The new J C Madigan shop in Lancaster MA features a 9,000-sq-ft showroom for parts and accessories.

New Madigan facility puts parts where customers can see them

Oct. 1, 2012
TIM MADIGAN has a simple perspective on selling parts. If people don't know we have a product, shame on us, he says. With that in mind, his company took

TIM MADIGAN has a simple perspective on selling parts.

“If people don't know we have a product, shame on us,” he says.

With that in mind, his company took a step forward to make sure that parts and accessories meet the public's gaze. The new 78,000-sq-ft J C Madigan Inc shop in Lancaster, Massachusetts, includes a spacious showroom that provides high visibility for a major portion of the company's parts inventory and virtually all of the accessories the company sells.

The Boston area truck equipment distributor has operated a showroom for years and has found the idea to be an effective way to show customers the breadth of the products the company sells. The big difference now is that the showroom is large, new, and easier to manage. Until J C Madigan built its new facility, the parts operation was housed in a different location — the result of multiple additions and building acquisitions that were required as the company grew over the years. The new building enables Tim Madigan and his brother John to more readily manage the entire operation.

The showroom includes a 9-ft × 9-ft door that allows a completed one-ton chassis to be displayed. That GVW segment is key for a large number of the people who visit Madigan's showroom.

“We get about 40% of our business from municipalities and another 40% from dealers,” Madigan says. “The rest is from contractors and end users.”

While one-ton trucks are important, J C Madigan also goes after the heavy-duty market. The company has a heavy-duty parts sales specialist who calls on end users. Brake parts — particularly S-cam brakes — are the top seller, but the company also sells clutches, springs, and other heavy truck parts. J C Madigan also sells trailer parts.

“We are big on doors and suspension parts,” Madigan says. “We are direct with Meritor and Triangle Suspension Systems. Lighting is another big line with us.”

J C Madigan stocks multiple lighting products, including those made by Truck Lite, Whelen, and Maxxima.

Since moving into the new location last year, the company has been able to expand its product line — and the parts required to support them. They include Wayne refuse packers, Stepp Manufacturing asphalt maintenance equipment, Bibeau dump bodies, Sure-Trac light-duty trailers. Madigan also plans to add a sweeper line.

Operating the showroom

J C Madigan groups its displays by such product categories as cargo control, lighting, and cleaning supplies. The organization of the showroom is both logical and broad.

“We have designed the display area to give the customer a good idea of what we stock — and we stock a lot,” Madigan says. “The cleaning products that we stock are an indication of the thought we have put into identifying products that our customers use. It isn't just truck equipment.”

The layout may be logical, but that doesn't mean it never changes.

“We move things around by season,” Madigan says. “For example, we move our carwash products forward during the spring and summer.”

Gotta have it

J C Madigan places a lot of emphasis on parts availability.

“We want our location to be clean, to be organized, and to have what the customer wants,” Madigan says.

With the new facility, J C Madigan has plenty of room for stock. The building dedicates 9,000 square feet for its showroom and 21,000 square feet for its parts warehouse.

Beyond the standard parts that a truck equipment distributor would inventory to support the lines it sells, J C Madigan also keeps a variety of trailer parts in stock.

“We are big on doors and suspensions,” Madigan says.

The company doesn't just wait for customers to come to the showroom. A 38-ft trailer also serves as a mobile parts store that provides customers with what they need, where they need it.

“We operate it across Massachusetts and Rhode Island,” Madigan says. “We try to get by each customer's location every two weeks.”

J C Madigan also provides repairs.

“The first person we had retired,” Madigan says. “but we found a replacement. It's a difficult job to fill because of all the responsibilities that are required. It requires organizational skills, mechanical ability, and sales skills.”

About the Author

Bruce Sauer | Editor

Bruce Sauer has been writing about the truck trailer, truck body and truck equipment industries since joining Trailer/Body Builders as an associate editor in 1974. During his career at Trailer/Body Builders, he has served as the magazine's managing editor and executive editor before being named editor of the magazine in 1999. He holds a Bachelor of Journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin.