Case Study - Simon Stack
I left school at 15 to start my apprenticeship as a garage mechanic. In those days the government paid apprentices up until your 21st birthday, so about three months before that I was told that I would be laid off as soon as my apprenticeship finished. I was offered a good job selling cars, but I wanted my own business and had already applied to become a Snap-on franchisee. It was a tough turning that sales job down, but with hindsight it was probably the best decision I ever made.
I’ve been the Snap-on Dealer for York since day one but in the last few years I have expanded my business to three trucks and this has given me a huge competitive advantage by tripling the level of service we can give to the customer; if someone needs a particular specialist tool for an unusual job then one my team will have it. This makes my customers more competitive as they don’t have to call their customers and give them excuses as to why their car won’t be ready on time.
When I started there were about half-a-dozen competitors working my area. There is only one now and I don’t think he’s too busy.
Snap-on has helped me become the largest tool supplier in York. Snap-on recently did a customer satisfaction survey in my area which shows how far we’ve come: 75 per cent of all the mechanics toolboxes in York are Snap-on. Although Snap-on is the most powerful and desirable brand in the marketplace, people will only pay premium prices if they get a tip-top service as well. I concentrate on service and let Snap-on do the rest. Each month they send all the marketing material we need to sell new tools, special offers and deals; we just need to take it to the customer.
We sell the best and back it up with the best possible service. My customers know and trust me as I’ve been dealing with some of them for over 20 years. But they also know that I have the backup of a huge corporation, so when I finally retire and sell up, they will still get the same service and support. If I were an independent, I don’t believe the customers would have that same level of trust.