Jobbers can be the top source of information for the shops with which they work. They commonly collect basic data from their customers and combine it with sales data to provide materials cost analyses to shops.
“This can help a shop determine areas of improvement,” explained Mattos. Additional information, such as paint and material (P&M) profitability, refinish hours per RO benchmarks, re-repair information and actual P&M sales/hour calculations are also commonly shared.
“Monitoring of costs and how it relates to a facility’s business is something else we do as a supplier,” said Derdich. “That’s a huge value for a customer.”
Increasingly, more jobbers are taking on the role of small business consultants for some of their shops. However, in the majority of cases, Derdich said smaller distributors will often rely more on a paint company to help them with small business consulting.
Many shops are discovering several benefits of having a team of knowledgeable professionals who truly understand the business and can advise them on business decisions.
It’s not uncommon for distributors to visit collision repair facilities on a regular basis, usually weekly, and provide relevant industry information.
“In our business, we like to get to know our customers on a personal level and also take the extra step to learn as much about their business so we can better service them,” said Bohte. “We believe our relationship should extend beyond our products to value-added and other services designed to help a collision center operate to its fullest potential.”
“Jobbers are rethinking their business model to deal with industry dynamics,” said Mattos. “However, the basic functions of a jobber continue to be an important link to the collision repair industry.”