There are two types of equipment manufacturers in the auto repair industry: suppliers and partners. Suppliers make equipment and sell it to you. That’s it. They’re worried about their own business. And they think that the only way to stay in business is to sell, sell, sell. On the one hand, they’re right. An equipment manufacturer without sales is soon to be an out-of-business equipment manufacturer. But just focusing on sales is very shortsighted. After all, much of the equipment in this industry is complex—both in terms of its mechanical engineering and in terms of its operation. Complex systems usually require the involvement of experts in order to use and maintain them properly. That’s where partners come in.
Good manufacturers understand that the best relationship with their customers is to actually establish a relationship—not just a sell. That’s a true partnership. Partners are there before, during and after the sell, because they understand that they’re the experts in the complex systems they’re supplying. Partners understand that you need them as much as they need you. So they’re there whenever they can help.
At First Choice, we pride ourselves on our partnerships.
The following list tells you what you can expect from us. But it’s also a list that should apply to any equipment manufacturer you’re considering. Before you authorize a significant expenditure on equipment, make sure you’re getting these from the manufacturer. In other words, make sure you’re getting a partner and not just a supplier.
Consultative Sales Team. You’ll hear the phrase “consultative sales” thrown around a lot these days. It sounds really important. And it is. Because what “consultative sales” means is that the sales team understands your business as much as possible, so that they can make equipment recommendations that will truly benefit your shop. A consultative sales team is like the Goldilocks of manufacturers. They’re not going to try to sell you something you don’t need, and they’re going to keep you from purchasing something that won’t benefit your jobs. They’re there to make sure your purchases are “just right.”
Installation. While you could certainly install most equipment yourself, a manufacturer’s installers should be factory trained/certified and fully bonded/insured. This means two things. First, there’s literally no one else as fast, efficient and safe when it comes to installation. You know the job’s done right and you won’t need to worry about your techs’ safety or your customers’ vehicles. Second, having an insured/bonded installer covers the rest of your assets should something go wrong.
Training. Proper training is essential for protecting your techs and your customers’ vehicles. There’s a lot on the line if you don’t have a partner taking your techs through the proper usage of your new equipment.
Post-Purchase Support. There are three categories that fall under post-purchase support: warranty work, updates, service and parts. Warranty work is obviously invaluable if an issue arises, so make sure your equipment carries at least an industry-standard warranty. And look for manufacturers who never settle with their original design and accessories. At Rotary, we’re committed to improving on our products with new innovations and accessories in order to increase your shop’s safety and productivity. Finally, trusted service is crucial. After all, your equipment works hard. You expect it to wear over time. When it does, you need reliable, dependable service—and factory replacement parts.
Lifetime Value. A cheaper price tag doesn’t mean a piece of equipment is less expensive. It means it’s less expensive on the front end. Cheap equipment can cost way more than equipment that has a higher price tag, because cheap equipment is more likely to breakdown. When that happens, you’re not just paying to have your equipment repaired and serviced more often—you’re also losing revenue for the amount of time that piece of equipment is out of commission. When you add all of this up, it’s often much less expensive to buy quality equipment. And that’s precisely what we offer.