When Pete Woolford, director of Silverstone-based tyre specialist Black n Rounds, was constructing his business plan for his new tyre servicing business, he always knew that wheel alignment would have an important role to play.
With a background in motorsport, Pete fully understood the need to set up race cars in a detailed manner and knew this could be equally important for road car customers too. Consequently, Pete set about researching the market and having discovered that Hunter was considered the best on the market, he was equally happy to find out that the exclusive UK supplier, Pro-Align, was based just four miles away!
“With my motorsport background, I knew we needed a system that was technically capable, but perhaps more importantly, we also needed something intuitive so the lads in the workshop could use it easily and pick things up quickly,” explains Pete.
“This is exactly what we’ve got with the Hunter system. We put cars on the aligner and then call customers over before we’ve even touched the vehicle so they can instantly see what needs doing. It’s essential from the point of sale perspective.”
The results of the alignment check back up this approach taken by Pete and his team. The business charges customers £25 for the initial check to see what needs doing to their vehicle, and approximately 80% of cars show an alignment error that needs adjusting. Of these, on average more than three-quarters of customers decide to have the corrective alignment work carried out, creating a valuable revenue stream for the business.
“We position ourselves as being experts in what we do. That means we bolt tyres on cars in the correct manner and provide the right service, which includes making sure the wheels are properly aligned. For us, it’s all about the customer service angle. There’s no point in a customer spending £1200 on a set of tyres if his tyres are then not going to be pointing in the right direction!” adds Pete.
So does Pete feel justified in his decision to buy the Hunter aligner? “Absolutely,” he exclaims! “We wanted the equipment to cover its own financing cost, but this month alone, we will more than treble this through the revenue it generates. It adds another dimension to the company.”