In this interview, I talk to Nancy Liu of Alltech Automotive about the inception of the company, her experience in the automotive aftermarket and her company’s product offerings.
Nancy, how did you get your start in the automotive aftermarket?
While working as a buyer for an aftermarket remanufacturer, I came to the realization that with the right organization and support, that it was possible to offer superior, new products at a very competitive price. With the support of my family in China, we were able to build a 1-million-square-foot, state-of-the art hub bearing factory in China in 2007. Seeing an opportunity to distribute those parts in North America, Alltech was born.
What was your original vision for Alltech Automotive?
To provide high-quality parts, with great customer service, at competitive prices to the North American aftermarket.
Being a minority- and female-owned business, what advice you give women in our industry?
Believe in yourself. Always keep a positive attitude. Work harder than anyone else. Stay focused and maintain self discipline. Choose a career that you love, and never give up!
Who is Alltech?
Alltech is an independent, minority- and female-owned aftermarket parts supplier, headquartered in Libertyville, Illinois. We source and supply a diverse range of high quality “hard parts” including hub bearings, new master cylinders, wheel cylinders, brake hoses, suspension components and radiators to the traditional, retail and original equipment markets.
Tell us more about the QualityPro Brand and Alltech’s approach to working with traditional auto parts distribution.
QualityPro is Alltech’s brand name in the aftermarket. We currently market wheel hubs, brake hydraulics and hoses, chassis components and have recently launched a full range of QualityPro radiators. All of our QualityPro parts are manufactured to meet or exceed OE specifications and are produced by tier one suppliers that meet ISO & TS standards.
Alltech offers our partners high-quality products and great service at a competitive acquisition point. We are also excited to have recently had all of our QualityPro products approved by the Automotive Parts & Services Group and the Automotive Parts Associates. Our Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Richard Odom, his sales team, and our representative partners are working with APSG and APA Members to continue the growth of the QualityPro brand in the traditional market.
I would also like to mention that we supply many of the parts that I just mentioned to many of the industry’s largest retailers and OE car manufacturers under their respective name brands.
What is on the horizon for Alltech?
Besides our continued growth in both the traditional and retail segments, we are on the cusp of launching a number of new product segments beginning with loaded steering knuckles, new calipers and new water pumps, especially E-pumps for EV, which are scheduled to launch later this year and the first quarter of 2023, with additional expansion and line additions planned later next year. To support our continued growth and product range expansion, I am happy to announce that we are finalizing plans to more than double our footprint of our Libertyville headquarters and distribution center, and we will be moving into our brand new 100,000-square-foot distribution center in Mundelein, Illinois, before the end of year. Our new home with allow us to continue to support all of our partners with the service that they have come to expect from Alltech and QualityPro.
You offer container programs for planning offshore parts order. How did Alltech become involved with this?
One of the core contingencies from Alltech’s inception was to provide our partners with world class service as well as offer them options that best suited their individual business models. In doing so, we found that a number of our customers purchased products in volumes that supported a direct import container program. Therefore, we have offered that option to our partners and continue to do so. Likewise, we support our partners with domestic-based inventories, offer the option of consolidation of multiple product types through our Direct Import Consolidation Program and Hybrid Supply programs, under which our partners purchase high-volume SKUs via direct import and slower moving numbers domestically. Our goal is to be a valued partner to our customers, so we try to be as flexible as possible to meet our partners’ needs, from diversified supply options to helping our customers source difficult-to-find parts.
What is Alltech doing to combat the current supply chain issues?
Supply chain management has always been a focus for Alltech. The pandemic simply increased the importance of managing the supply chain. Having facilities and staff in both the U.S. and China has paid dividends for us. Having a team on the ground in China gives us the opportunity to stay in front of supply chain obstacles in a timely manner. While it has not been easy task, we have been able to maintain our supply line without any major interruptions. Product supply, container and oceanic freight cost, port holdups, domestic freight cost, as well as workforce issues here in the States continue to present obstacles for us every day. So far, we are winning that battle and it will be a focus for Alltech for the foreseeable future.
What do you see in the future for Alltech?
After 16 years in business, I believe that Alltech will continue to exhibit sustained growth and market share gains in all of the markets that we currently supply, the traditional and retail markets, as well as OE service – not to rule out expansion into new market segments. We will gain market share and be a valued partner to all of the aftermarket distribution groups. Likewise, I think we will see continued growth of the QualityPro brand.
On the heels of our move and expansion of our headquarters and main distribution hub from Libertyville to Mundelein, we have plans to establish strategically-placed satellite distribution centers on both the east and west coast.
We will also continue to invest in quality people and technology to support our partner customers with world-class products and service.
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