice for the next generation, as they work in this industry?

Learn as much as you can about the equipment as possible, but most importantly, listen and observe the old times. Do not discount their knowledge. They have seen so many changes to our industry and have adapted quite well.


What are your goals for the long-term future of your company?

We are in a growth mode here at Potter Webster. We are looking at opening several new opportunities in the next five years. We are hoping the economy will hold and that we may have a long stretch of growth. I can see in the next 10 years the industry will change dramatically. We will have to change with times and expand with new product lines and new locations. We are a third-generation company and we hope there is a forth to come.


Why did your company join GenNext? How can GenNext help your employees?

We joined GenNext so we could be prepared for the future. To help us understand what we need to be prepared for in the coming years. We also joined to hopefully find channels to be able to find new talent.


What are the three most pivotal moments in your career that you either learned from and/or that got you where you are?

I’ve learned to not be scared to take a risk. I look at risk as an opportunity to learn; either it is going to be good or bad. Either way you learn from it. Additionally, take time to make decisions but not too much time respond not react. Listen to your team. It’s really awesome to hear what their take on the business is — even the lowest guy on the totem pole has great ideas. I’ve always listened, watched and learned from the people I’ve worked for and I’ve learned from many of my managers as well. What to do, but most importantly, what not to do.


Are there any industry leaders that have influenced you/mentored you? Who were they and how has their knowledge assisted you?
Dennis Webster is by far the one man I’ve learned the most from. He’s been in this industry for 59 years and has a wealth of knowledge. Randy Luthe used to hold classes here at Potter Webster once a month. In the beginning I thought they were silly. But as time went on I started to use the classes he taught and continue to do so now. Finally, Andy Schmitz. He has not worked for us for very long but he has had so much to do with the growth and our new perspective here at Potter Webster.

Organizational Update

Organizational Update

Distributor Training Expo just one month away. Sign up today!

Only a few distributor spots remain for the 2019 GenNext and Commercial Vehicle Solutions Network (CVSN) Distributor Training Expo, scheduled for April 26-28, 2019, at the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta.

Now in its fourth year, this year’s DTE will continue the event’s record of providing, high-quality, valuable supplier-generated product information for independent aftermarket inside and outside sales associates.

The DTE also is an invaluable resource for independent operations to keep pace with their dealer and national chain competitors, both of which offer similar programs for their own locations.

“We need to train our people to keep up with these power groups. That’s why we built the Distributor Training Expo and that’s why we continue to expand it,” organizers say. “We want to educate the entire independent distribution channel.”

The event’s Gold Sponsors — who will provide four 40-minute classroom sessions and feature an expanded booth presence at the event — are Automann, Bendix, Eaton, Federal-Mogul Motorparts, Kit Masters, Meritor, Minimizer and Tectran. Silver-level sponsors will host two 40-minute training courses and also will be present during the event’s booth training periods. Silver sponsors are BBB Industries, BettsHD, BorgWarner-DelcoRemy, Dayton Parts, Dorman HD Solutions, Hendrickson, Illinois Auto Truck Co. Inc., PAI Industries, Phillips Industries, SKF, STEMCO, Timken, Triangle Suspension, Truck-Lite, Trux Accessories and WABCO.

DTE organizers say each sponsor will bring new and unique training materials to this year’s event. More than 90 percent of the training materials prepared for the event are new in 2019, and organizers add each supplier attending the event is eager to share its newest products and sales tools with the distributor audience.

This year’s DTE also will feature a keynote speaker for the second consecutive year.

Dr. Albert Bates, known throughout the aftermarket for his engaging presentations at other industry programs, will present “Not Just Sales, Profitable Sales,” a pointed presentation designed to educate distributor attendees on how to ensure every sale is a profitable sale.

The event registration fee for distributors is an-inclusive price of $549. This includes airfare to and from the event, hotel accommodations, shuttle service to and from the airport, all meals, the entire training program and all associated training materials provided during the event.

When compared to the alternative of no training at all, or the years it would take to receive the same amount of training through on-site supplier events, DTE organizers say the event should be a no brainer for every business in the aftermarket.

For more information, and to register for the event, please CLICK HERE.

GenNext announces new board of directors

In addition to its preparations for the upcoming Distributor Training Expo, GenNext also has made a number of changes to its board of directors in 2019.

The organization says new members to the board are Lucas Deal, Truck Parts & Service; Jenna McGrath, VIPAR Heavy Duty; Adam Pigeon, Royal Truck & Trailer; Nick Tosie, BorgWarner; Amber Warden, Tectran; CVSN Representative Sean Ryan, Point Spring & Driveshaft; and senior advisor Rob Phillips, Phillips Industries.

In making these changes, the organization says its outgoing board members are Cory Beeler, Wilson/BBB Industries; Steve Hansen Minimizer; Justin Miller, Heavy Duty Trucking; Jeff Paul, VIPAR Heavy Duty; and senior advisor David Willis, CRW Parts.

We thank our outgoing members for their support of GenNext and the independent aftermarket industry.

What comes after the DTE?

That’s a good question, because GenNext has even more big plans for the remainder of the year.

The biggest non-DTE initiative for GenNext in 2019 is its joint effort with CVSN to introduce an industry job board and release video designed to help recruit talent into the independent aftermarket. CVSN has been in production on the latter for nearly a year. When complete, CVSN and GenNext plan to nationally market their recruitment video in an effort to entice talented young professionals to consider a career in our industry.

GenNext also will host an industry reception at the 2019 HDA Truck Pride Annual Meeting next month in Orlando and is working to schedule more quarterly educational webinars for its members and introduce an aftermarket podcast series called “Next10.” The organization says it will notify its members of these latter projects as they are released.