The Parts Exchange was founded in June 1985 when I announced to my disbelieving wife and children that I quit my job and we were going into business for ourselves. I would do the buying and selling. Wife could answer the phone and do a little light typing. Children could stock and ship parts when they weren't too busy being teenagers. I pictured the typical mom and pop American dream. They saw a train wreck.
Fortunately, I won them over and things soon got on track. Pop rented a mini-warehouse. Daughter won a shopping spree at an office supply store. Mom bought a typewriter and son tried to get pop to take his "Captain Exhaust" idea seriously. Hmmm...red tights, blue cap, big yellow E... probably not.
Of course, our life savings went into inventory. We bought some surplus starters, turbos, and exhaust systems from Continental. That, a few auction items, and a small consignment of exhaust parts were pretty much our entire stock. We got a neighbor to design our logo, and "Voila"...we were a business.
We were fortunate to survive those early years. Inventory and sales were hard to come by. As it turned out, most of the Continental parts only fit Ag Huskies and the auction parts were "nothin' but junk" (according to our 13 year-old daughter). The phone rang so little that when it did ring, it startled us. Sometimes, for comic relief, we would scramble and dive for the phone like Bill Murray in the movie Ghost Busters. Our children are still reminded of that scene when they hear the office phone ring, even after being away from the business for years...but so much for the reminiscing.
Here is what is going on today. Over 3400 lines of exhaust and related items for 140 general aviation exhaust systems are in stock. We have a database that traces every serialized part as it enters and exits our system. Additionally, it manages the inventory and cross-references alternate and attaching parts, so we can quickly determine everything you need and get the parts on their way to you the same day.
This new web site is yet another step forward in customer service. The pulldown menus of aircraft and model groupings allow you to select the system you want in seconds. Future development to the next level will allow you to view over 400 individual parts pictured in the 130 featured exhaust systems. To me, that's about as cool as it gets. But there's more...I just can't tell you about it quite yet...I'll keep you posted.