Mac Tools puts focus on franchise expansion and increased distributor efficiency

March 4, 2015
During the 2015 Mac Tools Tool Fair, Mac Tools President Brett Shaw shared insights on the success of the company over the last few years, and plans on continued growth.

Hundreds of attendees gathered for the 2015 Mac Tools Tool Fair, held at the Indianapolis Convention Center February 12-14.

The Tool Fair showcased a number of additional vendors compared to past years, with a total of 120 exhibitors.

The three-day event offered Mac Tools distributors, and their families, the opportunity to meet with product manufacturers at the annual trade show, along with training clinics and prize giveaways.

Of the training available, Mac Tools President Brett Shaw says, “We’re focusing on social media, business management software, (and) more fundamentals to the business to be more productive.”

As in previous years, the company held its annual “Macademy Awards” program Friday evening to recognize the top distributors of 2014. On the final evening of the show, distributors were also invited to a reception held at the Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Indianapolis Colts NFL team.

Many training clinics were held for distributors, including updates to the company’s business management system, or MBA system, toolbox storage solutions, business fundamentals and more.

Shaw discussed the increased presence of distributors from previous years, saying attendance was up 10 percent.

“We’ve had distributors here that haven’t been to Tool Fair in 18 years. More fathers and sons, and daughters, getting into business together. The children are even doing better than the fathers,” says Shaw.

Shaw also commented that Mac Tools has seen a significant increase in second routes being added to existing franchises.

Shaw says they’ve seen success in the reception of this year’s show, which is reflected in the 20-30 percent growth in sales year-over-year.

“We’ve already exceeded last year’s number (for sales) and the event’s not even over yet. The franchisees have a week to complete their orders. There are certain things that they need to do while they’re here, but once they leave, they have a week to finish ordering whatever they want,” says Shaw.

Continuing improvements

Shaw also discussed some important aspects the company plans to focus on through the coming year.

“Over the last five years, we’ve been trying to focus on the things that are most important,” he says. 

This focus has been on aiding distributors in making their business operation more efficient, and by listening to direct requests from the distributor base.

These rollouts and improvements will be introduced throughout the coming year, and include updates  to the Mac Tools Mobile Business Assistant, a new gift card program, an increase in new product offerings and partnerships with suppliers, and a strengthening of sourcing partners. The company also plans to continue its drive toward digital and technology initiatives for improved efficiency. 

“We focus on trying to do the best thing for our franchisees. We try to listen to our franchisees,” says Shaw. “If we can meet all of their requests, because they live it every day, then we can make them better and make them more successful.”

Listening to the franchisees also means providing them the support to get their business off the ground. Shaw advises that a larger emphasis has been placed on providing initial support for distributors as they start up the business, including a comprehensive manual that provides input on business fundamentals and self-evaluations.

“As a franchisee or someone interested in buying a franchise, we don’t want to rush (the experience),” says Shaw. “We want to educate them on what it means to own a franchise.”

Realignment of the brand

Shaw took over as president of Mac Tools in 2010. He and his team have continually strived to improve the presentation and operation of the company.

One particular strategy Shaw believes will help improve the Mac Tools brand even further is the realignment of the organization’s parent company, Stanley Black & Decker.

Shaw also announced at the show a realignment of divisions within Stanley. The company has now aligned Mac Tools as part of the global tools and storage unit portion of the business.

“The scale, reduced complexity, the operational capabilities, productivity enhancements, innovation and new product development is going to drive significant value to Mac Tools,” says Shaw. “We believe the combination of these two divisions into one business unit with Stanley Black & Decker will help fuel that.”

According to Shaw, being backed by a larger company provides Mac Tools the opportunity to introduce more new products to market quickly, while sustaining high standards set by professional users.

“You’re starting to see a Mac Tools designed look, so when you go into a shop, you know this is a Mac Tools product, designed for the automotive environment,” says Shaw.

The Mac Tools brand will remain distinguished from other divisions. “We’ve designed the tool for the automotive user, while utilizing a lot of the benefits that come from being part of a large company.”

Sponsored Recommendations

Snap-on Training: ADAS Level 2 - Component Testing

The second video for Snap-on's comprehensive overview of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), covering the fundamental concepts and functionalities essential for automotive...

Snap-on Training: Intro to ADAS

Snap-on's training video provides a comprehensive overview of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), covering the fundamental concepts and functionalities essential for automotive...

Snap-on Training: Guided Component Tests Level 2

The second video for Snap-on's comprehensive overview of Guided Component Tests, covering the fundamental concepts essential for diagnostic procedures.

Snap-on Training: Data Bus Testing and Diagnosis Part 1

Learn the basics of vehicle data buses and their diagnosis with Snap-on's Jason Gabrenas.

Voice Your Opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Vehicle Service Pros, create an account today!