Keystone News

2015 - A Year in Review

  • 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

Keystone Automotive Launches New Mobile App

Exeter, PA Keystone Automotive Operations, has launched a new mobile app that puts the power of their industry best “eKeystone” business-to-business system into any device and makes it mobile! “Access to information when and where a person needs it was a fundamental consideration in the building of our app for mobile devices,” states Harneet Kaur, Director of Marketing at Keystone. “Fast, convenient and thoughtful access to data, tools and sales resources that make our customer’s lives better and more productive was the objective and the result we achieved,” she added.

Shop owners are often in front of the counter, out in the parking lot looking at a customer’s vehicle, making a dealer sales call, or in the shop working on a vehicle build. This app gives them the flexibility to access eKeystone tools anywhere they work.

“In addition to being able to access all the power and resources available on eKeystone, it goes even further. One of the new features is VIN Lookup which has been on our desired feature list for a long time” states Fred Petrivelli, Vice President of Sales at Keystone. The app harnesses mobile device technology including voice-to-text capability to allow users to search for products simply by saying a category or brand, and utilizes the camera to scan QR, UPC and vehicle VIN numbers and VIN barcodes. This scanning capability takes the mobile app from a retail sales driver to a store management tool for inventory control and other store functions like pricing, labels and ordering.

eKeystone App Barcode and VIN Scanner

The eKeystone app includes all the proprietary data in Keystone’s B2B system. Subscribers can access 800k+ cataloged SKUs, 400k images, 20k videos, 40k installation instructions, and more. “When you put a tool like this to work in a live business environment the possibilities for improving customer service and sales are endless,” explained Petrivelli.

Whether the app is used to scan a vehicle VIN to help identify accessories appropriate for that vehicle, place an order, track a shipment or upsell accessories in a car lot, car show or event, it will prove to be a powerful sales tool that can be taken anywhere.

The app is now available for download on the iTunes App Store and Google Play and immediately available to existing Premium eKeystone users. Once loaded onto a user’s device the app is activated using the customer’s eKeystone account login information.

For more information contact a Keystone Automotive Operations customer service associate at (800) 521-9999.

Keystone Automotive to Distribute GRID Off-Road Products

GRID Off-Road has entered into an exclusive distribution agreement with Keystone Automotive Operations covering the U.S. and Canada.

“To compete and grow in today’s dynamic retail environment, businesses like ours need to find better ways to deliver products to market quickly and efficiently,” said Lawrence Lee, owner of GRID Off-Road. “After lining up our strengths and thinking about what we really love doing—designing innovative wheels and manufacturing them to the highest quality—we came to the realization that we needed to find a partner that could help us reach our growth potential and tackle the supply chain challenges.”

GRID Off-Road evaluated several options before landing on Keystone, according to the company.

“With Keystone’s network of warehouses, fleet of trucks, commitment to inventory and complete toolkit of marketing solutions they became the obvious choice,” Lee said. “We market, design and manufacture to the highest trendsetting standards in the aftermarket today. We believe their unique ability to serve the aftermarket coupled with their approach is a perfect fit."

Keystone operates seven distribution centers in North America with a combined available warehouse footprint of over 2.5 million square feet. GRID Off-Road products will be stocked in all locations to provide next-day delivery service and improved fill rates, according to the company.

GRID Off-Road headquarters are stationed near Keystone’s new 450,000-square-foot warehouse in Eastvale, California.

“We are extremely pleased to have this opportunity to work with GRID and serve both their existing customers, our very broad customer base and the future customers we develop together,” said Bill Rogers, president of Keystone Automotive Operations. “GRID’s focus on providing quality products and a positive customer experience is in alignment with ours. Our ability to reach the market through our sales team, the BIG Show and our marketing programs will provide GRID an excellent platform for growth. We appreciate their confidence in us and will work hard to insure the potential of their products and brand is realized.”

Tim Montana Live in Concert at the Glass Cactus

Gaylord Texan and Convention Center, Grapevine, TX

Join us and WEATHER GUARD to welcome Tim Montana for a LIVE concert before the BIG Show in Dallas, Texas on February 23rd at 8:00 p.m.. Protected by WEATHER GUARD.

* You must show your convention badge for entry.
* Must be 21 to attend.

 

ABOUT TIM MONTANA

It’s easy to see why Montana’s music connects with so many people far and wide. Dubbed as one of Rolling Stone’s “Artists You Need to Know,” his musical influencers range from Merle Haggard to Guns N’ Roses. Montana’s passion for music has not gone unnoticed by his fellow musicians. “Tim is the real deal. He’s a little bit country with lots of hard rocks — or maybe he’s a rocker in touch with some serious country roots,” says ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons. 

Tim grew up in Butte, MT in a household that did not support his musical career. He quickly learned if he wanted to make a reality of out his passion to sing and play guitar, he had to escape Big Sky Country. He packed his bags and made his way to the heart of country music, Nashville, TN. 

Soon after living in Nashville, a rodeo performance caught the attention of David Letterman. David was so impressed by Tim’s music, he personally invited Tim to perform on The Late Show with David Letterman. 

Montana continued to write and record which earned him a worldwide publishing deal with the Spirit Music Group. This led to an introduction with ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons. The two of them collaborated on multiple different tracks including, “This Beard Came Here to Party” which was the anthem for the Nashville Predator’s 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Tim followed up with writing on Kid Rock’s current single, “Tennessee Mountain Top” and “Greatest Show On Earth” as well as Mac McAnally’s current hit, “Amarula Sun.” 

In September 2017, Tim released his single, “Hillbilly Rich.” Rolling Stone called the song an, “an ode to fantasies about telling off your boss, making it rain, and having everything all at once.” Shortly after the song was released, Tim performed the single live on Fox & Friends.

To learn more about Tim Montana you can click here to visit his website.

The BIG Show to Feature Erik Qualman as Keynote Speaker

Gaylord Texan and Convention Center, Grapevine, TX

KEYSTONE AUTOMOTIVE OPERATIONS, Exeter, PA.  -  Keystone Automotive Operations is pleased to announce the addition of Erik Qualman as keynote speaker to the 2018 BIG Show lineup, Friday, February 23rd at 4:30 PM – 5:30 PM prior to show opening at 6:00 PM. “Our BIG show is bigger than ever this year and we wanted to add a Keynote Address as a new component to our program,” commented Fred Petrivelli, VP Sales for Keystone Automotive Operation. “We are always looking for ways to help our customers and believe that delivering thought provoking content and solutions that can expand the way they think about their business is important.”   He adds, “We are very grateful of Warn’s sponsorship of Erik Qualman and helping us provide an educational and entertaining jumpstart to our event,”

 

#1 Best Selling Author and Motivational Speaker Erik Qualman has performed in 49 countries and reached 25 million people this decade. His Socialnomics work has been on 60 Minutes to the Wall Street Journal and used by the National Guard to NASA. His book Digital Leader propelled him to be voted the 2nd Most Likeable Author in the World behind Harry Potter's J.K. Rowling.

What Happens in Vegas Stays on YouTube helped Qualman be listed by Forbes and Fortune as a Top 100 Digital Influencer. His business books are used in over 200 universities and he has received an honorary doctorate for his groundbreaking work.

His book How to Sell on LinkedIn is becoming mandatory reading for sales teams. Qualman was formerly a sitting professor at Harvard & MIT’s edX labs. “The digital age has brought an unprecedented focus on branding, especially social reputation. We feel Erik’s remarks will strike a chord with our customers as they look for new ways to connect with their consumers,” says Petrivelli.

For more information, attendees and suppliers should visit www.keystonebigshow.com or contact their Keystone representative.





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 offering to meet the ever-growing needs of its customer base, providing them what they need, when they need it most.

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