New company offers ‘total package’ for sophisticated automotive equipment
Paola, Kan.—As the automobile’s onboard technology advances evermore rapidly, the equipment used to service it is also becoming more complex. Combining their experience in information technology and automotive equipment service, brothers Cameron and Justin Cordle formed Quality Automotive Equipment & Service June 1, with their mother, Rhonda, to meet the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s shops throughout eastern Kansas and western Missouri.
“Some distributors are sales only,” Cameron Cordle said. “Some are heavy on service with a little sales. We’re focused on the whole package of sales, installation, and service.”
Some companies, including OEMs, are increasingly asking for reporting capabilities from service equipment to validate warranty claims, such as for an out-of-round tire, Cordle said, which requires integrating “smart” equipment with the shop’s management system. Alignment machines and the Hunter Engineering Road Force balancer currently have that reporting capability built in, and he looks for all automotive equipment to include those features in the future. Other features can speed up service through additional intelligence.
“It’s to the point that Quick Check alignment machines at the dealership are looking at your license plate, referencing that with CARFAX, pulling your VIN, and they know who you are before you step out of the car,” he said.
Cameron Cordle has seven years of experience as a service representative for Hunter Engineering, and nine years in information technology, specializing in setting up wireless and cabled networks, while Justin Cordle spent nearly 11 years in HVAC installation. Both have grown up around the automotive equipment industry, though, as their father, Bruce, has been a Hunter Engineering sales representative for 30 years, with five years with Bear Automotive Service Equipment before that.
The most advanced equipment can enable a shop to employ either a lesser qualified technician, or to have more technicians using the same equipment because of the speed it offers, Cameron Cordle said, noting that although the Hunter Engineering Revolution commands about a 33-percent premium over the Auto 34 tire machine, the Auto 34 requires a more skilled technician to operate it because of the manual inputs it requires.
Hunter Engineering, Rotary Lift, and Rousseau Modular Cabinets are three of the company’s 21 product lines, selected with an emphasis on quality brands that will serve the day-in, day-out needs of a professional shop, Cordle said, from floor jacks to capital equipment. Although budget-priced brands from an online equipment distributor can be tempting, he said, the cost savings are not there if the equipment will need replacing more often.
“We want to have a certain standard for what we sell and install and to have good product knowledge,” Cordle said. “Some distributors will sell four different tiers of tire changer product lines to try to hit price points, but we would rather support one premium line we are familiar with and believe in, and that benefits our customer.”
The company employs three additional salespeople-and at press time, a fourth slated to start soon—including Bill Fairbanks, who is semi-retired after previously owning the similarly named sales company Quality Service Equipment with Rhonda Cordle, and who sold his inventory to the new company. Justin Cordle heads up the service side of the business, and the company is looking for additional technicians. Cameron’s wife, Ashley, manages marketing, the website, and HR duties.
As the company grows, Cameron Cordle said it is positioned to serve accounts big and small, including bidding for new-car dealership installations. Using a 3D shop-design program, it can design the layout of an independent or dealer shop to show what vehicles and equipment will fit in an existing or new floor plan. The sophistication allows an accurate prediction for considerations such as if a vehicle can make the turn around a corner into a service bay, or if there will be enough room for working around a vehicle or to open its doors.
“We’ve had it happen where people will get the blueprints from an architect and we can show that it wouldn’t clear it, so it’s changed what they installed in there.”