Bill Kaser is a Mac Tools distributor based in Sherman Oaks, Calif.
The February distributor shows get busier every year. Throughout the show floors at the Matco Tools and Mac Tools events, distributors shuttled between training sessions and the trade show floor, oftentimes stopping to call their customers about new tools they were finding to make technicians more efficient.
Those distributors who came to the shows prepared – having found out what their customers were looking for prior to the shows – gained the greatest benefit from the shows. In addition to finding new solutions at the shows, distributors who knew specifically what their customers were looking for could make faster buying decisions, thereby making the best use of the shows.
The innovation taking place today, in tools and equipment, challenges distributors to get a better understanding of customer needs. With more features being introduced, distributors need to understand what specific features their customers are most interested in. One size does not fit all, so distributors have to know what features bring the best value.
During some sessions, presenters made a key point about new offerings: Don’t assume you already know what customers want or are willing to pay for what they want.
Technicians working on vehicles with the new R-1234yf refrigerant, for instance, will have need for a Uview Ultraviolet Systems injection gun with a coupler for servicing the new refrigerant.
Shops performing flushes for standard vehicles and hybrids using the R-134a refrigerant will need the AC789H machine from Matco Tools that eliminates the risk of residual oils from standard 134a vehicles into a hybrid 134a system.
Mac Tools has addressed torque performance to include hand and impact sockets that won’t slip on fasteners rounded up to 85 percent. The inner geometry of the six-point socket holds nuts and bolts even when they get rounded. Each hand socket is made of chrome vanadium steel and each impact socket is made of chromoly steel.
Body shops working on cars with aluminum panels will need Dent Fix’s Aluspot Aluminum Repair Station specifically designed for aluminum body work.
Diagnostic tools represent one of the most exciting areas, thanks to the proliferation of new offerings. New features include Android-based operating systems, more links to repair information services, more OE information, and ready access to Internet search engines, to name a few.
Innovations are also taking place in tool storage systems, cordless power tools, underhood lighting, brake bleeding, jump starters, air tools, hardlines, tire and wheel service, lifts and jacks, truck design, mobile air conditioning, and noise and vibration detection systems.
These are exciting times to be in the tool distribution business. Be sure to stay up-to-date on the latest tool technologies year round by visiting VehicleServicePros.com/directory.
Professional Distributor strives to keep distributors informed about the best sales and management techniques in addition to all of the products coming on the market. Let us know how we are doing at: elliot@VehicleServicePros.com.