Industry insights and news
Biggest challenges when choosing a car stacker
Just like engaging an agent to sell a house, so too can be engaged an agent to sell a parking system. However, just like the real estate agent would be expected to represent the agency they work for so too would be expected the agent to represent the company whose products they are selling. But this is not always the case.
There have been cases recently of agents trying to sell products from manufacturers they don’t have access or partnership with, making profit off clients and making guarantees they don't have.
Sure not all manufacturers offer access or partnership to everyone, but this comes with a risk to the agent and therefore to the customer, because this can change at any time.
Not having direct access to the manufacturer
What can happen?
- You obviously end up paying more for a system because of the inflated prices of the agent on top of the manufacturing price. Usually agents with access or partners offer a well-rounded price which is good for all.
- You may end up with a job that cannot be finished, because the manufacturer stops being able to sell to the agent, leaving you unable to complete works and being charged for delays.
- The agent may not have access to parts should this be required. Given a Builder is required to provide warranty for a year after works are completed, if something goes wrong (e.g. no more access to manufacturer) and they are under warranty they may end up paying out of their own pocket. But let’s dial it in even more, what if parts are required during installation? Sometimes these kind of distant relationships between manufacturers to agents cause long delays, because they are waiting for a part that may take a long time to be delivered, or worse - may never arrive!
What should you do?
The most simple way to avoid any unnecessary stress is to ask! Ask the person who is selling you a system if they have access or partnership with the manufacturer of the product. You’d be surprised of the information you can uncover once you start asking specific questions.
Some other examples of questions to ask:
- How many products have you installed successfully (this being the golden word)
- How long would it take to have a part delivered, if required additionally during installation?
- How easy is the manufacturer to work with? What is your relationship like with them?
- Do you offer maintenance of the product and what does this include?
Lastly, try to work with an agent who is happy to work with you right at the design stage. Someone who can offer assistance and ideas to the project, and can tell you exactly what the product can and can’t do brings value to any job.
Poor communication from agents
A huge challenge to clients is the inability of the person you are working with to effectively communicate. A lot of times we hear of the large gaps of time it takes for an agent of a product to answer specific client questions. This can be because of two reasons:
- The agent does not have enough understanding of the product they are trying to sell OR
- They don’t have direct access to the manufacturer so their query may not go to the right person or may not be seen as a priority response - causing you delays.
Another challenge is working with a yes man (or woman). There have been numerous examples of clients being disappointed and having to pay money to fix an option which they were told could be done, when in reality can’t. For example data sheets on a parking system are approved showing you will get a 2.4m wide platform when in reality this is just an overall measurement. Your end clear platform width will end up being considerably less which means the apartment associated with these measurements will only be able to accommodate a car as big as a mini.
The last challenge we see often pertains to working with the agent on the job site. How many times have you worked with a person who does not know the contract? YOU know the contract and what can and should be done but when THEY don’t, it can cause some major delays on site - not to mention the frustration!
What can happen?
- The effects of this are simple - Money. Money. Money.
- You will end up paying for costly mistakes. You will end up paying for delays. And you may end up with a product that you didn’t actually want.
- The effects of dealing with dodgy agents have cost clients a lot of time and money. They usually keep uncovering mistakes during the product installation phase AND after commissioning (which is usually worse).
What should you do?
- The easiest solution is to work with an agent who has direct access or partnership with the manufacturer. Now that you know what to ask you can save yourself a headache before you proceed with the purchase of a product.
- For those that may already be locked into this kind of situation, then ask for manufacturer information directly. An agent who is experienced and has direct access to the manufacturer will not hesitate to provide you this information.
- Research the agent and their company prior to paying for any services. Ask for references of previous jobs and clients. Ask to visit previous job sites and look at what cars are parked - ask for platform measurements. Remember YOU are investing in a product so you have every right to be happy about who you are working with!