November '20

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20 THE SHOP NOVEMBER 2020 stores due to supply chain and logistical challenges overseas and domestically as business has ramped back up. "As with everyone, parts availability has been the biggest struggle," reveals Hadley of Maximum Elevation. "We got busier, but in-stock parts decreased. So, same-day or even next-day deliveries or installs are a thing of the past. That actually helped with scheduling and promise times, because we are now scheduling projects farther out while we are waiting on parts, and not trying to squeeze in last-minute installs." Painthouse's Borcherding understands the need for event cancelations, but hopes they don't last indefinitely. "We were scheduled to be at the Good- guys PPG Nationals in Columbus, the Nashville Goodguys and certainly the SEMA Show. We have a project that we were ready to debut somewhere, and all the usual events have been canceled or postponed. We were hoping that the Goodguys Lonestar Nationals would not be canceled, as we were looking to compete for the Truck of the Year – Late award. With its cancelation, this year is a write- off for us, and for a lot of other shops and customers. We are not alone in this, that's for sure. While missing a few shows is not necessarily the end of the world, if this continues, it could definitely change the industry as a whole." ONLINE SHOPPING One thing COVID has done is accelerate movements that have been under way for some time. Customers are adopting more active lifestyles, going outdoors and camping, and shopping more digitally. These trends may be a wakeup call for shops whose websites need updating, or who have not fully utilized them as destina- tions for end-users in the past. "It's definitely a weird period of time we all have to work in," says M2's Ma. "In some respects, it's great; in some, not so much. I just look forward to being home and making more progress on the website and other things I've been working on." 4Wheel Performance is among those now offering a digital retail experience. "A couple of months ago, we launched our online store on our website to allow consumers to shop from the comfort and safety of their homes," Druesedow says. The company has also moved toward more over-the-phone payment transac- tions, he adds, and has increased its focus on low-contact offerings. "Consumers have been responding to services that don't require them to leave their vehicles—for example, vent visor, bug shield, bed mat or toolbox installs. We install the product while they wait, and then allow them to pay for it over the phone." Count Ma among those who have enjoyed increased digital business. "eBay sales have more or less spiked for Q2 and most of Q3 compared to local Jeep Gladiators are prime candidates for modifications. (Photo courtesy 4Wheel Performance) Is your shop adapting to today's unique business climate? (Photo courtesy Maximum Elevation Off-Road) Jeep JLs are among those projects that seem unaffected by COVID- related business downturns. (Photo courtesy 4Wheel Performance) An industry and community leader, Dawson D. Druesedow is committed to both. (Photo courtesy 4Wheel Performance) PROGRESS DURING A P A N D E M I C

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