Mac Tools, Making Money Magazine, March 2012
Mac Tools expands its franchise network support team
At a time when many companies are downsizing, Mac Tools, manufacturer of high-quality automotive tools, has taken the bold step to review operations to cater for its growing franchise network.
To cope with the demands of its growing network, Mac Tools re-organised its mobile distribution sales operations in the second half of 2011 and made three new key appointments to support the expansion.
Tony Prueitt, sales director of the UK’s Industrial & Automotive Division, explains: “Our business is expanding so we have recruited an additional national franchise manager, Steve Gotz, and two regional franchise managers, Keith Bush and William Hamilton. With the reinforced team we will ensure we continue to deliver first-class products and service to our customers and we know we are well-placed to leverage our growth into 2012 and beyond.”
Steve Gotz brings with him over 20 years of franchise experience. He was one of Ribbon Revival’s very first employees and has helped build its franchise network worldwide. Steve says: “Along with my two new colleagues, I’m able to bring a clear understanding of the franchise world which will help support our franchisees and grow the Mac Tools business in these exciting times.”
Keith Bush looks after the North West and West Midlands. Prior to joining Mac Tools, Keith had worked in hospitality retail management for a number of years before becoming a small business advisor for Business Link. During his ten years in that role, he learnt a lot about franchise models. Armed with this knowledge, he opted for the Mac Tools franchise as, in his opinion, it operates like a true partnership. Keith says: “Mac Tools franchises are built for the long term and the support you receive is excellent.”
Taking care of the East of England region is William Hamilton, a former RAF propulsions engineer. With several years subsequently spent as a franchisee for another automotive tool brand, William brings invaluable hands-on experience with him, meaning he understands the needs of the franchisee better than anyone: “Mac Tools is a brand that’s really going places and offers one of the best franchise opportunities available. I’m very much looking forward to developing strong relationships with the franchisees and sharing my knowledge. My goal is to give them the support they need and to ensure they operate to their full potential.”
Mac Tools is part of Stanley Black & Decker, an $11+ billion global organisation employing over 30,000 people worldwide and owner of the world famous Stanley and DeWalt brands. The Mac Tools line consists of over 8000 professional tools including screwdrivers, ratchets, wrenches, and assorted air tools, as well as its own toolboxes. With 100 Mac Tools’ franchisees operating across the UK as trusted distributors of what are considered to be some of the best quality tools on the market, they are taking on the challenge of becoming market leaders in this market estimated to be worth over £150 million a year.
From Defence to Distributor
Jason Dowle spent 23 years in the Royal Army Medical Corps working his way up the chain of command to Warrant Officer Class One Regimental Sergeant Major. So starting a new career with Mac Tools in July 2011 was quite a change of scenery. His keen interest in motorcycle racing meant that Jason had always been aware of the leading tool manufacturer, so when he learnt that the company also offered franchises it offered an ideal opportunity to put his tool knowledge to good use.
“I had known for a while that I wanted to work for myself or work within sales, but I wasn’t sure about the direction I wanted to take”, explains Jason. “After leaving the Army and spending some time lecturing and designing course programmes with another company, it then took me about 4 months to make the decision to sign-up with Mac Tools.
“Thankfully my family were behind me all the way – this is a factor I would strongly recommend everyone to consider when buying a franchise. I knew there was going to be a lot of work involved on my part, but I also needed to be happy that the effort wouldn’t impact on my family in a negative way, especially after spending so much of my life away from them already.
“I did look at other franchises as well, including some that were in direct competition with Mac Tools. Although their products and services were similar, in the end it came down to personal confidence because, having used the brand myself, I knew the product quality and felt that this would offer excellent knowledge to assist customers with their buying requirements.
“It was also much easier to get bank funding for a franchise than creating a business from scratch – there is often less risk involved which strengthens the business plan you present. Likewise, I had the added security of having a large company brand behind me that was already well-renowned in the industry.
Jason completed an initail four days’ training at Stanley Europe’s headquarters in Sheffield, a parent company of Mac Tools. this was followed by five days’ in-depth tuition at Mac Tools in Columbus, Ohio and another three days in Sheffield. Three days of mentor training in Jason’s home town of Weston-Super-Mare for hands-on, guided experience followed.
“This new career is very different to what I have been used to and a complete new challenge in its own way. However, I am feeling really confident about running my own business because the Army teaches you how to think dynamically and deal quickly and effectively with problems as and when they occur.
“I would recommend that someone with an interest in starting their first franchise should talk to at least two existing franchisees, preferable someone who has just recently started and someone who has been in the business for a long time. Make sure this is what you want to do and that you are prepared for the work that you will have to put in to making it a success.
An average day for Jason starts around 8:30am and the majority of his customers are from the automotive trade. “I prepare the van for the day, which involves having customer orders ready and deciding which products to promote”, he explains. “I arrive at my first call just after 9am and, once I’m parked, grab a few items from the van, as well as any customer orders.
“My first port of call is always to the Garage Manager or the senior Technician to announce my arrival and deal with any issues for the garage. I then work methodically through the garage or dealership until I’ve spoken to all the staff who may be interested in the product I’m talking about.
“I’ve tried working through lunch breaks and tea breaks but these appear to be set in stone in the motor trade! I usually wind up the day about 5pm and I’m home by 6pm. I sit down again at about 7pm to read emails and check in tools, but this usually only takes about 45 minutes. I work for a couple of hours on Saturdays; cleaning the van and restocking tools delivered on a Friday night.
“I’m enjoying the fact that I only really work a five-day week. This means that I am able to spend much more time with my family. Although I often miss the action and adventure I had in the army, the response from the local motor trade has been terrific and I’m kept really busy raising awareness of Mac Tools. It’s definitely an encouraging start.”
For more information please call 08450 6000 60 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Company website: www.mactools.co.uk