Irish brother and sister Sonya and Simon Fitzpatrick have started an online business called UrParts.com, which aims to revolutionise the spare parts industry for construction, agricultural and commercial truck industries.
According to Sonya Fitzpatrick, what makes UrParts.com unique is that a buyer submits one enquiry which will be received by multiple suppliers and is completely free.
“Unlike other spare part sites that make buyers contact many suppliers separately, with UrParts.com the buyer does the work once and then sits back and waits for suppliers to respond directly to them by email or phone,” she said.
The Fitzpatricks came up with the concept having learned from the 40 years’ experience in the construction industry through their family business Fitzpatrick Plant Sales (Fitzplant).
“From decades of supply-side expertise, Fitzplant came to realize that in most transactions both buyers and suppliers know what the part is called and where is it located on the machine, but don’t know where to buy it or don’t have a part number,” Fitzpatrick explained.
“Thus the idea of a unique design and inquiry system was born and began to germinate. As a supplier of equipment and parts to the construction industry both in Ireland and worldwide Fitzplant worked on creating and designing this service for over two years.
“The ambitions for UrParts are truly global, and virtually all types of parts are catered to by this new service. It connects buyers and sellers of construction, agricultural and commercial truck parts from Taiwan to Tipperary. It is set to save time, cost and effort for all construction businesses in sourcing and buying parts.”
Every inquiry contains the country of residence of the buyer. Therefore, suppliers can choose whether they wish to quote. Some lower value parts would not perhaps be viable for export. These inquiries are therefore more likely to see responses from suppliers close to their location. However, UrParts.com also enables the buyer to shop for very large-value parts; contact suppliers all over the world and compare prices with just one click.
The number of inquiries is ever increasing with an average rate of around 30 new inquiries a day, according to Fitzpatrick. The site went live in early 2012.
Regarding monetization of the site, every supplier gets a free trial period to evaluate the service and will only have to pay a subscription after they are happy that they are receiving quality enquires and making sales.