If suppliers can help more at the shop level, the more it’ll help everyone across the industry, urged one owner.
Dave Hinz, owner of Mastertek Auto Repair, said that what really impresses him is when suppliers back him up with local colleges and help attract talent.
“They’ve even stood up and given a $5,500 scan tool away, they have paid for training, they have done things that have just really blown me away,” he said at the MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers Association Vision Conference. “And it’s those relationships that are just priceless. It’s beyond unimaginable, because without it, we’re really, really hard-pressed.”
Shops that can invest in relationships with their supplier partners are invaluable, he added during the session New Technologies: The future of the repair shop and how suppliers must adapt.
“We call it being an indispensable business partner,” Hinz said. “How do you get so deep and so involved with your endgame that they aren’t going to want to leave you and that you’re simply an extension of their organization? And a lot of that has to do with things that are very efficient and time-focused.”
He finds that suppliers can often be wasting time on tasks that aren’t as helpful to the core of what the shop wants. He told suppliers to work with their shops to see where their resources could be most beneficial.
“Where suppliers can really dive in and be indispensable is take on tasks that are more appropriate for them,” Hinz said.
“Distributors and suppliers in general have a broad view of things, and can bring that perspective to be independent repairer, and actually be a teammate and a partner to bring best practices, perhaps even hosting groups of folks together to share those best practices.”
The key is being a partner. That’s what shops need.
“We need partnerships. And it works for all,” Hinz said. “The suppliers can’t sell your stuff unless your business is growing. So if your business grows, then you could them more stuff.”