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Tools USA Customer Service Desk

FROM THE DESK OF GINA GILCHRIST: CUSTOMER SERVICE REP

photo-1For any successful company, their customers make them who they are. When problems arrive, the first point of contact is the customer service department. We are like fire fighters on the front line, fighting fires that range from defective equipment returns to making sure the equipment that a customer needs is correct before we send it out to them.

We get happy customers calling to say thank you and we get irate customers calling because something wasn’t what they thought it was. Whatever the situation, I am here to help them become a client of ours for life. That’s my job.

We don’t want to lose any customers because of poor service. I understand that there are customers out there that just can’t be pleased, but we will try everything we can to solve any issue that they have. I believe in being diligent and giving a lot of TLC to our customers.  As a customer service rep at Standard Tools and Equipment, I know that what I say and how I respond to our customers will go a long way and have a huge impact in our customers experience.

There is article after article about great customer services. Tips, tricks, software, pop-up windows and such … but what I believe makes great customer service goes all the way back to my  Kindergarten days, “Treat others as you would like to be treated”. It’s simple. We believe in our customers, and we enjoy them. I truly enjoy my interaction with them each day. Please let me know how I can assist you.

Check out some more about our Customer Service policies here.

Order Shipping and Delivery at Tools USA

WHEN IS MY ORDER SHIPPING & WHEN WILL IT DELIVERED?

I bought something online the other day and was shocked to find that it would take almost airliner with a globe and autoloader with boxes in a containertwo weeks to be delivered…. For a pair of shoes! The well-known company I used shipped it UPS to my local USPS center, where it sat for 2 days until it is was delivered to my local carrier and finally to my house. It would have been easier to just go to a local store and get it… but then I wouldn’t have gotten such a great deal, and in my size.

As we all drive up and down the interstate, it’s hard not to see trucks traveling up and down, carrying products to their final destination. To stay competitive and the spontaneous ability to ship anywhere, most companies use an outside carrier to ship their products all over the country and to international destinations.

Shipping and delivery at Tools USA is quick. In shipping our products to you, we use Estes Express, Road Runner, Wilson Trucking or UPS.  We know how anxious you are to receive your order, so we make every effort to get your equipment out our door in a timely manner. If you place your order in the morning, and it’s in stock, we strive to have it out the next day.

Once it’s on the truck, we have no control over when your equipment will arrive to you. We do meet with the trucking companies often and negotiate on our customer’s behalf for fair shipping prices and suitable shipping times.

One of the services our customer service team offers is a phone call to let you know when your order leaves our warehouse and to give you an estimated time to expect it.  We recommend that once you receive a call from our customer service team, you call the trucking company and setup a time for delivery. We’re happy to give you the trucking company’s contact information. That way, you will be informed of any delays on their end as well as be prepared to accept delivery when they arrive and start enjoying your order!

Extra Tip: Be sure to inspect your order for shipping damage before you sign for it!

Have you ‘Visited’ your auto body shop lately?

Interior of Messy Car Repair ShopImproving Your Auto Body Shop & Increasing Your Profits
by: Tracy Beach

One of the things I like most about my job is that I get to see our products in action.  When I am visiting a shop to see specific products, I also get a perspective of processes and the overall professionalism of the shop. Over the past several months I have made several observations that seem obvious to a visitor but went unnoticed by the shop team that was there every day.  The following notes are not intended as ‘Duh’ comments, but as simple things that can make a shop more professional and profitable.

Warning: some of these are going to make you say, “Isn’t that obvious?” Yes, but in our everyday lives, not seeing what is obvious to a visitor can slow productivity, decrease quality and decrease safety.

Continue reading Have you ‘Visited’ your auto body shop lately?

Canadian Paint Booth Standards

canada flagNFPA-33 spray application for combustible or flammable materials is authored by the National Fire Protection Association and is regarded as the top-level standard for spray booth design, use and maintenance. This booklet is available through various online sites (e.g. www.techstreet.com) for under $50.  It is used by all spray booth manufacturers in the USA and should be owned by anyone using a spray booth.  It is full of information based on past issues.  Standard Tools and Equipment also refers to OSHA 29CFR1910 and IFC codes to influence spray booth design, materials and manufacturing.
Continue reading Canadian Paint Booth Standards

Which air compressor is right for you?

Project2 (8155)For most shops, having an air compressor is a necessity. If you’re in the market for a compressor, make sure the air compressor you choose is the right one for your business and that it will meet all the requirements you need. With dozens of manufacturers to choose from, Tools USA only sells the most reputable and well-known brands. We stand by their products and they all have a 1-year parts warranty.

Whether you are going to use it occasionally or on a daily basis, there are several factors to consider. Tank size, configuration, horsepower and required CFM’s are important to think about.

Should you choose a vertical or horizontal unit? The configuration of the air compressor is important. Air compressor tanks vary widely in size, so it’s important to think about how you will be using it to determine the size you’ll need. Tools that work in short bursts—an impact wrench, for example—work well with a small tank. Tools that continuously use air such as grinders, spray guns and sand blasters will require a larger tank. If you can’t decide, be safe and go with the one with the larger tank.

As tank size increases, so does the overall size of the compressor.  If you want a big tank but have space concerns, consider a vertical tank instead of a horizontal model. To conserve space, a vertical compressor can be a big bonus when compared to a horizontal unit.

How much power do you need? The CFM and PSI ratings indicate which tools a compressor can operate. Make sure the compressor can supply the amount of air and pressure for your tools. Select a compressor that exceeds the CFM requirement of your most powerful air tool. For example, air hammers, die grinders, drills and ratchets require 4.0 CFM and around 90 PSI. High-speed grinders require 8.0 CFM while sanders are around 6- 7.5 CFM.

Air compressor motors range from simple 110-volt, 1/2-horsepower jobs all the way up to three-phase, 220-240-volt with 25+ horsepower. The electrical service available to your shop dictates the largest compressor you can install. The electricity used in industrial settings is generally three-phase power.

Learn how to choose the right size compressor from Industrial Gold.

Once you have decided the right compressor for you, maintaining it is extremely important. Just like changing the oil in your car. Daily usage and vibration of compressors can cause the fittings and bolts to loosen and should be checked when your compressor is serviced. Here are some other preventative measures you should take:


Daily:
Drain moisture from the tank
Weekly:  Check the pump oil level and top off if necessary
Quarterly: Change oil and filter, check condition and alignment of belt, flywheel and motor pulley, check operation of the safety valve, check pressure switch unloader to ensure the compressor unloads when the motor shuts down and clean dirt and dust from the pump fins and motor.
Every 2,000 Hours: Lubricate electric motor, Inspect and replace (as necessary) the pump valves, check valves, safety valves, pressure gauge, and belt(s).

Why is Industrial Gold one of the manufacturers we choose to offer our clients? We like that they are family-owned and operated since 1996 and they build all of their products with same level of pride and commitment that they started their business with. They make the simplest to operate, easiest to maintain and most reliable compressors on the market today. Simply put, they make a quality compressor at a great price and Tools USA is happy to offer the full line to our customers.

What Does Your Parking Lot Look Like?

car lotWinter is over and the cars damaged due to icy and snowy driving may have your parking lot in overflow mode.  People are ready to have their vehicles repaired and get ready for the nice cruising weather ahead. When there is plenty of work coming your way, you may think you don’t have time for anything else…. but now is the precise time when you should be investing in your shop for even more work down the road.

Ask yourself these checklist questions to make sure your shop is in optimal working mode:

  1. Is your frame straightening equipment working well, or will it hamper the work to be done?
  2. How about the hydraulic equipment and frame machine pulling clamps devices?
  3. Is your spray booth clean and efficient?
  4. Are you painting without a booth?
  5. Do you need another spray booth?
  6. How about smaller items like air compressors, paint mixing rooms, clamps and chains, frame measuring tools and sanding disks?

The best time to invest in your shop is when it you have plenty of work and cash flow coming through the door.  Make plans to improve the productivity and quality of your work NOW, when you don’t need to get a loan or settle for cheaper equipment.

Improving your shop when your competitor down the street doesn’t has a long-lasting impact on the profitability and survivability of your shop. We want to see you busy and in business for a long time to come. Let us help you today.

Sure, you can go with the cheapest deal you find online.

Frame Machine, Chassis Machine, Frame Straightener or whatever you want to call them!  In recent years, frame machine choices, prices and quality have changed immensely due to the ever-growing Internet.

The Internet has changed the frame machine market, with one- and two-man operations giving the impression that they are bigger than they are. They want the customer to think that they are viable, multi-location, well-staffed companies.  How can you tell when you’re shopping online, anyway?

With lower-priced import machines flooding the market, who you purchase from is as important, if not more, than what you buy.  You need to research the company that you are planning to purchase from to find out how long the company has been in business, how many employees they have, what type of facility they are operating from, and what level of customer service you can expect.

Sure, you can go with the cheapest deal you find online. But what you will get is very poor quality from an unreliable company. These companies don’t last long, and when they shut down how will you find replacement parts, contact customer service or get product support?

Remember the golden rule, you get what you pay for! Pay the little bit more to get a good machine from a quality company that will stand the test of time in your shop.

Tools USA has been a leader in the industry since 1979, you can trust that we will sell you a quality machine and be here for the many years that it will last you! Read More about Us!

Measuring; Before & After

Allvis in UseCollision repair shops both large and small need accurate measuring capabilities in order to return a customer’s vehicle to pre-crash condition.

The Allvis Computerized Measuring System offers simple, technician-friendly measuring with the capability to print before and after repair reports.The system saves the work orders as JPEG files, making it easy to pull them up in the future. At a price that is affordable to the smaller shop and attractive to the large multi-tech shop, this system offers you a simple, speedy operation.

With the Allvis System shops can meet the print out requirements of many insurance companies to qualify for DRP status, without the $35000 investment.  The Allvis Systems are the most practical , technician friendly systems available.  Any technician regardless of experience can measure, register and print using the Allvis systems.

Buy Before January 1st to Save Thousands.

It’s December already, can you believe it? Where does a year go? With the year coming to a close, you may hear a lot about “Section 179” and how you’re business can benefit if you are looking to purchase some equipment before 2013.

We get just as confused as the next guy when you start talking “tax rate”, “deductions” and “depreciation”. We thought we would do a little research and try to explain how this could be a HUGE benefit to small businesses.

When we say ‘equipment’, we mean any large purchase you buy to benefit your business. Some examples: a paint booth to help your productivity, a car lift to increase your repair business or a frame machine for the busy winter months. If your business needs it to increase business and it’s an ‘investment’, it is most likely included in this category.

You can even finance it in 2013, but write it off in 2012 and save thousands.

So, section179 is what exactly? It’s an incentive created by the U.S. government to encourage businesses to buy equipment and invest in themselves. Essentially, Section 179 of the IRS tax code allows businesses to deduct the full purchase price of qualifying equipment purchased (or financed) during the tax year. Wow! The FULL PURCHASE PRICE will be deducted from your gross income. (As long as the total purchase price is less than 139,000.) Continue reading Buy Before January 1st to Save Thousands.

Are Your Filters HAZARDOUS?

Waste SymbolsJust as you would in your house, your paint booth filters must be changed to protect the quality of air you breathe and the environment. For the health of painters, spray-painting operations must use paint booths with exhaust filters. Exhaust filters are designed to collect paint and other particles, preventing them from polluting the air outside the shop with paint overspray. Because the paint being collected on the filters can be hazardous, it can also make the used filter potentially hazardous.  So how do you know if your booth filters are considered hazardous waste?

1.)   Evaluate Your Filters. No matter which type of exhaust filter you use, all types must be evaluated to determine whether or not they are hazardous. Avoid conditions that could lead to spontaneous combustion in dumpsters. Both hazardous and non-hazardous filters have been known to spontaneously combust.

2.)   How Can You Determine Hazardous Filters? Determining a hazardous filter can be done in two ways.

a.)   Through knowledge of waste

-Only use paints and coatings which contain regulated metals.

b.)   Use of laboratory testing

-Arrange a testing with a company capable of performing TCLP (Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure) test.

Get more information on paint booths, filters and environmental concerns from the Environmental Protection Agency.

If your filters are hazardous, you must store them in a non-leaking container marked with the words “Hazardous Waste” with the waste description attached. To select the proper container you may want to contact the disposal facility you are planning to use. A licensed hazardous waste transporter is required to ship the hazardous waste to the disposal facility. A special paper called a hazardous waste manifest must be accompanied with the shipment.

Non-hazardous filters cannot be disposed of in or with your normal trash. Your waste is to be sent to a permitted landfill or burner by a waste hauler. Make sure filters and the paints they contain are completely dry prior to disposal to minimize the chance of fire.

In North Carolina, if the paint on the filters is DRY then it is not considered Hazardous. If the paint is WET, then it is Hazardous. Consult with your jobber, filter supplier, and/or your local authorities for assistance in properly characterizing and handling your waste filters.

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