T & R DistributorsFeb 7th, 2014 | By Editorial Staff | Category: Jack Schrock's Blog
If you’ve followed my writings over the past dozen or so years you remember that wrecker equipment was first sold either direct or through a third party such as an automotive parts house. But several innovative Holmes distributors such as Weeks Equipment in Tampa and Bill Clemmons Auto Supply in Huntsville came up with a business model that dramatically increased their sales. In very simple terms they adapted the automotive business model by installing and servicing T & R equipment in their shops while maintaining a representative inventory of unmounted equipment ready for immediate sale. Then they put salesmen on the road in demonstrators to sell both equipment and this new concept.
Not coincidentally, a new sales manager at Holmes took note of this new business model and went on to make a marketing change that replaced some 3,000 auto jobbers with less than 300 stocking distributors throughout the U.S. and Canada. Yes, this increased sales to the point that delivery times went out for six months or more on certain models. And, yes this was a much more efficient way to market wrecker equipment. But there was more.
The 3,000 auto jobbers had no skin in the game where the 289 authorized distributors were in hock up to the point they had to succeed and to do that they invariably built personal relationships with the towers in their trading areas.
Once this conversion was complete the T & R industry was changed for the better for good. Today you can rely on this stocking distributor for good advice because he plans to be around tomorrow and the next day. He’s in it for the long haul, which really works to the tower’s advantage.