Discussing Business in Denver: CETA’s First Regional Meeting

Discussing Business in Denver

CETA’s First Regional Meeting

By Michael Hamline / Published August 2017


In Wednesday, June 21, CETA held its first (in recent years) regional meeting in Denver, CO. The meeting was hosted at Kärcher’s headquarters in the U.S., and a shuttle, meeting facilities, and lunch were provided by Kärcher. The meeting was held from 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.; the group was broken up into two roundtables with six to eight people at each table, and a wide variety of topics were discussed. Below, the topics are listed along with a few
take-aways from each session.

Topic 1: Finding, Hiring, and Retaining Employees

Tools used for hiring are Zip-Recuriter, Indeed, and Monster.com, as well as visiting vocational schools for HVAC and diesel mechanics who can transition into a pressure washing distributorship.

Referrals, from those you trust, are best to get but the most difficult. Roy Chappell with Chappell Supply & Equipment said he belongs to a professional business men’s breakfast club where they look out for each other and have integrity in their recommendations.

Dr. Marlo Dean with Kärcher said it is of primary importance to find individuals with good work ethic and character who can be trained in the necessary skills for the job.

Topic 2: Marketing, What Is Working?

Chad Rasmussen with Royce Distributors discussed how they have hired a marketing company to communicate on social media every few days, which has brought business to them.

Roy Chappell shared how in TV advertising, the 4:30–7:30 a.m. slot has provided the most calls on wastewater systems.

Topic 3: Competing In An Online Market

The observation was made that people who buy pressure washers and accessories on the Internet often don’t take their equipment to pressure washing distributors’ service departments to resolve equipment malfunctions. Instead, they often discard the equipment and buy it new.

Chad Rasmussen commented that a counter to Internet sales is the fact that distributorships have the equipment and accessories available right now and that you don’t have to wait for it to be shipped.

Topic 4: Preventive Maintenance Contracts

These can be broken into monthly, quarterly, or semi-annual contracts based on the number of hours used. More frequent use requires more regular checks of the equipment.

A danger to be aware of is that if the preventive maintenance contracts aren’t kept on a computer, then it is easy for one or more to slip through the cracks, so a reliable record keeping system is needed.

Contracts should be broken into zones, and the farther away a business must travel to service the equipment, the greater the increase in what it costs to maintain the preventive maintenance contract.

Topic 5: Rental Programs

Know your market and the type of equipment that would be of interest to rent.

Royce Chappell does business in a part of the country where oil and gas are an important industry. As a result, he has 10 trailer-mounted pressure washers that do a good bit of business.

Leases for rentals are suggested to be 36–60 months. The longer the lease the more probability of equipment breaking down, so shorter leases are wise.

Topic 6: Improving Service Department Results

Dr. Marlo Dean talked about the importance of having your service technicians having their tools organized so that it cuts down on repair time. In addition, he comments on the importance of service technicians having a clean, well-dressed look.

Reason codes for problems resolved on equipment are helpful and clearly legible.

It can be helpful to have CCTV footage at your service desk to verify who came to your department.

Hopefully, this will be the first of several regional roundtables that will bring together manufacturers and distributors to talk about best practices, common problems and resolutions, programs to implement to increase revenue, and more. Check CETA’s website at www.ceta.org for future events. 

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