Can You Live Without This Tool?

What makes a new tool a "must have" for your technicians?

I don't normally talk about products here in my blog, but an interesting situation came up the other day. A gentleman contacted me to talk about a vehicle maintenance product that he invented several years ago. He was having trouble getting attention for his product, and wanted some advice on how to reach the fleet maintenance market. What surprised me about this man's story is that his product addresses an age-old vehicle maintenance problem that has, I'm sure, cost the fleet industry a great deal of money over the decades. He told me has tried to sell it through mobile tool distributors with no luck. "With a production capability of nearly 30,000 tools per month, two manufacturer part numbers, acceptance world-wide by thousands of techs, and a voltmeter-based diagnostic system that works with the engine manufacturers’ and OEMs’ diagnostic systems, you’d think (we) were right there," the inventor says in a document he sent along to me. "But, (we)’re not." The question is, why not? Assuming for the sake of argument that the gentleman's tool is everything it's cracked up to be, why would the fleet maintenance industry turn a blind eye to it? Have you or your technicians ever run across a tool so clever and well-designed that you wondered why it wasn't in every service bay from coast to coast? What makes a tool something you can't live without? If there was a tool out there that could save you money and time and your normal distributors weren't touching it, wouldn't you want to know why?