Vendor Speak 2015

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Each year we ask vendors to chime in on important issues in the fast lube industry in this annual feature. Their responses vary, as do the products and services they offer fast lube operators. Read on to learn what they’re speaking about this year.


Amsoil Inc.

Ed Newman, advertising manager

www.amsoil.com

Facebook: facebook.com/amsoil.inc

800.777.8491

Q: How does a partnership with your company benefit fast lube owner/operators and aid in their success?

A: Our aim is to build partnerships that create mutual success. People who know Amsoil associate our products with high quality. Our commitment to maintaining quality standards is unwavering. Lube shops that install our products can do so with confidence.

The Amsoil brand is well known in the racing community. People who know the caliber of our products often seek out lube shops carrying our products. Amsoil provides literature and point-of-purchase materials to help educate customers and increase brand awareness.

We recently upgraded our website and continue to invest heavily in the promotion of our web content. Our homepage includes an Amsoil locator that’s optimized for local searches to help motorists pinpoint places to purchase or have Amsoil products installed. In the broader marketplace, we continue to expand our marketing efforts to educate, inform and drive traffic to your door.

Q: What are your expectations for your distributors or sales team?

A: Amsoil looks for partners who have the same commitment to quality and performance that has been the driving force behind our 40-plus years of growth and innovation. We understand our products are an addition to a quick lube’s primary line, and we work hard to ensure shops partnering with Amsoil are trained on the benefits of using premium synthetic oil.


BayNets

Joe Menhart, sales manager

www.baynets.com

860.531.1046

Q: How does a partnership with your company benefit fast lube owner/operators and aid in their success?

A: Our company owners treat every employee with respect far beyond the typical employer/employee relationship. Trust and high ethics are foundational principals within our company. When fast lube owner/operators work with us, they are treated with the same level of care and respect as our employees.

Safety is our business. Quick lube operators count on us to deliver a low-maintenance, no fuss, sliding pit cover to protect their employees and the occasional unattended customer who wanders through. For new or replacement installations, the owner counts on us to completely understand their requirements before we commit to design and fabrication of a pit cover. This communication and product understanding assures the owner they will receive a sliding safety net that fits and functions as intended. This makes employees safe and happy, pleases insurance companies and makes OSHA’s day a breeze.

The success of a fast oil change center depends on efficiency and a safe working environment. BayNets helps maintain workflow so more of the owner’s time can be focused on income-generating activities.

Q: What are your expectations for your distributors or sales team?

A: We expect our distributors to behave exactly like us — respectfully, honestly and ethically. Not everyone can meet these expectations, so we only have a small network of highly reliable and trustworthy distributors.

Our expectations are mutual, and as a result, our partnerships are win-win relationships. Since what we expect from a distributor is well known, our primary focus is to ensure a distributor knows what to expect from us — the best price, service and support in the custom safety netting industry. We provide our distributors with all the tools they need to capture the correct pit measurements so we can provide them with the proper safety system for their customers.

Problems are extremely rare. But when there is a degree of dissatisfaction, due to either installer or user issue, we expect our distributors to handle it immediately and to take whatever action is necessary to ensure complete satisfaction. We go the extra mile to support our distributors.


Chevron

Dave Schletewitz, brand manager, Consumer Automotive

www.chevronlubricants.com

925.842.8759

Q: How does a partnership with your company benefit fast lube owner/operators and aid in their success? 

A: Chevron takes interest in making sure business is operating at its maximum potential by: working with customers to influence marketing plans, sharing our knowledge of the industry and trends, analyzing financial data to discuss and maximize performance and making sure they know how to use all the marketing assets that we have available to support digital efforts including social media platforms. It’s about taking an interest in their business and using all the tools and resources we have available to help them improve their business results. When owner/operators do better, our distributors do better and we do better. Listening and focusing on the customer is the key.

Q: What are your expectations for your distributors or sales team?

A: As an extension of Chevron, we expect our Chevron Lubrication Marketers and their sales representatives to be collaborative business partners. We expect our marketers to be better automotive installed business support partners. That’s why we classified a subset of our PCMO focused marketers “Chevron 1st Source Installed Lubrication Marketers” which comes with certain requirements and benefits.

We expect Chevron 1st Source Installed Lubrication Marketers to have a basic level of understanding of automotive installed financials, inventory management practices, product knowledge, industry trends, programs, and how to leverage it all for the benefit of improving their customers business. Chevron 1st Source Installed Lubrication Marketers are expected to keep customers in stock on the products they need and the products they should be selling, to be knowledgeable about the promotions and products that are coming and/or are running in market and to represent the culture and values of Chevron in the areas of people, partnership and technology.


eGenuity

Dan Nelson, vice president of sales

www.egenuity.com

800.600.4955

Q: How does a partnership with your company benefit fast lube owner/operators and aid in their success?

A: Since the release of eLube in 2003, eGenuity has changed the way owner/operators view POS software. The eLube product has been known for being a trendsetter from check-in kiosks to fully functional service recommendation systems to a full line of marketing tools, including gift and loyalty cards as well as subscriptions.

eGenuity understands your customers are as important to you as our customers are to us; that’s why we offer a full range of greeter options/tools to assist with your customer interactions. Additionally, management tools are readily available for real-time decision making. We work with a variety of devices, like iPad, Android and Windows, to enhance the potential for your success. Our products allow you to manage your business with real-time data from any device whether you’re at your shop or not. We also offer marketing tools and work with you to implement high-tech revolutionary new products and services.

Q: What are your expectations for your distributors or sales team?

A: 2015 has been a very successful year for eGenuity and its full line of products for quick lubes (eLube), repair shops (ezWrench) and car washes (ezWash). We expect our team to continually be ready, willing and able to look into the future.

We consistently see large growth in the number of our customers who improve their customer satisfaction ratings. Most of our growth is from word-of-mouth and/or the continued success of our current customers who are expanding their locations. We attribute that to our excellent products and customer service.


Integrated Services, Inc.

Steve Barram, CEO

steve.barram@ints.com

www.ints.com

503.968.8100

Q: How does a partnership with your company benefit fast lube owner/operators and aid in their success?

A: To an ever-evolving market, ISI provides 27 years of experience and a multi-faceted approach to give fast lube owner/operators the tools to thrive and grow in the industry. Due in part to more than 100 years of combined direct quick lube operations experience, our holistic approach provides a unique solution seen within cornerstone features and capabilities:

• Helping fast lubes provide their customers with great experiences — speed of service, Carfax Quick VIN, customer education on vehicle maintenance, mobile solutions for a more personal presentation and remote signature capture, emailed customer invoice, integrated credit card processing for all customers and catalog data to improve service quality

 • Helping fast lubes grow their business — ISE integration and tire modules to help support expanded service offerings, integration to industry-leading marketing partners with a wide variety of offerings

• Helping owners understand and manage their business — real-time data feeds with mobile access, webCentral data warehouse with reporting and business intelligence tools

•Providing companies with turnkey IT solutions — high-quality and reliable solutions, system security, help desk and electronic updates

Q: What are your expectations for your distributors or sales team?

A: ISI is privileged to have a national sales team made up of very long-term employees who’ve embraced our core culture of caring and building relationships. Our entire sales team is trained to listen intently, discover the customers’ needs and put into place the best solution to meet those needs. We have always said we are not perfect, but we are committed.

We desire to build trust during initial sales conversations and establish the beginning of a decades-long relationship with each customer. We view initial sales as merely the opening act in an ever growing and living relationship. It is our expectation our sales team exercises care and attentiveness in each conversation and interaction.

Growth in our company comes not by paying attention to numbers-driven metrics but by genuine attentiveness to each customer and how we can best fashion solutions to meet their needs. Our expectations for our sales team are knowing our product and how it can serve a customer’s needs, but are ultimately centered around the intangible elements of care and concern for the individuals we serve.


Martin Lubricants

Steve Lipsey, director of sales steve.lipsey@martinmlp.com

www.martinlubricants.com

800.864.6275

Q: How does a partnership with your company benefit fast lube owner/operators and aid in their success?

A: A partnership with Martin Lubricants provides fast lube owner/operators the ability to stock premium lubricants at a completive price point. As a member of the Independent Lubricant Manufacturer’s Association, we avoid excessive marketing costs, allowing us to keep costs down and pass along those savings directly to our customers. We compromise nothing in terms of quality to save money.

Q: What are your expectations for your distributors or sales team?

A: We expect our distributors and sales team members to seek out the best product combination to help fast lube owner/operators maximize profit and ROI.


Ngen

Dave Prange, assistant to the chairman

dave@ngenpro.com

www.ngenpro.com

844.643.6776

Q: How does a partnership with your company benefit fast lube owner/operators and aid in their success?

A: We work to make sure you and your customers are happy. Fast lube owners and operators get professional products when they partner with us. Our team is dedicated and has years of industry experience.

We provide complimentary support, sales aides and/or training customized for the needs of each owner or operator. We’re a quick call or email away for any questions or customer support. Our motto is, “If you’re happy, I’m happy.” — Will Prange, chairman.

Q: What are your expectations for your distributors or sales team?

A: Our team cares about your needs and the needs of your customers. Our sales team works with you to decide which products and services best fit with your fast lube. We aim to provide the best customer service in the industry. You will always find someone happy to help you. Let us prove it, call us and mention you saw this for a chance to win a prize!


Penray

Mark Kardon, director of marketing

mkardon@penray.com

www.penray.com

Twitter: @penraycompanies

Facebook: facebook.com/penray

847.459.5015

Q: How does a partnership with your company benefit fast lube owner/operators and aid in their success?

A: Penray continues to support the automotive industry by offering innovative technology, dedicated customer service and a reliable partnership for 65 years. Teaming up with Penray benefits fast lube owners/operators beyond our quality line of installer service kits, automotive and shop products.

Our Lifetime Preventive Maintenance Protection Plan on installer kits provides your customers with confidence to ensure repeat customer business.

Q: What are your expectations for your distributors or sales team?

A: Our sales team provides hands-on product training, technical support and marketing materials to help facilitate success of the Penray program as well as help promote future and repeat sales. Product knowledge and awareness are very important components of our sales team.

We offer product training and technical support to help our customer’s learn about the products key benefits as part of the overall Penray program. Our distributors are better equipped to educate their customers on the value of our products and the importance of vehicle maintenance.

Our sales team works with distributors to introduce our new products as they are launched, making sure they have the promotional materials and training they need. We encourage our distributor partners to bring us new ideas — whether products or services — so we can continue to meet the needs of the end-user.


PM Attendant

Ash Bullard, vice president of Sales and Marketing

www.pmattendant.com

866.576.8957

Q: How does a partnership with your company benefit fast lube owner/operators and aid in their success?

A: A partnership with us increases employee efficiency. Most importantly, it makes the quick lube owner more profitable. Feedback from our customers has always allowed us to make improvements. In addition, cloud-based technology allows us to virtually and instantaneously deploy program and Chek-Chart changes.

To increase revenue, we added Carfax maintenance information, which permits the technician to review with the customer. This may be shown on an Android or iPad tablet in addition to the owners manual suggested service intervals and those services that are fine, overdue or pending.

A quick lube’s customer who is properly informed is more apt to purchase services when they are due. For marketing purposes, quick lube owners are given the ability to email invoices and service reminders to their customers. They can also send another reminder if services were not completed following the due date 

To decrease liability, EMV credit card compliancy was added. Now, customers sign one signature pad, which captures their signature historically for your records. We added comparisons of sales and other information to the same specific day, week and month in effort to determine what changes should take place.  

Q: What are your expectations for your distributors or sales team?

A: The expectation of our sales team is to understand the issues of our prospects, customers and industry and then determine if PM Attendant would be the best solution.

Our philosophy has always been to provide all of the major applications at one low monthly fee and not to include major features or capabilities at higher costs.

Our sales team continues to make mandatory or customer requested changes when possible, especially if owners feel a change could make their personnel more efficient, increase revenue or decrease cost.


Red Line Synthetic Oil

Cameron Evans, president

cameron@redlineoil.com

707.205.0230

Q: How does a partnership with your company benefit fast lube owner/operators and aid in their success?

A: We are about increasing an operator’s profit and scale. The opportunity to justify an upsell with value and technology is strong because an operator can use the highest quality product on the market in exactly the right applications instead of using cheaper, compromise fluids where the customer gets less and the operator makes less.

Q: What are your expectations for your distributors or sales team?

A: We understand our distributors and marketers have to go out and sell the value of Red Line to operators. Sometimes the operators ask for the product, but more often, our teams need to present and remind them the tickets can produce more profit and their customers can feel and see the difference in mileage, limited slip operation, etc.


Sage Microsystems Inc.

Bob Sampson, president

sales@sagesystem.com

www.sagemicrosystems.com

800.724.7400

Q: How does a partnership with your company benefit fast lube owner/operators and aid in their success?

A: Our software is fast, easy-to-use and has all the features needed to streamline business operations. New employees can be trained to process customers in minutes, rather than hours or days. Customers can participate in the big, colorful screen presentation of the services and recommendations the technicians are providing. We provide service technicians with immediate access to the customer’s vehicle manufacturer specifications, including overdue maintenance services, correct parts, fluids and capacities, oil light reset procedures and many other critical technical details that insure professionalism. We help eliminate time-consuming tasks and allow employees to focus on their customers. At the touch of a button, purchase orders, billing statements, employee earnings and customer reminders can be generated.

Sage employs high-technology solutions to improve customer perceptions and professionalism. Owners can take advantage of online dashboards and text messaging to stay connected to the statistics in their center and email can be used to send customers their final receipt.

Q: What are your expectations for your distributors or sales team?

A: As existing systems are aging, operators continually revisit the alternatives for software companies and products and evaluate based on many criteria. Ease-of-use, comprehensive features and excellent customer support are some of our top priorities. We have been committed to providing exceptional customer and technical services for over 30 years.


Solid Start Inc./True Brand Products

Amber Kossak, president and CEO

www.solidstart.biz

863.937.9297

Q: How does a partnership with your company benefit fast lube owner/operators aid in their success?

A: Our family has been in the automotive service industry for three generations, offering more than 200 years of combined experience. We are the manufacturer, we are family owned and operated and we are the decision makers.  With that said, our family will always conduct business around the win-win philosophy — everything has to be good for the customer and yourself. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Building trust, confidence and value creates a stable business.

Our family has built our trusted programs, people and quality products on a solid foundation.  Solid Start/True Brand understands without the customer we would not exist, and with everything we do we try to operate with our customer-first philosophy.

We believe we benefit the fast lube owner/operator through education, training and superior customer service.

Q: What are your expectations for your distributors or sales team?

A: Our expectations include fulfilling the request of our customers’ needs, keeping our promises, building trust and treating them the way we want to be treated. We believe the No. 1 buying factor is trust. Therefore, Solid Start expects our distributors and sales team to maintain the highest level of quality.

To offer this level of support, Solid Start/True Brand endeavors to provide outstanding customer service while keeping our perspective on competitive pricing, service and feedback. This includes a complete menu of services while being fun, exciting and honest.

We will always strive to provide experts armed with knowledge and market insight, professional strategies, technical information and tools to help customers maximize their opportunities for profit possibilities.


Unilube Systems Ltd.

John Fanning, general manager

jmfanning@unilube.com

www.unilube.com

800.326.1711

Q: How does a partnership with your company benefit fast lube owner/operators and aid in their success?

A: Unilube Systems offers custom equipment for lube center operators, allowing them to tailor their operation to fit their individual needs. We can also assist them in revamping or remodeling older lube centers as needed. We offer the personal touch of one small business to another.

Q: What are your expectations for your distributors or sales team?

A: We have built strong relationships with our distributors over the nearly 20 years we have supplied equipment for the quick lube industry, and they are an integral part of our business.

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