The prospects of selling tools this specialized can be intimidating, but Neff says Apex is well-suited to service those without a background in heavy-duty products. "Our staff is comprised of mechanics and people that have been in the field. The person on the other end of the phone has some experience using these tools. We often have the mobile dealer describe the situation, and then use that information to fill the order," states Neff.
In addition to their size, durability and usage patterns, heavy-duty vehicles also differ from their lighterweight cohorts due to the urgency behind their repair. "We're proud of the fact that 90 percent of all orders placed before 3:00 will go out that same day," states Neff. "This is key in heavy-duty service because the longer that vehicle is off the road, the more money its operator loses. In many cases that truck is someone's livelihood. It's not like they can get a loaner and go about their business. The urgency is greater here.
"So I think this is another instance where being smaller helps us. We're able to turn things around very quickly in order to keep these vehicles on the road. Sometimes this means driving packages to UPS. It doesn't really matter because our number one goal is to take care of the customer. We'll do whatever it takes to get someone out of trouble and back out on the road."
It's a service that mobile dealers can then pass along to their customers.
The physical location for Apex Tool is a little out of the way, but it does help keep costs down. In contrast, the company can be easily found on the web at www.apexinds.com. The website fuels a growing customer base that now stretches across the country, and globe.
This includes Russia, where vehicles that have fallen out of warranty in the U.S. are being sold in mass. An e-mail and a wire transfer has the tool on its way. To help support more conventional sales avenues, Apex will be unveiling a more in-depth catalog, their first in nearly three years.
Apex Tool is not your typical company. And thankfully, they're willing to share that atypical approach in allowing you to better serve the heavy-duty community.