The University of Washington

Our First Customer

Written by
The Part Works
Published on
March 30, 2021 1:06:06 PM PDT March 30, 2021 1:06:06 PM PDTth, March 30, 2021 1:06:06 PM PDT

In December 1980, Rick and Sandy Johnson rolled up the garage door, at their family home in Seattle for the first time as “The Part Works.” Focused on identifying and sourcing the right solution to maintain and sustain customers' existing plumbing infrastructure, the Johnson’s first customer was their alma mater--The University of Washington. 


Today, over 40 years later, their daughter and current owner Katie Parris has taken The Part Works forward into the digital age, with a twist. Katie’s driving passion is to leverage technology inservice to people, not instead of them. At The Part Works, this means supporting our customers with services like Text-A-Tech rapid product identification, while having a real live human expert on the other end of the texting service. We have real people taking care of our customers, whether you want to communicate by text message, email, phone, website chat, or at our sales counter. We still bring our expertise on-site to our customers’ facilities as well, and often this is the most effective way to quickly solve problems.


Katie counts being a female business owner, in a male dominated facilities maintenance industry, as an advantage, providing a distinct perspective and a more representative voice. Many times, we have helped to bridge the competing priorities of the budget-oriented procurement teams, with the building up-time oriented maintenance teams. Saving money is important for budget conscious facilities and we help our customers gain visibility into the full cost of repairs: for every $100 spent on replacement materials, projects require between $235-$1,000 in labor. By relying on The Part Works expertise, our customers save the cost of excessive wasted time researching hard to find parts, misidentifying parts, ordering (and returning) incorrect products, re-work due to poor quality off-brand replacements, long delivery delays, and other sourcing inefficiencies.


At The Part Works, we’re proud to be local, small business, woman-owned, serving the Pacific Northwest and YOUR University of Washington partner for over 40 years!


Give us a call, we’d love to tell you more about our digital services.

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