A classic article from the archives of PetGroomer.com
by Terry Minix, Vice President, CEO Custom Commercial Vehicles
© Terry Minix, J.T. Custom Works, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Published here with the permission of the author.
If you are interested in going mobile, the following information should be somewhat of a guideline to help assure that your investment is a profitable one.
One very important point that should be considered when choosing a conversion company is that they are a “factory authorized mobile grooming company.” This means representatives of Ford, Chrysler & GM have been to the company, and have inspected and approved the conversion and workmanship of said company. This assures the end user that both the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) such as Ford, Chrysler and GM will stand behind both the conversion and the vehicle.
There have been a lot of conversion companies in the past go out of business and Ford, Chrysler and GM are ultimately responsible for those conversions. Therefore back in 1992 the industry went through a lot of changes, and this is the way the factory monitors what is being done to their vans. A reputable company should not have a problem with meeting the OEM’s standards.
One of the most important things to be concerned about with a Mobile Groomer is “Down Time.” A good way to find out just how much Down Time you might experience with a particular conversion company is to contact customers of these conversion companies. Email is less disruptive to the current groomers and they can respond to questions at their convenience, as not to disturb their work schedule. No matter what conversion companies might say there will always be a certain percentage of equipment failure resulting in Down Time.
If the company truly cares for your business they will send you replacement parts overnight and deal with vendors and repair shops themselves. Some conversion companies require you to have written authorization before repairs can take place. This can be an absolute disaster for the Mobile Groomer. Again check with conversion companies to see how each handle this situation. Again most responsible manufactures have a policy that will allow the customer to choose who, and where they would like to have repairs made to their vehicle.
You should also be aware of the quality of the conversion. The van conversion industry is known for cosmetically making things look good, and then cutting corners on materials, equipment and workmanship. Again emailing existing Mobile Groomers will reveal if a company uses inferior materials, equipment and maintains poor workmanship.
One other point that you should make absolutely sure of is that the company you are buying your conversion from is the manufacturer, and not just a middleman / sales representative. This keeps you from having to go through several different channels for warranty or repair work. Go straight to the manufacturer for your conversion.
Mobile grooming can be a very profitable business ” IF ” the right Groomer, has the right mobile grooming conversion for their needs.