Streamline offers profit potential for powertrain services with cleaners, lubricants, equipment
Temecula, Calif.—Powertrain services, including underhood, transmission, differential, and other fluid exchanges, are among the services many shops featured in Parts & People list as a large portion of their business.
The team of dedicated professionals at Streamline Dynamics has been helping independent repair shops, dealerships, and fleets achieve greater profits by filling the need for top-quality cleaners, lubricants, and equipment on the West Coast for more than two decades, company president Brian Crandell said.
Crandell said he was introduced to automotive chemicals at the age of 14, working for his uncle, who owned a wholesale automotive parts warehouse in Denver. His passion for chemicals didn’t coalesce, however, until some years later.
“After moving to California and getting married I met a gentleman from Northern California named Ron Fuller,” Crandell said. “Ron was a wonderful guy and became a mentor for me.”
Crandell said Fuller taught him the importance of on-site training for technicians and was a big believer in specializing, which helped Crandell’s business focus.
“We started in business 22 years ago and we have been Streamline Dynamics Inc. since 2005,” he said. “Our focus has always been on providing service departments, shop owners, and technicians with the products they need to keep their customers’ vehicles in great condition for reliable, efficient motoring – and increase the profit potential of their service and maintenance programs.”
Crandell said the company also has one of the sharpest men in the industry as its technical consultant: technician, educator, and instructor Bryan Perrin.
“Streamline also offers a variety of intake valve de-carbonization equipment and fluid exchange machines for shops. Just ask us for a demo.” said technical trainer and equipment repair guru: Robert Wielenga.
“Shops and dealerships have some nice options to choose from with our program,” Crandell said.
Streamline doesn’t stop at providing top-quality fluids, and both new and refurbished equipment -- the company also provides personalized on-site training.
The chemist in charge of blending Streamline products has decades of experience in the business, Crandell said. He knows its customer base demands quality, which gives the team a high level of confidence when they do demonstrations and training.
“On-site training is a huge plus for our customers. Employee turnover can be a challenge for GMs and shop owners, Crandell said. “They need someone that can get a new tech up to speed quickly. If you have a new tech doing service on a $60,000 Cadillac Escalade, you need that individual to do the job right. You don’t get two strikes like in baseball.”
Equally important is product sales training for service writers and people on the parts counter, Crandell said.
“It’s critical that they be kept updated with what’s happening in the industry so they can be of greater service to the consumer. It’s a complex business and education is essential.”
Three trends Crandell said are good opportunities for shops and dealerships are brake fluid exchange, gear oil replacement, and direct injection de-carbonization.
“We’re starting to see more automotive manufacturers embracing regular brake fluid exchange intervals. We think this is a really important and overlooked service,” he said. “Some technicians are still just sucking fluid out of the master cylinder and topping off. They probably need to look at a power brake bleeder/flush machine. It is such a great service for the consumer.”
A big trend Crandell sees is gasoline direct injection (GDI) because the combination of increased power and improved fuel economy is a real plus. The downside is the carbon build-up issue.
“Regular maintenance with our Boulevard Black Label fuel system cleaner, Vornado Synthetics injector cleaner, and Velocity22 induction de-carb product goes a long way in keeping these motors clean and volumetrically efficient,” he said. “Educating the consumer about the maintenance needs of vehicles with GDI is key.”
As technologies change and new needs arise, Streamline responds by creating new products, Crandell said.
“We try to add two or three new products per year. In 2015 we added a super-effective brake quiet that is applied to the puck surface of the brake pad and a non-clay, dust-free oil absorbent,” he said. “We’re bringing four new products to market this summer.”
Crandell said Streamline isn’t just a family business; it is a business family that understands the challenges that parts managers, service managers, GMs, and shop owners face.
“Our Streamline team in the field who call on shops and dealers are a super bunch of guys,” he said. “Our prototypical distributor is honest, intelligent, and hard-working. It’s just a great combination.”
Crandell said “cookie-cutter” programs just don’t seem to work in the industry now, so, Streamline makes it a point to listen to its customers.
“Different shops have different needs,” he said. “We try to custom-tailor our program for each customer by determining what is best for the shop and what is best for the consumer.”
Streamline isn’t owned by a Wall Street company, which Crandell said means it can keep its pricing super-competitive.
“We really appreciate it when our customers tell us, ‘Wow! Your products really work and your prices are really good,’” he said. “That’s why we say ‘Streamline is your pipeline to profit.’”