Keystone News

  • 1/1/2016 12:00:00 AM

The New Year is a special time filled with sincere reflection and genuine aspiration for the months to come. For the Keystone family, it also signals a time to express gratitude for those who make it all possible—loyal employees committed to excellence from start to finish; passionate suppliers steadfast in outfitting the aftermarket with innovative products; and valued customers on the edge of the latest trends, helping to drive consumer demand and contribute to the continued success of this impressive industry.

2015 was a great year, one brimming with many moments that inspire an even better tomorrow for Keystone. We drove continuous improvements around the fundamentals that secure the framework of our business model—depth and breadth of inventory, sophisticated logistics, smart diversification and knowledgeable team members who advocate excellent service. These areas serve as the backbone of long term sustainability in an ever-changing environment.

“If You’re Not Changing Then You’re Not Growing.”

Change is a predictable force in life. Businesses can choose to guide the inevitable in a positive and profitable direction or succumb too late without a clear path in sight. We believe with change comes growth opportunity. Proper analysis and planning allows businesses to confidently invest in their future, ensuring a presence for many years to come.

This year we welcomed Coast Distribution System, Inc. to the Keystone family under the LKQ Corp. (Nasdaq: LKQ) umbrella, providing suppliers with unrivaled market coverage and dealers with prime access to the largest inventory of parts and accessories in the industry. In a recent interview with RV Business, Bill Rogers, Vice President and General Manager of Keystone, NTP-STAG and Coast, commented about the acquisition, stating the merger offers customers a plethora of unique marketing, education, merchandising and trade show offerings that would be highly difficult to deliver effectively without the combined resources of the now-one company. “We’re anticipating another strong year in the RV segment and are excited to be heading into the Expo season. Our combined sales force will be gathering the entire dealer family together from the existing NTP-STAG organization and welcoming new Coast dealers to the event, which will be hosted in New Orleans this January,” said Larry Montante, Category Management Leader. It’s the ideal setting to kick-start the year!

Additionally, we expanded our logistic capabilities to include two additional warehouses in 2016, securing a foothold and extending our reach in the Pacific Northwest, Great Lakes region and both Central and Western Canada. The new facilities located in Cheney, Washington and Brownstown, Michigan add an additional 500K square feet of inventory space to the current 2 million sq. ft. footprint, enhancing service capabilities in these critical geographies. “The new warehouses not only help us better expand and penetrate into various geographies, but also increase efficiencies and service levels that benefit both suppliers and customers.” said Montante. “We are committed to investing in the market with the goal of offering deeper and broader coverage across various product categories.” Customers, that spells “Cha-Ching” for you—deeper product coverage in additional locations gives you more choices and those choices can translate directly to more profit for your business.

Quality, Teamwork and Service

Investment in quality yields positive results no matter your business—manufacturing, distribution, retail or installation. And that’s certainly true of the FX Products team, who, debuting its line of vehicle accessories at SEMA for the first time, proudly took home first runner up in the New Products Exterior Accessories category for the HD Running Board. Additionally, Keystone’s eCommerce sales force was presented with the third annual RealTruck Vendor Award for extraordinary commitment to EDI, inventory feeds and continual brand growth. “We’re honored to win this award. It’s great to have partners like Real Truck who are equally committed to giving customers a positive e-commerce experience,” said Lori Adams, eCommerce Sales Manager at Keystone.

The Keystone team was honored to be presented with the WD of the Year award by our partners at Advanced Flow Engineering, Inc. (aFe). This award, accepted by Jon Ruzzi, Category Manager for Speed and Performance, and Ralph Ruzzi, VP of Canadian Sales, demonstrates the power of true partnership. “We’re very proud to be the recipient of such a prestigious award,” said Montante. “Jon and Keystone sales have worked collectively with the aFe team to achieve long term, sustainable growth.”

Looking Ahead

The 2016 Keystone BIG Shows are upon us. An enormous amount of time, energy and resources are dedicated to making the BIG Shows an exceptional experience for all guests. As the largest wholesale-only buying opportunity in the automotive aftermarket, the bar is certainly set high to produce an engaging event each and every year. Montante, part of the Keystone family for more than 30 years, has witnessed the BIG Shows grow exponentially in size, scope, quality and aftermarket influence since the inaugural launch in 1999. He’s always amazed how each year tops the one before. “More suppliers, more customers, further exposure…. It’s bigger and better every single year,” said Montante. New lines continue to be a huge focus and great source of growth for the Keystone team. Using the BIG Shows as a launching pad for many of these incoming manufacturers has been successful not only for them, but also the attendees. “We want to be part of the process to really help our customers market themselves as a local source for new and innovative products,” said Montante. There’s no better springboard than the Keystone BIG Shows. Getting first dibs on new lines, new products and new applications allows customers to get a jump start on the competition.

Mark your calendars for this year’s BIG Shows.

BIG Show East - Saturday, February 20th, 2016 Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington DC

BIG Show West - Saturday, March 5th, 2016 Gaylord Texan Resort, Grapevine, TX

Recent Articles

LKQ finalized deal to acquire Warn Industries

Chicago, IL (November 1, 2017) - LKQ Corporation (Nasdaq: LKQ) today announced that it has finalized the acquisition of Warn Industries, Inc. (“Warn”) a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of high performance aftermarket equipment and accessories. Warn was previously owned by Dover Corporation (NYSE: DOV). Warn will be a part of LKQ’s Specialty Segment, Keystone Automotive Operations, Inc. (‘Keystone”)

“Finding new and better ways to serve the needs of our customers is a priority for Keystone. We are excited about the value and capabilities Warn brings to our customer centric approach to service,” said Bill Rogers, Vice President and General Manager of Keystone. “Their leadership position in the market and premium iconic brand give us the ability to drive our long-term strategy of growing share in our core markets and developing viable points of entry into adjacent spaces that show promise.”

Warn offers a broad product line of premium winches, hoists, locking hubs and bumpers and serve specialty retailers and distributors globally. Warn has a long history and reputation of developing the highest quality most technologically advanced products in the industry. The red W logo is omnipresent where rugged dependable products are required. From mountaintops to worksites and deserts to disaster areas, Warn is the product enthusiasts and professionals depend on.

“The team at Warn is very excited to be part of LKQ / Keystone,” said Eric Banks, Warn Vice President of Operations. “Our approach to customers and market opportunities are very similar. We believe that by serving our customers best we serve the needs of the entire supply chain better. They know our market space and have been leaders in it for many years. Being supported by a company that can bring new and critical resources to us means that our customers and all of our channel partners will benefit,” added Banks.

Warn will be run in an autonomous way within LKQ’s Specialty Products Group and maintain its operational presence in Oregon. “It is fantastic to have a very capable management team and experienced workforce in place there. Their infusion of talent to our organization will contribute significantly to all our working groups,” said Kyle Shiminski, Vice President of Keystone’s Specialty Products Group. “Their passion for their products and customers will help ensure that we continue to provide the highest quality products and service experiences people have come to expect,” he concluded.

“The collective team will be focused on maintaining the highest level of customer focus and driving the growth initiatives the organization has already developed,” said Rogers.

About LKQ Corporation
LKQ Corporation (www.lkqcorp.com) is a leading provider of alternative and specialty parts to repair and accessorize automobiles and other vehicles. LKQ has operations in North America, Europe and Taiwan. LKQ offers its customers a broad range of replacement systems, components, equipment and parts to repair and accessorize automobiles, trucks, and recreational and performance vehicles.

About Keystone Automotive Operations
Keystone is the leading distributor and marketer of aftermarket automotive products and services, uniquely positioned to offer customers and suppliers substantial scale, the most comprehensive inventory selection in the industry, high levels of customer service, and innovative marketing support. Keystone is committed to expanding its offerings to meet the ever-growing needs of its customer base, providing them what they need, when they need it most.

Keystone Automotive Operations Showcases Parts VIA at SEMA

EXETER, PA (October 23, 1017) – Parts Via is a new jobber friendly eCommerce solution developed by Keystone Automotive Operations that connects brands, through a unique network, to retail outlets and consumers. It is a web-based solution which creates a seamless transaction environment built over a supply chain network and infrastructure that can deliver anything from light bulbs and exhaust systems to tow bars and truck bed products to just about anywhere in North America next day.

According to Eric Fairchild, at Keystone. “Parts Via gives consumers the convenience of purchasing authentic branded products online with the choice to have them shipped to one of Keystone’s many qualified network retailers and installers. Parts Via provides consumers with unparalleled access to local services, technical expertise and installation support that traditional online purchases do not provide.”

Parts Via creates a strategic alliance between brands, retail outlets and consumers using Keystone’s technology, inventory, warehouses and fleet to enhance the shopping experience for consumers while growing sales for the Parts Via partner and dealer network. It enables and helps businesses capture sales where and how consumers shop in the fastest growing sales channel, always pulling the local retail outlet into the transaction.

“How we make it work is simple,” says Fairchild. “A consumer purchases an authentic branded product from their favorite branded website. We give them the choice to ship their purchase to their home or pick it up at a local network dealer’s location, gaining access to installation and service.” In either case the local establishment participates.

Keystone’s supplier partner’s website serves as the point of consumer engagement and Parts Via coordinates efforts to secure the sale and channel post-transaction activity (pick up in store and installation) with local merchants (network dealers). Parts Via bridges the customer engagement gap that leaves local brick and mortar retail outlets disconnected in most e-commerce transactions.

On behalf of the supplier partner and the retailer (network dealer), Parts Via develops the eCommerce components, runs transactions, manages distribution and oversees customer support. “This type of coordinated network partnership is unique and made possible only through Parts Via,” says Fairchild. “After a year’s worth of testing with very positive results and a ton of data and testimonials, we look forward to expanding our network with new suppliers and network dealers in the coming months,” he concludes.

Suppliers and retailers, dealers, installers and jobbers interested in learning more about Parts Via can visit www.partsvia.com.

LKQ Corporation to Acquire Aftermarket Business of Warn Industries, Inc.

Chicago, IL (October 23, 2017) - LKQ Corporation (Nasdaq: LKQ) today announced that its Specialty Segment, Keystone Automotive Operations, Inc. (‘Keystone”), agreed to acquire the aftermarket business of Warn Industries, Inc., a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of high performance vehicle equipment and accessories. Warn is a wholly owned subsidiary of Dover Corporation (NYSE: DOV).

Established in 1948, Warn’s aftermarket business offers a broad product line of winches, hoists, locking hubs and bumpers, with over 350 employees serving specialty retailers and distributors globally. Holding over 130 patents, Warn has a long history of developing the highest quality, most technologically advanced products in the industry.

“Warn’s leadership position and premium iconic brand offer our Specialty Products Group the ability to drive our long-term strategy of growing our core markets and developing viable points of entry into adjacent markets,” said Bill Rogers, Vice President and General Manager of Keystone. “LKQ and Warn will be committed to continuing delivery of great value to our customers and to growing our combined businesses to higher levels.”

The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter, subject to customary closing conditions.

About LKQ Corporation

LKQ Corporation (www.lkqcorp.com) is a leading provider of alternative and specialty parts to repair and accessorize automobiles and other vehicles. LKQ has operations in North America, Europe and Taiwan. LKQ offers its customers a broad range of replacement systems, components, equipment and parts to repair and accessorize automobiles, trucks, and recreational and performance vehicles.

Keystone Automotive Operations acquires Topline Systems, Inc.

 

Exeter, PA. Keystone Automotive Operations has announced the acquisition of Topline Systems, Inc., a dealer and retail software development company that specializes in dealership/shop management and point of sales products that include comprehensive sales, service and parts management modules. “Our interest in looking at software as a solution for our customers began when we tried to think of new and improved customer support strategies and ways we could help our customers grow. What are the challenges our customers face that we can help them overcome?” states Keystone Business Leader, Bill Rogers.

“After hundreds of customer visits in the markets we serve we determined that inventory management, procurement, sales processes, and fundamental reporting and analytics were areas that many of our customers struggle with. The options available to them are either complicated and expensive, or too simplistic and ineffective. We felt a robust and easy to use alternative was needed and found Topline’s suite of products a perfect fit,” adds Rogers.

Keystone and Topline have a long history of working together, collaborating on a variety of projects. “We are excited about continuing our work with Keystone in a much more significant way,” comments Topline president, Steve Karafas. “The availability of capital and other resources they bring to the relationship will result in expanded features and benefits for existing users and help our emerging presence supporting customers in new markets as well.”

The foundation of Topline’s software is firmly rooted in the owner-manager-doer mindset. It was developed at a dealership with a retail store and a service/installation shop - for that business, by that owner. The same daily decision making process used to run the business was engineered into the software and has application well beyond the market it was initially intended to serve. This thoughtful - “I’ve actually done this work before” - approach has resulted in a feature-rich software solution that is affordable, easy to install, and easy to use.

“There are hundreds of dealers in North America using the Topline program today and we intend to keep things business as usual for them. They will experience no interruption in services or be required to work any differently than they have in the past. In fact, our intention is to operate Topline independently to maintain the existing securities and confidentiality that all of Topline’s customers and business partners have enjoyed,” commented Rogers. “We are looking forward to expanding on the foundational programming solutions that Topline has developed and applying them to businesses in other markets with similar needs, including the automotive aftermarket where we see a significant opportunity.”

Keystone intends to infuse capital and resources into the company to help it continue developing customer satisfaction solutions in the markets they serve. “For over 50 years, Keystone / NTP-STAG has been committed to partnering with our customers to not only provide them the broadest and deepest inventory selection and world class fulfillment capability, but also helping them continue to grow and succeed by offering end-to-end marketing solutions and innovative e-commerce solutions,” says Rogers. He adds, “The addition of Topline allows us to continue to offer new ways to help our customers grow and succeed by providing value based, high quality, state of the art business solutions, including Dealership Management, Point of Sale, Service, and Parts Management.”

scroll up