One of the most prominent of all business-to-business brands worldwide, Snap-on traces its history back to 1920’s United States of America and breaking new ground with the concept of interchangeable sockets and spanners.
The company actually started marketing its products and services in the UK in 1965 and since then, the name has become synonymous with quality, service and a commitment to professional tool users.
But it’s for its concept of bringing the product to the customer – and selling via a franchisee van channel – that Snap-on are almost as well known.
With headquarters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, the company were pioneers of the franchising concept. Using fully-stocked walk-in vans, franchisees develop close, one-on-one relationships with customers by visiting them at their place of work, often weekly. This allows franchisees not only to keep them up-to-date with new products, but more importantly to deliver the level of personal service that’s become so integral to the success of the brand.
Today, Snap-on has more than 4,700 franchisees in more than 150 countries worldwide, with a 430-strong network here in the UK.
Of course, the cornerstone of Snap-on’s business is its liveried fleet of mobile tool stores. These allow the franchisee to, quite literally, ‘bring the shop to the customer’ to display, market and sell the widest selection of the brand’s 19,000-strong product line-up. And that’s not all, because each vehicle is also equipped with its own personal computer system, giving the franchisee an ‘office on wheels’ from which he can operate his business.
But that means weight and a heavy body/payload – just one of the reasons Snap-on have just added ten new EcoDaily 70C17 7 tonners to their fleet, all supplied by South Normanton, Derbyshire-based Sherwood Truck & Van.
‘We’re long-term users of the Iveco Daily,’ explains Robert Stevens, Snap-on’s UK Franchise Manager. ‘We like it’s strength, its durability and the sheer robustness of the product. But we particularly like its 7 tonne gross vehicle weight.’
‘Our franchisees spend almost all their working days in their vehicles. They’re not ‘professional’ drivers – for them, driving is part of the job, not the job itself – so they appreciate something that drives like a car, is easy to handle, sits comfortably on the road and looks after them in comfort and safety. Unlike ‘truck-style’ products, Daily does all this – and gives us a 7 tonne gross weight that more than accommodates a Snap-on tool store body.’
‘And even more in Daily’s favour, we can also offer the franchisee the option of a walk-thru cab to box facility, if this is his preference.’
All Snap-on bodies are assembled and fitted by Northamptonshire’s Kurt Hobbs Coachworks. The interiors are manufactured by Wisconsin-based Lynch Diversified Vehicles (LDV), Snap-on’s sole supplier since the 1960’s, and flat-packed across to the UK for assembly by Kurt Hobbs. It’s a partnership both have invested in, and which continues to work well for brand and franchisee alike.
And it’s that concept of partnership which is perhaps the over-riding reason why Snap-on chose Sherwood to supply these ten new EcoDaily’s.
‘Our business is nationwide,’ says Stevens, ‘so we needed a dealer who would partner and work with us and our existing suppliers in delivering these new tool stores.’
‘Sherwood pitched to us on the usability and practicality of the new EcoDaily, but then supported this with the strongest promise of customer service across ordering, financing, handover and ongoing support.’
‘Sherwood actively wanted to develop a partnership with us.’
‘And to date, with all ten vehicles now shepherded into service, we’re more than happy with the reality of that promise .’