USA Tools: The Next Generation

Armed with lessons from his father Ken, Paul DePies has taken his business to the next level in running multiple USA Tool trucks throughout the Tampa area.


Time, Lifts & Scan Tools

In addition to effectively managing his business's continued growth, hiring employees allows DePies to dedicate extra time and energy towards scan tool and shop equipment sales.

"I send brochures and photos out with both Andrew and Pat, so they get the ball rolling when it comes to the equipment. Then I come in to finish up," he explains. Despite its higher cost, DePies has gone with selling Mohawk lifts. "It's a higher-priced line, but it's also unique, and leaves me with fewer hassles after installation. The model I sell the most of is the two-post Tomahawk," he adds.

DePies has been able to move a fair amount of both new and used shop equipment, which he stores at a 1,500 square foot warehouse. To help drive sales he keeps pictures of the equipment on each of the trucks. This approach is used on everything from flush n' fill machines to toolboxes.

When it comes to diagnostic equipment, DePies has been able to spend more time learning about the tools he sells, which is lead by OTC's Genisys. "I really like the affordability of the Genisys, and I've gotten comfortable with it to a point where I can explain how it works and talk about what it's showing. It also offers great repeat sales opportunities when you consider software updates, the scope module and other add-ons," he states.

Life Off The Road

When Paul DePies looks to the future, he sees continued growth. First and foremost on the family front, as he and wife Kristen recently welcomed their first child, Kaitlin, into the world. That will be followed by selecting and training a third employee.

At 17 the last thing he wanted to do was sell tools. At 33 Paul DePies freely admits that he wouldn't be where he is today if it wasn't for his dad's vision and hard work in establishing USA Tools' viability. Vision and hard work, it must run in the family.

800 Customers, 3 Trucks, 2 Tool Dealers (soon to be 3), and 1 Owner: Here's How It Works

  • Minus equipment sales, the three trucks bring in about $25K/week in collections, with average weekly payments of $40/customer.
  • DePies has equipped each truck with a computer and inventory management software that allows him to examine what each has been selling, and what they have in stock.
  • DePies buys everything himself, and fills each truck accordingly. Purchases are made almost exclusively from warehouse distributor ISN. Once the truck's inventory has been signed over, each distributor is responsible for cash shortages and missing product.
  • Dealers are paid commission on what they collect.
  • DePies pays their health insurance, eats their bad debts, tracks down skip accounts, and even buys their uniforms. Each distributor is an employee of Paul's Tools, Inc.
  • DePies owns all three trucks, and hires someone to maintain them. Andrew Teneyck was recently upgraded to a larger 24' International, while Pat Phillips drives an older 22' Isuzu. DePies pilots a new 24' Chevrolet, which he will turn over to a new employee once the route has been established.
  • If one of the mobile dealers gives DePies a lead that turns into a sale, they still get commission on it, unless DePies did the leg work. Then they split it.

    Currently he's establishing yet another route, but once that's turned over to an employee, DePies role will entail:

  • Managing his sales force by answering questions, offering feedback and handling all the purchasing.
  • Selling the more complicated items like scan tools and shop equipment.
  • Delivering special orders and larger pieces of equipment.
  • Handling all the open shop accounts. This allows each employee to spend more time servicing and selling individual customers while he handles larger shop issues and adds to the customer base.

    $ales Tip$

    Here are some sales strategies that have helped Paul DePies take his business to the next level in terms of sales, collections and customer service.

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