As seen in Airside International Magazine, December 2009
“Sage Parts works with many manufacturers who have a desire to supply to the ground support industry,” comments Bloomfield, adding that these companies see Sage Parts as a vehicle to enter aviation parts supply markets. One of these manufacturers is a performance clothing company.
He explains that there are a number of mass manufacturers who have shown themselves to be willing to bypass their traditional routes to market, collapse their supply chains and to go direct to market with the only conduit being Sage Parts.
The parts company has as its mantra that it is in business to raise the quality of parts but at a lower cost. It has put in place an evaluation team to identify which mass market components can be manufactured better but cheaper and then it puts in place the means to achieve this on behalf of clients who own, use or maintain GSE.
Sage Parts is teaming up with producers of products with a proven history of high quality to bring two product lines to the industry. The first appears under the Red Hawk brand and this is for GSE parts that are also used in other industries such as the automotive and truck market. The second brand is called Ramp Tech and this comprises GSE parts for the aviation industry. Both these product lines are subjected to meet but more often exceed GSE industry standards. Sage Parts applies its 40 plus years of experience in designing, developing, and producing these product lines. And the company does not just engage with parts distribution for equipment that is still in production; there is a significant business to be made out of supplying components for ageing equipment that is no longer coming off the production lines.
These obsolete items may have been easy to obtain, say, 30 years ago when the equipment was new; roll the calendar forward several decades and it takes a specialist like Sage Parts to reengineer these components to a higher spec than they were built to originally but always at a fair price to the market.
Against this backdrop of parts provisioning, complex logistics and reengineering obsolete components to modern standards comes the news that Sage Parts is trying its hand at distributing performance garments to the aviation industry. Why? “Client demand,” responds Bloomfield. “Clients asked Sage Parts to help them supply of all its work wear needs so we went with highly experienced work wear manufacturers and created the Ramp Tech Work Wear brand.”
High visibility safety vests, rain wear, and jackets may be a world away from starter motors and carburetors but when you think less in terms of the item being distributed and more in terms of the method of bringing those items to the market, Sage Parts’ involvement with work wear distribution makes perfect sense.
“We have a number of airlines who are our anchor customers,” says Bloomfield, adding that his company has simply added another product line it can discuss with its client base. Again, Sage Parts is able to eliminate the traditional supply chain for this type of clothing and reduce costs for the buyer.
But this is not just a departure into fashion for the parts company. Aviation work wear is regulated at airport, state and often federal level – it is subject to similar levels of scrutiny as GSE parts themselves. After all, it has to be static-proof around refuelling, it has an identification function and it has to meet the expectations of the customer. Sounds like a perfect niche for Sage Parts to enter.