The Strength In Independence
September 1st 2017 Written by Mark Masters
Whilst strategic partnerships have huge value, the old adage of hard work, experience and not being wholly reliant on someone else goes a long way.
At the end of the day, everything comes down to supporting the customer, no matter what vehicle they drive.
To many people we are recognised as a MAN dealer and also IVECO dealer. However, the structure we have created at ETS Trucks is that we have expertise and experience with all types of commercial vehicles. This goes a long way, rather than leaning into a specific manufacturer.
The Supporting Arm
During the mid 1990s when the company was building its name as a fledgling commercial garage in Hamworthy, Poole, having the association with MAN provided the company with immense kudos. ETS Trucks MD, Colin Gale commented, I can remember people phoning us after finding ETS in the Yellow Pages. When we mentioned we were a MAN dealer, the whole scenario changed. We were not just an independent garage they were probably unaware of, we immediately had association.
Looking back now, when you are a small garage and have an affiliation with a well recognised manufacturer, it can only work in your benefit. Businesses need to find that connection.
Naturally working with well recognised commercial brands has helped grow the ETS customer base, but this has also grown by having the right team structure in place and becoming recognised for what the company does and how it supports others.
When you are wholly independent, you have to find your customers. When you work with a manufacturer, they can perhaps bring customers to you. This is via the strength of the brand and the trust that people have with a company they are familiar with.
Standing Strong & Self Sufficient
Where ETS trucks is today, whilst partnerships are important, a business should not be pigeon holed to be one sided to particular brand. We work with many makes including DAF, Volvo, Mercedes and Scania trucks, plus a whole host of models from trailers, to horse boxes to heavy goods vehicles. As Colin highlighted, There is nothing better than a customer bringing a vehicle in and for them to see another vehicle, but the same make in the workshop.
Yes, having a close connection with a brand such as MAN helps everyone. By this I mean we have parts supplied to us early in the morning and also support with diagnostic equipment.
It is also important to have experience with other makes and models. For instance, if everyone within a particular region drives a particular truck that is ok, but it only needs something to go wrong for people to become inquisitive and start to look elsewhere.
Support and connection from others is key, but a company also needs to stand on its own two feet. What we do here at ETS Trucks is to effectively create more value for those who drive a wide range of vehicles makes and models.
The key to everything is structure and becoming good at what you do, rather than becoming wholly reliant on someone else.
When you work closely with other manufacturers what it does is allow the business to keep evolving at the right pace, in terms of developments in technology and processes. However, what a company can’t lose focus on is the partnerships and relationships with customers and having the right team who represent what the company believes in.
The experience that ETS Trucks has with all types of vehicles, ensures that we can serve a marketplace in a strong way.
Whatever the vehicle make and model, it always comes to a place of experience.