Every marketplace founder yearns for the ‘Magic Moment’, when your marketplace works just as intended. Fortunately for us at Heave, we’ve had a few magic moments in January that reminded me of the inherent advantages of independent technicians.
Advantage #1: True Alignment With The Customer
Independent technicians are their own brand. They live job to job. Customers aren’t going to rehire a technician when they take too long on a repair or if they don’t have a good overall experience. This creates an alignment with the customer to provide the best possible service.
Conversely, every construction contractor has had that moment where they look at an OEM dealer service invoice and say aloud, “What? That took 23 hours of labor? How is this a $4,000+ repair?” The longer dealer technicians take on a job the higher the invoice.
Advantage #2: A Repair Is Just A Repair
What does this mean? Talk to any independent tech, they are hired to fix the machine and it took X hours. Most will charge a simple “call-out” fee of $75 or $100. That’s it.
With OEM dealers the repair is just one line item among many. First, the 4- hour minimum charge for the technician to arrive. Next come the labor hours for the job. Third and fourth are the dreaded ‘travel time and mileage’, which is both a flat charge and a variable ‘per mile’ charge (such as $4.50 per mile driven to/from). Last, let’s throw in an EPA charge because we are so focused on the environment. That’s a dealer service invoice. Pay attention, you’ll receive said invoice 30 days after the service was completed.
Advantage #3: Versatility
Independent technicians work on any/all brands. This greatly minimizes downtime. We’ve seen this play out already multiple times: the technician repairs a CAT excavator and the customer asks them to look at their John Deere wheel loader. One service call knocks out multiple repairs. OEM dealers are limited to their brand.