Florida dealer: cordless power and scan tools drive sales

The economy may be showing some signs of recovery, but Richard Lindsey, a Cornwell Quality Tools dealer in Gainesville, Fla., is more excited about some of the innovations going on in the tool business. He specifically credits the cordless power tools and the newer handheld diagnostic tools with creating a new level of excitement among his customers.

Cordless power tools aren’t new, but today’s lithium iron-powered tools are ushering in a higher quality of cordless hand tools, Lindsey says. He has been doing with lithium-ion-powered ¼”, ½”, 3/8” impact ratchets, drills, die grinders, screwdrivers and saws. “This new generation battery with the lithium ion has made a difference,” he says. “Guys (customers) just don’t want to drag that air hose around anymore. It’s all about speed and convenience. The cordless stuff has really taken off.”

Lindsey is keeping his eye out for a cordless sander.

The new cordless tools have more power than the earlier generation cordless tools, Lindsey says. Because they are more powerful, some of them carry higher price points, and technicians are willing to pay the prices.

In addition, Lindsey notes that the new tools have also created an ongoing demand for lithium ion batteries. “That’s a good thing for our business,” he says.

He notes that there are some cordless power tools available at big box stores, but the big box stores don’t sell the same quality and variety that the tool trucks have.

The new generation of scan tools has also created a lot of excitement with customers, Lindsey notes. Some of the new scan tools are wireless, and some of the wireless tools work on iPad and Android operating formats. “That’s just out of this world,” he says. “That’s getting the customers excited. They love coming on the truck and playing with it.”

Lindsey is waiting to see if the market grows for reprogramming tools. Right now, only the larger shops are using reprogrammers, but in time, this could change.

The Gainesville, Fla. area which Lindsey has not experienced the economic extremes that other parts of Florida have over the past eight years. This is because Gainesville, as home to the University of Florida, is primarily a college town and the economic activity remains fairly stable from one year to the next.

The Gainesville economy has slowed somewhat since the Great Recession began, and in the last three years, it has started to recover.

Lindsey thinks tool innovation is playing a bigger role in his sales than the economy.