FORTY years ago, Adam Cyze Sr., a veteran of the trailer parts business, was keenly aware the OEM-oriented distribution model made getting parts unnecessarily difficult for repair shops. So he had the idea to launch an all-makes trailer parts supply business to serve the Chicago area, and US Trailer Parts & Supply was born.
“I give him a lot of credit,” son Joe Cyze, current USTP principal and president, recalls. “He had the vision of not having to run around to each individual dealership. Lo and behold, he scraped up some money and started the company.”
Again, using his knowledge of the industry, Adam Sr. “worked his tail off” to secure distribution deals with a wide range of leading trailer OEMs and aftermarket parts suppliers and the business began to grow.
“He always felt—and I totally agree with him, 100%—that price is important in this industry, and it always has been. But the service aspect of it is what sets you apart,” Joe says. “If you house multiple lines under one roof, you let the customer spend his day planning how he's going to maximize the dollars in his space, how he's going to get the most out of his mechanics instead of having to worry about running to 14 different places to pick up 14 different products. The variety we had on hand really increased our amount of customers.”
And personal relationships were critical in getting established. Joe recalls, in his early days working for his father, that many customers were friends who also had family members in the business—and some of those relationships continue to this day.
Growth has meant moving into successively larger facilities starting in the 1990s and opening a branch location in Milwaukee. The current Chicago facility features 38,000 square feet of space, and USTP stocks some 10,000 line items.
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