President Jack R. Hubka described his background in cooling and air conditioning dating back to 1976 when his company started with wholesale and retail radiators. At that time they were re-coring radiators, not doing complete replacements, at a two-location business.
New complete radiators were just coming into the market in the early 80s and Hubka wanted to take advantage of the integrated products to eventually get out of the repair and retail business.
The ‘Completes’ in ‘Completes Plus’ means complete radiator. Originally the company was specialized in radiators and cooling lines, but they were gradually able to build into a full-line warehouse distributor, with 90 employees, all in Southern California.
Cooling was just one of many lines carried by Completes Plus but Cindy Shillito came to them in early 2008 with a history of working directly with body shops at her family’s business, Imperial Radiator. She said “You’re really not addressing the needs of the collision center yet.”
Says Hubka, “We decided to dedicate ourselves to servicing the collision centers. We already had accounts with the major manufacturers so it was easy to expand our OEM radiator lines. For example, Completes Plus was already purchasing some Delphi products, and we were ready to go with the full lines. Same with Visteon.”
Completes Plus now supplies a whole spectrum of hard parts, including undercar, underhood, accessories, and chemical products. Cindy works with Jack’s middle son, Michael, in outside sales with the collision centers. Elder son Jim handles sales and marketing and has worked for the company part time and summers since he was 15 years old. The youngest son, Dave, has worked in customer service and is about to graduate from law school.
When asked how Completes Plus distinguishes themselves from national distributors, Hubka is confident that the difference is substantial.
“Prior to our focus on collision centers, the parts market was very soft and very price-driven. We decided to expand our lines with quality OEM hard parts, knowing that quality shops want quality parts. We put our money on that and we knew we’d have success with quality parts. We knew the collision centers were looking for quality brands.”
“We have the highest percentage of quality radiators going into quality collision centers in Southern California. So if a shop contacts us for a GM radiator, they’re going to get the authentic OEM Delphi radiator. It’s not a hundred percent for every vehicle because sometimes the manufacturer has holes in its own product line.”
“That has created a lot of loyalty because the quality collision center understands value, and value is more than price. It’s the quality, the exact fit, the efficiency of having the best part for the job.”
Completes Plus has 35 delivery vehicles within the greater LA area, and ships overnight to other areas of California. They ship both ways free and will pay the return freight if there’s something wrong.
“Outside of the truck delivery zones, we use UPS and Cal Overnight service to ship radiators and condensers to collision centers. The bulk of our deliveries are with our instant hot shot delivery. We have collision centers that are ordering control arms, rack and pinion, and other items, but it’s not a large part of our volume. We are shipping a lot of cooling fans, though,” says Hubka.
Autobody News wanted to know how the economic crisis has affected Completes Plus in working with the tier-one suppliers.
Says Hubka, “We’re like everybody else in the automotive industry. It’s a concern of course. Basically the parts suppliers to the major OEs are hurting just as much as the automakers, because they’ve split their manufacturing between OE and aftermarket. With the assembly lines shut down, they’re struggling with just supplying the aftermarket.”
Completes Plus is strongly invested in the survival of the parts makers. Naturally they want to have a reliable supply of product. The company is talking to all the suppliers about how much they’ve lost because they’re not supplying to the Detroit three the way they were. Hubka says there have not been supply disruptions.
“The market has swung so much toward OE quality. It’s doing well for us. We haven’t had big supply interruptions, but there are some non-OE products we sell on the hard parts side where we offer the customers a choice. We have to do that in this market.
“As far as the collision centers go, we stress form, fit, and function, and so we almost always have the OE part. We could be missing some market for the smaller center if they’re only driven by price. We don’t offer the really bottom-end price product. We don’t really work for those cash deal. We can’t really do anything about that. If it’s a bigger center, they usually are trying for OE parts anyway. That’s what they want and that’s why it’s working for us. It’s all about value for us. We offer the best value for the quality shop.”
Completes Plus is servicing about 400 centers right now, with about 2000 customers in their total customer base.
Some of the radiator companies are a behind the technological curve in their own look-up offering and so there’s a combination of paper and electronic parts ordering done at Completes Plus, where they manage their process and inventory carefully.
CP Direct allows service dealers, car dealerships, fleets, national accounts, and government agencies to order quickly and easily over the net.
Give them a call when you’re in need of a quick quality part.
Completes Plus - Lawndale
Collision Cooling Specialists: (888)-500-6557
Fax: (310) 793-0679
Completes Plus - Lawndale
15912 Hawthorne Blvd.
Lawndale, CA 90260
Hard parts: (310)-793-0046
Fax: (310) 793-0679
Completes Plus - Airport
4642 W.Century Blvd.
Inglewood, CA 90304
Ph: (310) 677-3618
Fax: (310) 677-5084
Completes Plus - West L.A.
10715 Venice Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90034
Ph: (310) 842-8777
Fax: (310) 204-1503