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Life-Saving Cargo Securement Solutions at HDAW

Learn about what DC Cargo Mall is doing to keep people safe, as well as hear from the organizers of HDAW.

Episode 254: In January, we attended HDAW23 in Grapevine Texas. The show was well supported by the industry. One of the new suppliers that attended the show, was DC Cargo Mall. In this episode, we talk about the innovations they are bringing to the industry and the excitement for being at the show. Later in our episode, we also got the opportunity to talk with the organizers of the show.

Episode 249

Guests:

  • David Majesz, Founder of DC Cargo Mall
  • Collin Shaw, CCVO for MEMA & COO for MEMA Original Supplier Group
  • Paul McCarthy, President and CEO of MEMA Aftermarket
Learn about what DC Cargo Mall is doing to keep people safe, as well as hear from the organizers of HDAW.

Watch the Video Version

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Transcript of Episode:

Jamie Irvine:

You are listening to The Heavy-Duty Parts Report. I’m your host, Jamie Irvine, and this is the show where you get expert advice about heavy-duty parts that keep trucks and trailers on the road longer while lowering cost per mile.

In January, we attended HDAW in Grapevine, Texas. The show was well supported by the industry. This is a show dedicated to the aftermarket and independent service channel. It brings suppliers and manufacturers together with distributors. And I had the opportunity to talk to the organizers of the show.

Collin Shaw came back on the podcast and he brought with him Paul McCarthy. A little later in this episode, you’ll get a chance to hear what they had to say, but I’ll tell you that attending the show, it was an opportunity that we really haven’t had since before the pandemic, it was well attended. There was record attendance of distributors.

There was great one-on-one meetings that occurred, and one of those new suppliers that attended the show was DC Cargo Mall. Now I had the chance to sit down with founder David of DC Cargo, and he talked about some of the innovations that his company is bringing to their product category and how excited he was to attend HDAW for the first time. Listen in to my interview with David, Founder of DC Cargo. So you’re relatively new to the HDAW environment. What is your first impressions of this show?

David Majesz:

It’s a fantastic show and I really appreciate being a part of this community. We are coming from selling e-commerce, selling direct, and what we’ve seen in the last couple of years that wholesalers and the independent dealers are a essential part of the industry. We want to be a part of it. We want to protect it. We want to bring that mentality that is an e-commerce to the wholesale distributor and independent dealer industry to support them with whatever they need.

Jamie Irvine:

Well, as you can see, this is the place to meet distributors that. You didn’t get to see the impact that the pandemic had on this show. We got shut down and then there wasn’t as many people and it was so difficult for a couple years. This is probably the first time since about 2020 that it really feels like the old days. It’s like we’re back, and that feels really good. So let’s talk a little bit about your company. First of all, what product category do you sell?

David Majesz:

So we are in the cargo securement and load securement category. We sell anything from chains, binders, cargo straps, safety products, like the wide load signs, anything that will keep your load from shifting. And we comply with the Department of Transportation Codes. We know all the rules and regulations and we provide that service, not just the product, but also the knowledge of what the driver and anybody uses those products, what they need to do and how they need to do it.

Jamie Irvine:

So let’s talk about that for a minute. What are some of the trends that you see in that category of what’s happening in the trucking industry? Maybe it’s safety, but what are you seeing?

David Majesz:

So it’s interesting because talking today to a lot of people in the industry, we see that people, we live in an instant world. People need a product fast. People will ask me, how many centers do you have from? Where do you ship out? And we are set up that way. And this is the value that we want to, the solution that we’re trying to bring is by having a couple of distribution centers around the states, and we ship out right away as a direct seller.

Today’s world, you go online, you see reviews, you compete with Amazon of the world. You can’t hide yourself behind your computer anymore. You see everything. And you can look up our reviews. You can see we ship right away. We pick up the phone. We want to take that mentality of right away, shipping out and be there for our customers.

Jamie Irvine:

You know, said something about picking up the phone, when you are in this heavy-duty parts industry. I remember in 1998 when I first got into the industry, my mentor said to me, he says, Jamie, this is a people business. He says, no matter what changes, that’s not going to ever change. And I think that what we’re seeing with just the coming together of the industry, you can kind of feel that, can’t you? And so that picking up the phone and actually talking to a real person, even though you’re also leveraging technology, that’s an important piece to what people need in our industry.

David Majesz:

Yes, definitely. You can even see today, people love to connect. People want the relationship. And from the people that I spoke today, yeah, we are back. I can’t imagine this is not last year. Last year was half the people. This year we are fully come back from Covid, everyone is excited.

Jamie Irvine:

So I’d like to talk a little bit about the products that you sell. Get into some of the specifics. So when you’re looking at buying a product, it’s not just the product that you buy, it’s what you get from that product. And so with load securement, safety is a big issue. And what is the consequence if something goes wrong?

David Majesz:

It could be a live consequence. And that’s why you really need to have quality control. You really need to test your products. We have a couple of testing machines and you need to follow. We are a part of a lot of associations that you need to follow. Whenever you give out a product, there’s a couple of steps that you need to take, even still have the manufacturer oversee. And then when it comes back into your facility, there’s a couple of steps that you need to take to follow that protocol to make sure that none of this ever happens.

Jamie Irvine:

No, and that is so important. And at the same time, companies are looking to be competitive. And if you’re a distributor, you’re often selling a lot of different products and you’ve got someone maybe down the street who’s competing directly with you. So it is nice to be able to get product differentiation. And I think that’s what DC Cargo Mall actually can bring to the industry is another option.

David Majesz:

So we have a lot of innovative process. I said we are coming from direct and shifting to the wholesale and independent dealer, indirect, where we serve as the smaller utility trailers. We really have 10 or 15 products that is really innovative that the market never saw, and we introduced it to the market with a lot of success, and we want to bring that mentality to heavy duty.

Jamie Irvine:

Well, and that’s something too that one of the things I’ve seen in 25 years of being in the business is some categories have just exploded with new technology. And then some of them have stayed really, really stable and consistent for a long time. And there is a need for someone to come in and kind of do a little bit of disruption and kind of push to that next level. So I think it’s really great that what you guys are trying to do, and I’m looking forward to continuing to see how this develops and how you participate in this wonderful industry that we’re in.

David Majesz:

Yeah, definitely. And I encourage everyone to listen to your podcast. I’ve learned a lot.

Jamie Irvine:

Thank you. That’s good.

David Majesz:

You have a lot of hours.

Jamie Irvine:

Yes, yes.

David Majesz:

Listen and go ahead.

Jamie Irvine:

You’ve been listening to The Heavy-Duty Parts Report. I’m your host, Jamie Irvine, and we’re with David from DC Cargo Mall. So if you want to look at their product, go to dccargomall.com. Links will be in the show notes. David, thank you so much for taking some time and talking with us.

David Majesz:

Yeah, thanks.

Jamie Irvine:

I hope you enjoyed my conversation with the founder of DC Cargo Mall. If you get a chance go over to the show notes and check out their website, they really are bringing a new level of service in that product category and they’ve got some great innovations that you can take advantage of. So make sure you go to the show notes and follow the link to their website. We’re going to take a quick break. We’ll be right back.

Commercial Break:

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Jamie Irvine:

We’re back from our break. Before the break, I had a chance to talk to David, the Founder of DC Cargo Mall. I don’t know about you, but this is a man who is passionate about his business and passionate about supplying his products to the trucking industry. Again, if you get a chance, head over to the show notes and follow the link directly to their website.

They’ve got some great products for you to buy. Back in Episode 249, I had Collin Shaw on the podcast to discuss a restructuring of the organization that owns and puts on the HDAW show.

So MEMA is the organization, and if you want to go back and listen to all of the information that Collin shared with us on how they’re restructuring, why they’re doing it now, and some of the benefits of that restructure, go back and listen to Episode 249 at HDAW. I had a chance to catch up with Collin and this time he brought Paul McCarthy with him to talk a little bit more about where they’re going to take this in the future and some of the benefits that suppliers like DC Cargo Mall and other manufacturers get as being part of this organization and how that impacts distributors and the trucking industry.

Listen to my conversation with them now. Well, it’s great to have both of you here. And Collin, I wanted to start off by maybe giving people in the audience who aren’t at the show a little bit of an update on what’s happened so far. And then a little later we’ll talk about what we can look forward to the rest of the show. So could you give us a bit of a recap of, it’s been a busy couple days.

Collin Shaw:

It has been a very busy couple of days, but it’s been really amazing to see the response this year. So every Monday before HDAW, we have what we call our Heavy-Duty Aftermarket Dialogue. It’s a little bit of a separate event. There’s a number of things that happen on Monday. Some groups have their board meetings or sales meetings, and we provide a conference called the Heavy- Duty Aftermarket Dialogue where we bring in members of, say, our executive and CEO council. We work with MacKay Company to build the agenda. So MacKay does their aftermarket forecast.

We bring in fleets, we bring in distributors, talk about what’s happening from their end. We also have things like an emerging leadership panel where we talked about bringing people into this industry. And the intended audience is typically those who are in leadership positions, director, vice president, CEOs in the meeting to really kick off the year and think about, okay, this is what I can expect this year. This is where it might be headed from an economic perspective from a market. So it’s really just our kickoff for the year in commercial vehicle.

Jamie Irvine:

And I mean that is so important too. And it really does. HDAW is a time where I think it sets the whole year. It just sets you up for the whole year. So I was interested Paul, what has the aftermarket group that you’re involved in, what have they built for heavy-duty members? I know you’re trying to create value for them, but maybe you could describe for us what does that mean?

Paul McCarthy:

Well, it is exciting because our heavy-duty members, we put commercial vehicle in the center of everything we do here at MEMA. So they actually have two homes now at MEMA, whether that’s MEMA OE, if they’re on the vehicle assembly side or if they’re on the lifecycle side, it’s MEMA Aftermarket. And it’s really exciting. Our members, our board and members decided to do this just to make it easier for everybody to access all the value.

So for a lot of our heavy-duty suppliers who are active in the aftermarket, it won’t change a lot day to day for ’em because we’re going to continue all the fantastic things we do in heavy-duty because heavy-duty does have such distinct needs and issues and our folks really love getting together and solving those together. So we’re going to continue things like Heavy-Duty Aftermarket Dialogue, which is great, Heavy-Duty Aftermarket Week, which we co-own.

And we have these fantastic discussions about the aftermarket side of heavy- duty in our councils, like our marketing and sales council, like our manufacturers rep council and so on and so forth. So we’re going to keep all that heavy-duty stuff. In fact, we’re seeking to enhance that heavy-duty focus. But our members also have access now to some of the broader aftermarket content where it makes sense because sometimes with some of these issues, it’s helpful to have a few more voices, a few more heads to deal with it. So for example, our Aftermarket Technology Conference that we hold every year that has for years had a heavy duty track because we need to make our businesses more efficient and effective.

Our Aftermarket Business Technology Council that we have, which focuses on just that, how can we use technology to make our businesses better that has long had a focus on both commercial vehicle and automotive aftermarket. Yeah. And our past chair who hailed from Bendix, was always frustrated that when we were kind of in these silos, it’s like I keep telling my folks this is the best place you got to be. And now we just made it easy to access and participate in all that. So that’s a great forum for our folks. Our Global Aftermarket Summit, which is being held next week in sunny Miami.

Jamie Irvine:

Nice.

Paul McCarthy:

Is that since we founded that a number of years ago, it’s always focused on the broad aftermarket. How can we grow this beyond our borders both in commercial vehicle and automotive? And of course we had in a different silo all our remanufacturing activities and we know how important that is in the heavy-duty aftermarket. Absolutely. And we have fantastic activities there. So for example, our Spring Roadshow, our Remanufacturing Roadshow is going to include a tour of SRCs benchmark facilities. And we know how cool and all the things they do in heavy-duty and off highway.

So it’s really simple for our members. It’s just making it, we, we’ve had all this value, but we made our members jump through hurdles to find it all and to get involved in all of it. And folks are just too busy for that. So we’ve made it simpler and easier for our heavy-duty folks to access all the value that we have, the stuff that’s really focused on heavy-duty and what we need there and the things that are focused on the aftermarket, what it means to service the lifecycle of the vehicle.

Jamie Irvine:

So if you were an HDMA member before formally, what would be the best way to get involved with MEMA Aftermarket Group?

Paul McCarthy:

Well, I think it’s just being open and now it’s easier to find all this stuff. So I think it’s participating in some of those things I mentioned. I’d also mentioned being part of MEMA, this big suppliers association.

We represent the biggest manufacturing sector in the us. There’s some things where it’s just powerful for manufacturers to get answers and get solutions. So some of these issues we’re facing sustainability. It’s a little scary and challenging. And the SCC here in the US is saying, we’re going to have to meet all these scope three things. So we brought together manufacturers and have that MEMA wide sort of focus on this issue. Because we just want to get as heavy-duty aftermarket folks.

We just want to get access to the best. And so we’re bringing the best there. Things like DEI, another big challenge employee development and retention some that being covered by some of our HR things that go across our manufacturing sector. And then of course advocacy, government advocacy, just having a powerful voice being that biggest manufacturing sector in the us. So if there’s an issue that we need to fight for our heavy-duty manufacturers for our heavy-duty aftermarket folks, we have that power.

Collin Shaw:

And I would say so yesterday I gave an analogy, we gave out work gloves to all the Heavy-Duty Aftermarket Dialogue members come and just participate, work with us. The more you put in, the more you get out. I tell people all the time, come to a meeting, just speak up. Doesn’t matter what you say, people want to hear from you. They want to connect with you.

And that’s the best way. And when people do that, they really start to see the value and then they’ll start getting involved more and more. And so just talk to us. We’ll help you get connected, we’ll help you understand where you could get connected and it’s that easy.

Jamie Irvine:

Yeah. No, that makes a lot of sense. Collin, I’m kind of curious. We’re kind of at the halfway mark of the show right now. So what’s on the agenda for the rest of today, tomorrow and the rest of the week?

Collin Shaw:

So this is really down to business for those that attend for the distributors and the suppliers, I kind of think my heavy lifting’s done. I feel pretty good right now, right?

Jamie Irvine:

You can breathe now.

Collin Shaw:

We’ve done the best we could to set up a record show. We have the most distributors here. We have the highest attendance out of our one-on-one meetings. So now it’s really up for the distributors and suppliers to get down the business. So they’re going to spend a lot of time over the next three days in one-on-one meetings and here on the product floor we have some great events.

We have our first ever HDA women’s reception to encourage women and diverse people to come in the industry. It’s a great industry. Absolutely. And so we’re doing things like that. We have an event on Wednesday night at the Glass Cactus where it’s an all industry reception, but really it’s in the next three days are to get down to business. And we kind of just step out now we’ll go walk the show floor, but we let ’em have at it. And it’s a great show.

Paul McCarthy:

The spirit, we talk about getting down the business, the spirit we’re here in here is fantastic. I mean, we know business is good, we got to get those parts out, but it’s just great here in the energy and I think the excitement about the year going forward.

Jamie Irvine:

That being said, though, there’s some pretty significant challenges moving forward. What are the things that you as a group are going to do to ensure that Heavy-Duty Aftermarket is strong and is able to move through those challenges? So when you look forward 2023 and beyond, what do you see on the horizon? What do we need to be aware of?

Collin Shaw:

So I’ll say one thing that was covered yesterday quite a bit, and Brad Williamson from DTNA covered this. We had a couple of sponsors talk about this. We had some on the fleet panel access information, the heavy duty market having access to part information, how suppliers are dealing with e-commerce. That’s probably one of the bigger issues from a business technology standpoint.

We all know there’s issues with supply chain part availability. We’ve been living that. But I think the next thing on the agenda for us is how do we tackle product information availability? How do we help the heavy-duty market learn from what the automotive aftermarket has done and build that database so we can make it easier for distributors, especially here with the independent aftermarket, have access to that information.

Paul McCarthy:

Yeah, I think that’s right on the mark in terms of that near term business challenge. So I’ll just broaden the view a little bit, which is we are at a really exciting time in the aftermarket, and it’s a challenging time though because we’re kind of living this thing that they call the innovators dilemma every day. So it’s this challenge of managing two businesses.

So it’s first maximizing the returns and we’re feeling it right now with all the orders, but maximizing returns from our existing business, which has this long, fat, profitable tail. And at the same time trying to grow these new innovative businesses, which required really different expertise to take advantage of the automated, the connected, the electrified vehicles. And so this is a tremendous challenge for the industry, but it’s also really exciting.

In our view, we think the aftermarket should not be afraid of the future. As we look at these, we think the aftermarket and especially the heavy-duty aftermarket is really well positioned in both the new and the old industries. If we can bring that great entrepreneurial spirit, that business spirit that we have in heavy duty, the entrepreneurial spirit of the aftermarket, we’re going to do really well for decades to come.

Jamie Irvine:

I share your enthusiasm. I’m Jamie Irvine, and you’ve been listening to The Heavy-Duty Parts Report, and we are here at HDAW in Grapevine, Texas. It’s wonderful to have both of you here. If people want to get involved, they want to learn more, go to mema.org. Paul, thank you so much for being on the show.

Paul McCarthy:

It’s our pleasure.

Jamie Irvine:

And Collin, always nice to have you back. Appreciate it. Thanks gentlemen.

Collin Shaw:

Thank you. Take care.

Jamie Irvine:

HDAW was a great show and I had the opportunity to speak to a number of people. I am very excited to share those conversations with you. I hope you’re enjoying them. If you haven’t already followed the show, head over to heavydutypartsreport.com and you can follow the show for free. You’ll get a weekly email so you never miss out.

If you prefer to watch the show on YouTube, you can follow us there or you, of course, you can always follow the show and listen wherever you get your podcasts. Our show is also partially supported by sponsors, so please take some time to go and check out our sponsors. There’s great resources there for you, and all of the links are found in the show notes next week.

We have a very special episode for you that’s going to be a little different than what you’re used to on The Heavy-Duty Parts Report. While I was attending HDAW, I had gone all the way to Grapevine, Texas. It made sense to head over to Sampa’s US headquarters. Now, we’ve had Sampa on the show before and I wanted to go and check out their US headquarters and distribution center myself.

I wanted to find out more about the company, and so next week’s episode is dedicated to my time there, and I hope you’re going to enjoy it. So make sure you come back next week. As always, thank you for supporting our work at The Heavy-Duty Parts Report from me and the entire Heavy-Duty Parts Report Team. We want to say thank you and as always, Be Heavy-Duty.

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