Recently, we posted the news of the Ariens Company launch of Henry’s Parts and Equipment. Ariens unveiled the new replacement parts business in October and announced it to dealers during Ariens “Road Show” visits around the U.S. “Henry’s is committed to delivering affordable outdoor power equipment parts that meet the high standards of quality set by our namesake Henry Ariens in 1933,” says the new Henry’s Parts website. The company says the Henry’s line of Outdoor Power Equipment parts is available exclusively through the Ariens and Gravely dealer network.
Following that post, we spoke with Angela Raddant, Director of Aftermarket for AriensCo, and Tara Perre, Director of Corporate Communications for AriensCo, to get the complete story about the new business.
OPE Business: This new Henry’s Parts is exclusive to Ariens and Gravely dealers, right?
Angela Raddant: We are launching this exclusively to our dealers. It goes back to the partnership we have to help them. All of us as manufacturers are trying to get more share of showroom floor space. But we know they service other equipment, we respect that. Partnering exclusively also allows us to scale this business. We can first focus on the key items our dealers need. And we can utilize our existing field sales team. Our dealers tell us they have good relationships with those people, and they like the relationships with the customer service and support teams. We hope to extend this beyond our dealers, but for now it’s a competitive advantage for Ariens and Gravely dealers. You might think of it like AC Delco and GM. It’s the way we approach the channel, coming from a family-owned business and focused on supporting our existing dealers.
Ariens Road Shows
OPE: Why did you launch it on the road regionally?
Raddant: This year we decided to go directly to our dealers with “Road Show” events, like mini dealer meetings. In years past when we’ve done one national dealer meeting, our dealers need to be away from their businesses a couple days, and they only bring one or two people. This year, we loaded up trailers with products for them to demo.
I really appreciated the people who attended. When we go to them, they can bring a parts manager and others, not just the dealer principal, folks that we don’t normally get to talk to. It took us a lot longer, but it was great. And it did delay the launch by stretching it out over time, but we also got more engagement and discussion with people. Henry’s was one of the major launches at our Road Show this year.
OPE: Why now, with Henry’s Parts?
Raddant: We are trying to meet dealers where they are. At AriensCo, we care about dealers. We do what we can to support our dealers. We have been hyper focused on our dealers success because we know many of them are struggling right now.
The service side of their business is really what sustains them. They need to rely on that revenue, and partnering with Henry’s and Ariens gives us the opportunity to support their profitability.
OPE: What do your dealers need to do to get started with Henry’s?
Raddant: There is no separate program or agreement. Our dealers already have an open credit line, and they’re our customers. Parts are automatically available; dealers can log in with the same credentials. Right now, we’re taking booking orders for the spring season. And on Jan. 15 we will open to all ordering for individual parts and shipments.
Tara Perre: Many Ariens dealers are having a hard time because consumer activity is down. The weather played a factor, from last winter out east through the drought this year. And the thing I love about Ariens is that dealers know we do care about them. We have a dealer advisory council; we ask for their input and do our best to listen to their feedback. Our dealers know we care about them and their business overall.
OPE: What do you hear from dealers about inventory right now?
Raddant: As OEMs, we got caught up with so much demand, and we couldn’t get dealers enough product. We all got caught up in that. The market changed so suddenly. At Ariens, we are doing our best to stand behind our dealers and help them move product.