PAC expands collision product categories and builds on efficiencies
South El Monte, Calif.—Pacific Auto Company (PAC) is an ISO 9001-certified warehouse distributor of automotive collision and cooling parts, founded in Downey in 1981 with just three employees by Dr. Yungtai and Lisa Hsu as Pacific Best Inc. (PBI). Much has changed since then and now the next generation has entered the family business.
In 1984, the company also incorporated as Pacific Auto Company (PAC), and both companies are now headquartered in a 50,000-square-foot warehouse and distribution center in South El Monte, has five distribution centers throughout Southern California, nine warehouses, services eight counties, and has sold more than 30 million parts.
PAC also has 53 parts delivery vehicles, offers free delivery on orders more than $50, and makes hot-shot deliveries when necessary, Jeffrey Hsu, quality assurance manager, said. Prepaid freight for out-of-state LTL and TL shipments is available if orders exceed the required minimums.
“If you’re within our coverage area, we will deliver your parts within 24 hours on any business day to ensure your customers the fastest turnaround on their auto repairs,” he said. “We use a GPS tracking and fleet management system to keep track of our trucks, and we can contact drivers by cell phone to reroute them if needed.”
A few years ago, Dr. Hsu became chairman of the board and stepped down from his day-to-day business duties. Lisa Hsu became president and, in 2012, their daughters, Jeniffer and Justine Hsu, who grew up in the business, joined the company full time as senior buyer and project manager, and operations manager and project manager, respectively.
“Since then, the company has focused on improving internal efficiencies by replacing the old Enterprise system with SAP’s internal management system and implementing better distribution methods, including adding more delivery trucks and employing the GPS tracking system,” Jeniffer Hsu said.
In recent years, the company has made concentrated efforts to work with several competing integration platforms such as CCC ONE, Mitchell, and PartsTrader, Justine Hsu said.
“The different platforms require different submissions, fragment the customer base, and place considerable strain on limited company IT resources,” she said. “To better service customers, the company is developing a customer portal for direct ordering that will have parts order history and other information.”
PBI has manufactured its automotive radiators, A/C condensers, and other A/C components since 1995, is committed to quality, and adheres to a strict policy when it comes to its automotive heat exchange parts, Justine Hsu said.
“Our research and development team endeavors to produce products that meet or exceed original equipment standards and high performance ratings for heat transfer,” she said. “We follow three simple rules for manufacturing: monitor your materials, follow concise manufacturing procedures, and secure fast shipping and handling.”
PBI also sells CAPA-certified Diamond Standard collision parts, and in 2016 became one of only seven companies in California to earn P394 certification from the NSF Automotive Parts Distributor Certification Program for meeting all certification requirements, she said.
“We carry about 45 lines and have 58,000 SKUs covering 98,000 applications,” Jeniffer Hsu said. “We have also expanded our cooling product offerings to include fan assemblies, intercoolers and inverter coolers, and have added DOT- and SAE-approved headlights, taillights, corner lights, and door mirrors.”
To provide the most extensive product availability possible, Jeffrey Hsu said the company continuously works with insurance providers, estimation services, body shops, and jobbers to stay up to date with the business of auto repair.
“We emphasize quality and also strive to provide the best value in prices and customer service with the fewest returns, and a 99-percent fill rate,” he added.
One trend that Jeniffer Hsu said is becoming more common is that jobbers are keeping less in inventory and using the WD as a virtual warehouse.
“For warehouse distributors it means bearing more of the warehousing costs and fragmenting toward increased quantity of sales orders for fewer items per order,” she said. “For jobbers, it typically means more driving to and from will-call locations. For all involved, shifting warehousing responsibilities results in increased issues for returns.”
While they are happy to offer their products to many different types of customers, the business of automotive repair often requires specialized skills and experience, which online sources don’t possess. This is where PAC/PBI call center, counter associates, and outside sales personnel have the edge, Jeniffer Hsu said.
“Training for sales and counter associates is varied, consisting of training manuals, on-hand systems practice, and supervisor coaching,” Justine Hsu said. “Typically, new sales hires require two weeks’ of company, industry, and customer familiarization before live interaction with our vendors or customers.