An Insight into Material Handling’s E-commerce Platform
The material handling industry can be considered one of the most important industries in the world. Though it doesn’t always get the respect it deserves, our industry keeps the world moving. This became obvious these past few years when supply chain issues hit and every business from grocery stores to healthcare was affected. At the heart of every manufacturing or distribution plant, you will find forklift batteries and chargers working hard to keep operations moving. Industrial batteries and chargers are imperative pieces to any organization regardless of the size. However, oftentimes, this portion of the day-to-day activity is overlooked. Through our time in the industry, we notice this occurs more often when it comes to maintenance and upkeep.
Without functional equipment, a facility finds itself in an unacceptable situation. When parts need repair, it is important to get them fast. With the crazy schedule that everyone has within our industry, oftentimes it takes a few days to a week to get replacements. This is where powRparts.com brings great value.
An idea started by Scott Monteath, a leader within the lead acid battery industry, and carried out by his son, Matt, powRparts.com has revolutionized the material handling industry with a platform dedicated to an easy online ordering process and quick delivery of critical parts to keep the heart of every operation moving.
Though he is the president of our company, Matt is fully immersed in the day-to-day activities of powRparts. He spends his day helping customers with technical questions, getting orders shipped, and working with suppliers to ensure powRparts delivers the best product offering in the market. Matt took time out of his schedule to provide insight into the company and what is on the horizon for this upcoming year.
Interview With Matt Monteath, President of powRparts.com
How and why was powRparts started?
My father, Scott Monteath, had this idea of an E-commerce platform for the motive power industry. He saw a need for a simpler way for companies to source all of the parts and accessories needed to maintain a fleet of batteries and chargers. He had always tried to be at the forefront of our industry and developed the initial powRparts e-commerce store. But he was extremely busy growing the equipment and service side of his regional business so couldn’t spend much time on the store.
When I graduated from the University of Memphis at the end of 2009, I took his idea and focused on how we could be an innovator and an asset to the industry and expanded our line of products. Not every city has a reliable service provider nearby, so we were able to fill a void in the market and bring a reliable way to order essential repair parts to warehouses, distribution centers, and forklift dealers all across the world.
How did the website start to take off?
In the beginning stages of any business, it takes a little time to make an impact in your market and start to see some success. We built relationships and earned trust with customers over time and proved that we could be a reliable partner that they could depend on.
What did the original powRparts team look like when you started the company?
Our original team was me! For several years I would do all the CSR work, marketing, and sales functions in the mornings and ship out orders in the afternoon. In 2017, we made our first hire, Tommy Scruggs. Tommy started off packing and shipping out orders for us and learning about the material handling industry and today he is our warehouse manager and an integral part of our company.
When did you know you had to grow your team?
There is always an inflection point when growing a business where you realize that you are maxed out in your current capacity and it’s time to take the next step if you want to continue maximizing the growth potential of your company. For me, it had gotten to the point where the business was running me instead of vice versa and I knew that we needed to bring in someone else to handle some of the day-to-day aspects while I got back to focusing on the growth and expansion of the business. We are now a team of four individuals. Myself along with Tommy, Terrance, and Hannah.
What lesson have you learned from running your own company?
Surround yourself with like-minded people that share the same core values. Every hire we have made at powRparts is thriving with the company and is still with us. Our main priority is taking care of our customers and simplifying the process of sourcing parts for the material handling industry. All our employees understand and recognize the importance of customer service and it’s why we have such a great culture here. The author, Jim Collins, has a popular business concept he discusses in his book, Good to Great, that’s called “First Who, Then What”. To be successful in any organization, you must have good people. It doesn’t matter how much you do in sales or how great of an idea you have, you can’t reach the business’ true potential without first building a team capable of helping you get there.
What are you most excited to see the company do this upcoming year?
2023 is poised to be a big year for us at powRparts. We have several new product lines coming out to expand and diversify the type of products we can supply our customers with. We also have an updated version of our website debuting shortly. We feel like it will make ordering and finding the parts that our customers need even easier than it already is.
The ProMat show in Chicago makes its return this year after a four-year hiatus due to the pandemic, and we will have a new booth showcasing many new products. It will be great to connect with our current suppliers and customers, while also introducing our company to anyone unfamiliar with us that is looking for an easier way to streamline their parts ordering process in the material handling industry.
For more updates on powRparts as well as on our product offering, make sure to follow us on social media! Additionally, sign up for an account on powRparts.com to begin ordering parts and accessories efficiently.