Auto Service World
Feature   April 2, 2009   by Auto Service World

From Heavy Metal to High Tech

There is no doubt that Lordco’s tool and equipment division is an important part of the organization.

And, like everything that Lordco does, it’s a full-service approach.

Last year, for example, more than 200 lifts were sold to repair facilities–sold, shipped, and installed, that is.

“We have highpoint trucks and teams of installers,” says Lordco owner Ed Coates. Behind those offerings is a team of 15 who specialize in dealing with the tools and equipment that service operations need to stay productive.

“We have teams to demonstrate and educate, and after we make the sale, we train the installer on how to use the product we sold them.”

ICBC Certified trainers work with customers when new collision repair equipment goes in, for example, and welding needs can be helped along by a trainer who is a bona fide journeyman welder.

Everything from wheel service equipment to small tools, heavy metal–like frame racks for collision repairs–and high-tech diagnostic tools are part of the offering.

The approach is designed never to leave the customer wanting.

“We not only sell it, we also service what we sell so that down the road the customer doesn’t have to look anywhere else.”

“We have really developed the business and right now we have over 100 lines of equipment that we carry.”

The Welding Story

“About four years ago we hired an individual formerly with BOC, our welding gas supplier. The first thing we did was put our gas business out to tender. We soon discovered that we could do better, and signed a seven-year contract with Praxair.

“At the time we only had seven stores selling gas.

“Step by step, Art Ewing”–who handles the business for Lordco–“implemented a program to get it into all our stores. He is a licensed trainer and he trains the staff and details with the salesmen at customer locations.”

Coates says that it has grown very well within the organization, which might surprise some, considering the widespread use of welding gas and the deceptively simple approach that Lordco has taken. There are a few things that make that so, says Coates.

“One of the things that makes us really good at supplying welding gas,” says Coates, “is that we have a good price.

“Two is that we deliver in 20 minutes. Three, we are open every day and night.”

Also to the customer’s benefit is that welding gas purchases can be used to participate in any number of discount and incentive programs offered by Lordco.

“These are some of the reasons this has become such a good program. Everybody we do business with buys welding gas, regardless of who they are.

“Even the backyard repair person will have a couple of bottles in the garage. It is one of the few commodities that, along with paper towels, everybody uses.”

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