SPE­CIAL­IST: HERITAGE PARTS CEN­TRE

Vwout­fit in Porsche parts move

911 Porsche World - - Contents - Words & Pho­tog­ra­phy: Paul Knight

As we pulled up at the ware­house it was clear that this was a large and pro­fes­sional op­er­a­tion, which is set upto ship parts world­wide from the Shore­ham HQ. How­ever, this doesn’t mean that it’s a face­less cor­po­ra­tion – far from it! Heritage Parts Cen­tre is filled with proper petrol­heads and car en­thu­si­asts (more than 80 at present), from the sales team right through to the ware­house crew. The busi­ness was es­tab­lished in 1986 and the ethos re­mains the same to­day as it did back then, i.e. that it is run by en­thu­si­asts, for en­thu­si­asts. This means that ev­ery item that Heritage Parts Cen­tre sells has been qual­ity checked and in­spected to en­sure that only the very best re­place­ment parts for your ve­hi­cle are sup­plied rather than the cheap­est or in­fe­rior-qual­ity items that a less scrupu­lous sup­plier might send out. These parts are sourced from spe­cial­ists around the globe and the ex­pert team is con­tin­u­ally seek­ing out pre­vi­ously un­avail­able re­place­ment parts and help­ing to de­velop new items with sup­pli­ers to en­sure the prod­uct range con­tin­ues to grow.

The Porsche side of the busi­ness was launched last year and there’s al­ready a good se­lec­tion of parts for most Porsche

mod­els listed on the web­site (with more than 3000 items on the shelf/ready to ship). As the VW side of the busi­ness had a wellde­vel­oped in­fra­struc­ture, the same next-day de­liv­ery and ex­cel­lent cus­tomer ser­vice that Heritage Parts Cen­tre prides it­self on ap­plies to the Porsche parts, too. That in­fra­struc­ture means that parts are picked, packed and shipped as soon as your or­der ar­rives via the clever, com­put­erised or­der­ing and stock sys­tem.

As we walked through the sales of­fice and chat­ted to some of the staff, it soon be­came clear that the ded­i­cated Porsche sales team were very knowl­edge­able. An­swer­ing queries and help­ing cus­tomers to find the right parts is all part of the job, and these guys will go out of their way to help track down the parts you need if it’s not al­ready in stock or listed on­line.

It was in­ter­est­ing to learn how ef­fi­cient the or­der­ing ser­vice is as, once your or­der is en­tered into the sys­tem, the com­puter plots the most ef­fi­cient route to col­lect the parts, which is trans­ferred to a hand­held PDA. The picker then col­lects your parts, scan­ning each piece as it leaves the shelves, thereby keep­ing stock lev­els in or­der by alert­ing the pur­chas­ing team to re­order when stock is low (and also keep­ing the on­line or­der­ing sys­tem up to date).

The parts are then packed and shipped – typ­i­cally for next day de­liv­ery. In­ci­den­tally, it was good to learn that you don’t have to wait at home for your parts to ar­rive as you can have them shipped di­rectly to your pre­ferred me­chanic or garage etc. This is great news if your car is off the road and/or tak­ing up space in a busy work­shop as it might just get you back on the road a lit­tle quicker and save you stor­age costs, too.

There are thou­sands of Porsche parts on the shelves at the ware­house, and the stock list is al­ways ex­pand­ing. Brakes, sus­pen­sion, en­gine and ser­vic­ing parts for most mod­els are all listed on the web­site (for most mod­els) and the prices cer­tainly seemed keen to us. It’s not all about prices though – Heritage Parts Cen­tre knows that it’s as much about the qual­ity of the goods and the ser­vice/de­liv­ery, too.

The 45,000 square-foot ware­house also in­cludes a walk-in sales desk for cus­tomers that pre­fer to talk face-to-face (or need parts im­me­di­ately) and there’s plenty to look at while you wait for your or­der to be picked, too. Ad­mit­tedly, it’s largely VWbased parts on dis­play but there are mag­a­zines, cat­a­logues and brochures plus an im­pres­sive wheel dis­play. Ac­ces­sories are also a large part of the busi­ness, and we spot­ted up­rated sus­pen­sion kits, in­te­rior and ex­te­rior styling

good­ies and a good range of gen­uine and af­ter­mar­ket wheels for most Porsche mod­els. The ear­lier, air-cooled mod­els are very well catered for, and it’s clear that Heritage Parts has been ac­tively work­ing to in­cor­po­rate more and more parts for the wa­ter-cooled and later mod­els, too.

As the team are all en­thu­si­asts, there’s a great ca­ma­raderie at Heritage Parts Cen­tre. In fact, they of­ten at­tend events and even or­gan­ise a reg­u­lar meet (tra­di­tion­ally VW- based, but Porsche own­ers have also be­gun to join in this year). In­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing the ‘Heretics’ meets can be found either via the Heritage Parts Cen­tre blog page or you can find it on Face­book.

While we were dis­cussing events, Bar­ney Dines in­vited us to join them at Brands Hatch on the 16th June where Heritage Parts Cen­tre hosted a ‘take-over’ day. This wasn’t the first time these guys had held an event at Brands Hatch – in fact, we’d at­tended a cou­ple of pre­vi­ous events, hence we knew it would be worth the trip! You can read more about it op­po­site, but to cut a long story short, there were track ses­sions avail­able for bud­ding rac­ers or you could sim­ply hang out, look at some cars and watch oth­ers push their Porsches (and VWS etc) out on the cir­cuit.

In clos­ing we must men­tion the web­site, which is easy to use/nav­i­gate and is con­stantly ex­pand­ing to in­clude more parts and also to cover ad­di­tional Porsche mod­els, too. And re­mem­ber, if you can’t find what you’re look­ing for, be sure to call the Porsche sales hot­line where a trained ad­vi­sor will be more than happy to help find you the parts you re­quire to re­store, re­pair, mod­ify or sim­ply main­tain/ser­vice your pride and joy. PW

Heritage has been work­ing to in­clude more wa­ter-cooled parts

Parts are all good qual­ity, as you would ex­pect, witha mix of O/E or O/E equiv­a­lent

Ware­house and or­der­ing sys­tem is fully com­put­erised for a quick turn­around

Short of an air-cooled Porsche, this pretty much sums up the Heritage Parts Cen­tre ethos: Parts for clas­sic and mod­ern Porsches and VWS

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