As a rental store owner working in the equipment industry, parts are a small part of your business. In fact, your parts inventory is most likely limited to what you need to maintain and service your equipment fleet because your core focus is rental. But with competition in local markets so tight for equipment rentals, driven by which store offers the lowest rental rates for the latest models, now is the time to diversify and make parts a larger part of your business portfolio.
Right now, there is market demand for dealers who not only rent machines but who also service and sell parts for their customers’ entire equipment fleets. Customers don’t have the time or resources to handle maintenance and service tasks in-house, so they look to their equipment suppliers, including local rental stores like yours, to help. By stocking parts and servicing capabilities, you have an opportunity to get ahead of the competition and secure lasting, profitable relationships with your customers.
To be successful in integrating parts and service into your rental store’s business model, here are some things to think about:
Train your people
It is not enough to hire employees to staff your parts and service business; you also need to help them be knowledgeable on the equipment and components they’ll be working with. This means you’ll want to make an investment in your people, giving them the time and the resources necessary to become experts. Knowledge is powerful — knowledge in action is priceless.
Trust the experts
You can turn to the experts on your equipment to train your experts on the equipment. For example, the Genie® Tech Pro™ training program offers service training both online and in person. This program is designed to teach your staff the skills to keep Genie equipment well maintained and high performing long after it leaves the factory. Sending your team through the program ensures that they are well versed and confident about Genie technologies, including hydraulics, control systems, engines and more.
Keep it simple
Invest your time and resources into building your parts and service business because growing it is easy. You don’t need a large marketing budget to advertise your new venture. It can be as easy as adding information on your rental store’s website that you now offer these services, with a phone number to call for more details, and see what happens.
Be sure to mention your new services to your current customers. Even if they don’t immediately need your services, they will in the future. And, they work with other contractors and companies who will also be interested your services.
Stay busy all year
Find ways to keep your parts and services business booming year-round by offering promotions for seasonal opportunities, such as annual inspections, winter prep or used equipment tune-ups. These seemingly small tasks can bring in lots of business for you throughout the year.
Focus on customer satisfaction
You’ve heard the phrase “Build it, and they will come.” This is true for parts and service business. Offering these services is the entry way to bigger business opportunities to develop an expanded customer base for your rental store. And if you do a good job providing the services to your customers, you will gain their trust and loyalty to become repeat customers, for equipment rentals, as well as parts and service business.
Think about a parts and service business as if they are gravy for your meat and potatoes. A little bit makes your food tastes better, and a lot of it makes you fat. Parts and service will work the same way for your rental store — a little bit will help you achieve a good rental return on invested capital (rROIC); a lot will make your business profitable.