Five years ago, we had seen DuraBrake more regularly being referred to as a “value line”. That’s not the case anymore. More recently, we’ve seen more and larger customers using DuraBrake as their PRIMARY brake line because they know we’re going to give them the best overall program and support.
Our team works exhaustively to ensure that when customers call, they reach a live person quickly who is willing to help and provide timely information. Customers who email are also replied to quickly as well. The part information, interchange information, and inventory we have on brake drums, brake rotors (discs), calipers, brake pads and hubs are the most comprehensive in the industry. In this business, helping our customer means they can help their customers and get the sale. We understand that and that’s why we are so responsive and helpful. Even if we do not have the part you are looking for, we will try to help as much as possible with other interchanges or where you might be able to find the part.
For the product and customer service that we offer, our prices are competitive, but we may not be the least expensive option. During the supply chain issues seen during COVID, in many cases, we were not the least expensive option. However, because we were able to deliver parts mostly when we said we would, many customers valued our customer service and reliability. Now, when it is easier to get brake drums and other wheel-end and brake parts, most of those same customers continue buying from us because they know what to expect from us.
While other manufacturers are quick to obsolete, we are quick to develop. Our design-focused thinking has allowed us to obtain a significant number of new customers over the past few years. Our larger competitors continue to focus on products that will sell a significant amount of volume, while we have also focused on helping our customers get the replacements they need. This has been true for brake drums, rotors, and calipers. Just to give you an example, we can make a custom runs of brake drums, with a minimum order of 16 drums.
One of the ways that we can keep prices lower than some of our competitors is because we do produce overseas. Since DuraBrake has been making products overseas for decades and is a company run by engineers, we understand the need for a high-quality product that our customers need and we have been commended frequently on the appearance and durability of our parts both in the aftermarket and by OEMs. The benefit of manufacturing overseas is that we typically keep strong inventories in our parts distribution centers across North America. Companies that manufacture in the US, are likely to keep fewer months of inventory on hand because they MAY have shorter lead times to produce. Spikes in ordering can quickly eliminate those inventories. However, producing overseas requires more careful planning for both DuraBrake and our customers who order container loads/truck loads from us. Our planning software and staff have improved our order fill rate significantly and we continue to improve our order fill rate.
In the past few years, DuraBrake has also become a vendor to three buying groups: VIPAR/Power Heavy Duty, HDA TruckPride, and the Alliance. In addition, we have programs with OEMs like Volvo/Mack and Blue Bird, in addition to many other large brand names in the heavy-duty industry. We also private label our products for other large brand names in the industry, you would be surprised how many we supply. Our association with these large names has shown the industry that we are not a “value” line anymore, but we are a premium line.