Everything Parts – Part I
At Isuzu Truck UK, the Parts Dept plays a key role in the ongoing success of the company’s proven Aftermarket offering. We recently sat down with Brian Thorpe, who heads up the ITUK Parts operation, to shed some light on how ITUK approaches the UK market in terms of effective Parts supply.
In the first of a 2-part series of blog articles, Brian explains how the parts operation has grown over the life of Isuzu Truck in the UK and why it is so important for customers to keep their trucks running on genuine parts over their working life.
ITUK: Hi Brian, please tell us a little bit more about you, and your role here at ITUK
BT: I first started with ITUK back in 2009 as Parts Network Development Manager and in 2012 took on a more centralised role for UK wide parts network development. When the company became a wholly owned subsidiary of Isuzu Motors in 2013 structural changes were made and ITUK took greater control of the parts operation. We began to directly manage the functions of demand planning, purchasing and stock management. In 2015 I assumed the position of Parts General Manager and, working together with my team, have responsibility to maximise the sale of Isuzu parts. Naturally, taking control of these processes have necessitated considerable systems development and we have recruited a new team based at our Head Office to effectively handle all inbound processes. Additionally, we have a team of dedicated network parts managers who facilitate and support a coordinated dealer led approach to supplying our customers with genuine parts.
ITUK: What is the scale of the Isuzu Truck parts operation in practical terms?
BT: To ensure optimum supply, Isuzu Motors Limited in Japan has invested in a major European Parts Distribution Centre based at Antwerp, Belgium, who organise regular deliveries to our dedicated UK parts distribution centre in Chorley, Lancashire. The Chorley location holds in excess of ten thousand stocked part lines to ensure that our comprehensive franchised Dealer Network is able to provide to our Isuzu customers, the level of support they need.
ITUK: Isuzu vehicles are renowned for their longevity, is this an issue for continuity of parts supply?
BT: Not at all, it’s something we thrive on. At Chorley for example, we stock parts covering all current Euro VI models as well as all UK models going back many years. If we do not carry it in stock either at Chorley, or at our dealers, then we can soon get it, via the global Isuzu Parts network.
ITUK: ITUK has really grown its UK dealer network over the years, how important is that?
BT: Without doubt the growth of our experienced UK dealer network continues to play a critical role in supporting our many customers throughout Great Britain. Franchised Dealers have all the latest specialist diagnostic equipment to help identify correct repair procedures first time, and each location has a dedicated, trained, parts expert, who is able to identify, order and access the right parts for the job in hand. Through our in house ITUK based software programme and parts catalogue systems, dealers can provide the speediest possible solution to satisfy the requirements of our customers. Most importantly, our dealer network can identify parts specific to the correct vehicle specification, including all of the latest updates, and this provides a significant advantage over non-franchised suppliers.
ITUK: Here in the UK, the Isuzu truck parc has increased massively over the years. How has that impacted on the parts operation?
BT: The significant growth and development of the number of ITUK truck registrations has certainly been reflected in the level of parts growth and indeed 2021 was our best year ever. This perfectly encapsulates the fantastic level of overall success currently being enjoyed by the Isuzu truck brand here in the UK. This in turn has put us in a good position to handle all future growth projections. As we introduce new models into the range, we undertake a launch programme to identify and stock the right parts for each new model as the registrations grow.
ITUK: Why is it important for operators to use genuine parts on their Isuzu vehicles?
BT: I think it’s well documented that the importance of fitting genuine replacement parts cannot be underestimated. Genuine parts from Isuzu are the same parts that are engineered and fitted to the original truck on the line at the factory in Fujisawa. They are an exact ‘like for like’ replacement. What’s more, most parts carry a 24-month manufacturer backed replacement warranty, furthermore, if the parts have been fitted by an Isuzu Truck franchised dealer then in the unlikely event of a part failing, then the warranty covers not only the replacement part but the refit labour time too. A further distinct advantage of using our nationwide franchised dealer network is in the time saving fact that our dealers are not restricted by having to refer customers to the original supplying dealer.
ITUK: If a truck has broken down and is in a VOR situation, what role does the parts operation play?
BT: In such critical situations, every ITUK dealer has access to the online ITUK parts system so they can see immediately if the part is readily available for next day delivery. Dealers can then place orders up to 18.00hrs and get it delivered during the night in most cases, so remedial work can begin early the next day.
In the second of this 2-part blog interview, Brian will be telling us all about the introduction of the ‘Best Value Parts’ range from ITUK, and about improving the look and feel of your Isuzu, whilst updating us on the latest ‘Parts Manager of the Year’ initiative.
Watch this space….
Further information about the ITUK Parts Operation can be obtained by contacting the Parts Dept at your local ITUK dealer or by visiting the ITUK website on: