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100 www.bus-ex.com January 08 Illinois Auto Electric expands to meet changing demands. Brigid Ford reports What started as a small auto repair shop in 1915 has evolved so much that its founder might not even recognize it now. The one thing that hasn’t changed about Illinois Auto Electric Company is ownership—that remains squarely in the hands of the Sirotek family—a constant that has allowed it to adapt to the diverse needs of its customers. Today, IAE has expanded to four operational divisions and is counted among America’s largest independent sales and service facilities of transportation, industrial equipment, and outdoor care products. Transportation clients are served by two divisions, Illinois Auto Central/Great Lakes Thermo King and IAE Power Products. Its Thermo King business, which started in 1956, is conducted through two locations in the greater Chicago area, with Illinois Auto Central offering a guaranteed maintenance program, Qualcomm satellite communications installation and repair, tractor service, total trailer repair, fifth wheel installation and repair, and parts delivery. As a leader in the heavy duty fleet market for over 50 years, IAE also offers a number of truck equipment lines for the leasing, transit, trucking, refrigerated fleet and off-road equipment markets. IAE Power Products started in the locomotive supply business in 1947 with fuel injection products. Over the years, it has expanded its railroad product offering to compressors, governors, starters and many other parts. Today it represents many major distribution clients, including Gardner Denver, Woodward Governor Co., and Longwood Elastomers Co., among others. The division is constantly increasing its new product offerings through such alliances, with a focus on exceeding the expectations of its customers. IAE Power Products also remanufactures locomotive components in its own AAR approved shop. For its outdoor equipment customers, IAE has its Midwest Engine Warehouse division. Products and services from this division reach a wide range of customers, including service professionals, contractors, landscapers, municipalities, arborists, cemeteries, golf courses, do-ityourselfers, catalog houses, manufacturers and mass retailers. Midwest Engine Warehouse is an authorized central sales and service distributor for Briggs & Stratton, and a distributor for Oregon Cutting Systems. This division’s capabilities include customized distribution services, EDI and shipments in excess of 7,000 orders per day (typically shipped same day). It is highly committed to customer service and training with modern education centers and factory trained instructors and technicians. The company offers world-class, OEM-approved training to customers on a continuing basis which assures outstanding service support for all the products the company distributes. Most recently, IAE has brought together its more than 90 years of experience to create THAHT Company, a value-added supply chain partner. Through THAHT, which stands for Time, Honor, Qualitydistribution

January 08 www.bus-ex.com 101 approach is to procure high quality, globally competitive manufacturing, while staying focused on attentive and responsive customer service, high growth and results-oriented sales and marketing, innovative and industry-leading engineering and lean and nimble production resources capable of meeting demanding customer requests. Through its relationships with consumer goods vendors, Illinois Auto Electric has launched an expansion into the design and delivery of highquality point-of purchase display systems through THAHT Company. With state-of-the-art design and development equipment, THAHT Company is positioned to deliver the most attractive and effective display systems, promising that products receive maximum exposure. With its retail expertise and talented creative staff, the company offers a broad array of marketing solutions. IllinoisAutoElectric Ability, Heritage, Technology, IAE is giving its partners access to high-quality, low cost global manufacturing, state of the art distribution and logistics, and expert sales and marketing. Part of its strategy is to actively establish formal relationships and partnerships around the world to enhance its competitive edge. In this way, it can rapidly mobilize and quickly respond to any competitive threat. IAE is aware of the importance of quick turnaround time, delivery to market, and reliability, and has developed systems to ensure all three. THAHT Company is capable of performing the full spectrum of distribution activities including fulfi llment, cross-docking, transloading, picking and packing, making it a fully functional one-stop solution for every stage of the distribution process. In terms of manufacturing, THAHT Company functions as a virtual worldwide factory. IAE’s