When it came time for AEM member Vintage Parts to mark 50 years in business earlier this summer, the celebratory turnout extended far beyond those working within the four walls of headquarters of Beaver Dam, Wis., of the company.
Organizational partners, fellow AEM members, community leaders and the general public joined the slow-moving parts supplier for an open house and a traditional Wisconsin fry not only to commemorate the occasion of the anniversary, but also to honor the company’s past and look to its bright future as a fixture in the Beaver Dam community and equipment manufacturing industry.
“It was truly an open house for the community,” said Pete Fogarty, vice president of sales and marketing for Vintage Parts. “And for us, our community isn’t just Wisconsin or Beaver Dam, it really spans the globe.”
A celebration of 50 years underway
Representatives from John Deere, AGCO, Koblelco and Navistar joined the celebration, as did U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.) and his staff. Additionally, State Representative Mike Born presented Vintage Parts with a Wisconsin State Commemorative Proclamation. . As part of the festivities, Vintage Parts employees gave local residents and community officials a tour of the company’s facility. In addition, the company designed and unveiled a new logo to commemorate half a century of business.
“We really have a lot to celebrate,” Fogarty explained. “We’ve been in business for 50 years, we employ 100 people and we’re based here in Wisconsin. So what would you do? You throw a brat and give away almost 750 brats in a two-hour period. It was really a fun time and a great experience for everyone involved.”
Since 1972, Vintage Parts has been in the business of managing slow and end-of-life inventory for equipment manufacturers. Many AEM members, including the aforementioned John Deere, Kobelco and AGCO, are associate organizations. In total, Vintage Parts works with over 100 different manufacturers serving agriculture, construction, material handling, automotive, aviation, heavy duty, recreational vehicle and medical customers. The company consists of 15 warehouses, covering 25 million cubic feet of climate-controlled indoor storage space. In addition, Vintage Parts stocks over 1 million part numbers in stock, which equates to just over 10 million actual parts.
“Everything we do is based around trying to make sure it’s easy for dealers to get inventory from us,” Fogarty said. “And we’re always proud of the fact that we have a live call center here in Beaver Dam, staffed by local people who understand parts, emphasize service and recognize what it means when a machine is down or in need of repair. The more importantly, they understand that it is their job to get this to their customers as quickly as possible.
If there is one thing that is common among many AEM members, it is that no matter who they are, where they are or who they serve, they recognize that they are part of a community and that making connections with local people and institutions is a priority Because ultimately, these connections benefit everyone in the long run.
“We also know there’s also a workforce development situation where we need to continue to encourage other people, as young people, to get into manufacturing and service businesses,” Fogarty said. .
“These are things that AEM drives, and that’s great,” he continued. “So of course there is I do America campaign, which is the best grassroots program I’ve ever joined. It allows a lot of people in our industry to go out and say to their members of Congress and local legislators, “This is what we do for you.” This is what it means to have a strong manufacturing sector in this country. It keeps us at the forefront of technology and helps enable the country to continue to prosper.”
Looking towards a bright future ahead
Now, with half a century of existence behind them, Fogarty and Vintage Parts are looking ahead to what they hope will be a bright 2023 and beyond for the organization. According to Vintage Parts’ vice president, the company wants to expand online, making its website more accessible and user-friendly. In addition, Vintage Parts is evaluating a number of potential opportunities for growth and expansion.
“We’re always expanding into new areas,” Fogarty said. “We’ve done pretty well with the agricultural and construction markets, so if there’s ever an opportunity to do something with a service piece, we’re looking at it.”
However, no company is an island. And Vintage Parts, like many of its organizational counterparts at AEM, is also looking to further leverage its involvement in the partnership not only to help achieve its goals and positively impact its bottom line, but also to build momentum for the equipment manufacturing industry and customers. it’s useful.
“The networking that we have within an association like AEM is very important, knowing that we’re all rowing in the same direction of trying to promote manufacturing and more specifically manufacturing in North America,” Fogarty said. “We want to do our part to make this industry strong, this country strong and this region of the world strong. And as long as we’re all telling the same story about how to achieve that and building consensus, things will move forward.”
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