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Obviously the industry is suffering through one of the most challenging times in recent history. This forum is a direct reflection on how ALL of us in the Auto Glass Repair/Replacement industry are percieved by the public (our customers.) I find it interesting how this unique tool supplied to us by AGRR/GlassBYTEs.com has been turned from an informative (i.e. installation tips, parts locator, Q&A, etc.) into a (sometimes) hack site. This being said- let me dispell some of the negative (and incorrect) issues brought forth in several threads- " Diamond/Triumph closing some area shops, and Diamond seeking service partners?".
Yes, D/T recently did close 15 service locations, with 4 market pullouts.
Yes, D/T does have some commercial interests in markets they do not cover.
Yes, Norm Harris did RETIRE (not resign).
Yes, D/T is "cleaning up" .
The obvious general position from a lot of you is that D/T is the scourge of the industry, and the independents are the persons who are affected by the larger "National" chains. Let's not forget D/T was, and still is, an independant- owned by Ken Levine. If you start with one location, and it in turn spawns another, and another, and another location, at what point do you stop being independant and become a National Chain? I know there are several posters on this forum who started out of their trucks, and have gone on to have 3,5,7,9 locations or even more. Are they a threat? Are they not competing with other glass companies in their area(you)? Have they not experienced employee turnover (through firings or competitor wage wars or underperformance)? If you choose to dislike-HATE D/T because we are capable of growth and market strength, so be it. But I for one can tell you- WE ARE NOT GOING ANYWHERE.
Do you truly believe we would do a job for cost or at loss just to get the job (per several posts)? Can we sell lower than you because have better buying power? ABSOLUTELY! When I get accused of driving down market pricing, I shake my head. Do you know how many calls a day a D/T branch recieves where the CUSTOMER will inform us they have recieved at least 3 lower quotes? This is our competetion driving down the cost.I know of a competitor who is an Ex - D/T employee (yeah, I know you) who advertises to ALL commercial customers that he is willing to sell for $5.00 over cost so D/T won't get the job. He does have the financial backing to do this and just the mindset to follow through. As far as employee satisfaction is concerned, do not each of you wish that your faithful employees actually cared about the install they were doing, and not how much would be in their check on Friday? Don't disillusion yourselves, I can feel the response to that comment coming. When you have an installer who is making (actually EARNING) the top end of the pay scale how many installs would you expect at the end of the day- 4? 5?- 8?- 10? Let's face it, for the hours worked, and the pay recieved, you all look to productivity to justify your employees.
Do you give monthly bonuses to top earners? Do you provide quarterly recognition to your employees? Do you provide annual recognition? Years of service? Do you attempt to locate and procure the latest tools for testing, to improve the quality of your installs? Can you say, when your head hits the pillow, that YES I have made an honorable attempt to give my employees the best working environment possible? Do you provide a new van once a year (we do)? Have you implemented 401(k) for your employees who have no retirement plans? How is you health insurance, do you have any? (Ours is great we just upgraded our provider & contract). Did you know we rate performance and once a year the top shop WINS A CRUISE FOR ALL EMPLOYEES AND SPOUSES (True-last year they went to Cozumel)? Have any of you offered that???
Yes, there is new leadership at D/T,and the direction we are headed is a positive one. Knowing your comany has Values and stricter compliance guidelines does not a bad company make. Releasing the underperforming,or the unenthusiastic, is not a sign of weakness or bad leadership, on the contrary it is business 101. People do not get release without cause, that much is clear. I welcome anyone out there to challenge any business practice we have. I for one would use that challenge to my advantage to motivate. The strength of D/T is it's employees. Let's all remember, this is AMERICA, the home of free enterprise.
Let's use this forum for what it was designed for, negativity accomplishes nothing.
Best of luck in your endeavors- I know mine will be just fine.
You should keep a closer eye on some of your branches that are stuck in the old days.I know for a fact that you are trying to speak for a company in whole,but the bottom line is that not all of your shops are playing ball.good luck,your going to need it to!!
I almost forgot,I have challenged your bus practice for awhile now and kicked you almost completly out of a market on quality (not hard to do)and price.You guys are not flawless.I will be looking forward to all of the replys!
I for one welcome D/T’s new outlook in the industry and I have commended Mr. Levine a number of times for his accomplishments. But, I also would like to add that Mr. Levine in the early days had a saying that he repeated many times to motivate his troops and that was “remember the glass is free.” At the time it worked, because the average selling cost was three times what is today. But D/T is not 100% innocent in the reputation they have acquired for themselves. If your salespeople walk into accounts selling only on “WE WILL NOT BE UNDERSOLD”, what do you think people will say about you?
I think I would agree with 95% of the things you said with the exception that you don’t set the price in certain markets. D, you don’t need to convince me that D/T and other independents out there are good, solid, reputable companies that deserve to be compensated fairly. D/T needs to convince the TPA’s, fleet, cash and wholesale customers of that otherwise the vicious cycle will continue with LYNX, SGA and the rest of the world the winners
ok, as good as what was written sounds, I'm afraid that D/T's darkest days are still very much ahead of them-With numerous ex-employees that stayed in the business out there chipping away at their market share, I would suspect even more branch closings-they also stand to lose a large segment of their fleet accounts as well-it's already well underway and growing every week in this area-as long as they keep their operations management in place, they haven't a prayer-
The situation must be more dire at D/T than I imagined. Forgive us if we dont drink the Kool-aid.
"We will not be undersold" Where did we ever get the idea that you were driving down market pricing? "We will not be undersold" When you have customers telling you that competitors are lower, you match or beat those prices, right? "We will not be undersold" I believe even those that havent taken 'Business 101' realize that your business model is full of holes.
OK this should be fun. Thank you for such an enlightening post. D/T may now be privately owned, however that was a recent fact. It is a plain fact in these forums you have a few ex employees who beg to differ on MANY points. Not just because they were fired for cause, but because most of them were either let go for the most inane reasons( practices that still continue in EXECUTIVE positions ie the power couples running the show.) Or they walked on their own because a person can only be abused and taken advantage of so much, or held onto until some lawsuits are finished and you have served your purpose. Do we truly believe you would do a job for cost or less? ABSOLUTELY!! Been there done that! Monthly bonuses to top earners? What ever! A bonus with a cap? A crusie for someone who didn't do the work, but took the credit anyway? Quarterly recognition, annual recognition ( I heard there were no raises again this year) Releasing the underperforming or the unenthusiastic? How are to get enthusiastic about a place that can not supply enough manpower to do the job so the burden gets put on 1 man alone or get excited because each week a new group of longterm dedicated employees are let go? I was always taught, that if it looks like a duck and acts like a duck... no matter how many times you change the name it is still a duck. And D-Flawless? Are you talking about the 40 carat diamond in the lobby? You can't mean the companies reputation!
sorry d-flawless, but d/t is the cancer in the auto glass industry, just read your own yellow page ads, listen to your local csr's on " what is the best price you have got? we'll beat it! your spots will never change, your headed in the right direction as far as your competitors are concerned, and that is chp 11, your competitors know how to beat you at your own game now. i wish i could give you a quarter so you could call someone who cares what changes d/t is making. i will do just what i can to help you fail, just as you tried on me!
Anyone proud enough of their company and practices to write such a passionate discourse, should also be proud enough to use their name.
Nice speech, but I agree with the majority of posters behind you - "we will not be undersold" pretty much identifies your strategy and gives consumers a pretty strong reason to ... lets say "stretch" the truth about prices. It also puts the crux of the decision on the one thing that hurts us all - a price that is to low.
I know what your stores will do; I have price checked you in multiple markets at multiple times for years. The result of my surveys shows the reason for your "less than optimal" position as of late.
I do applaud the strategy change. It takes a lot of guts to basically say that the foundation you have based your business on for the last decade plus is flawed. I also recognize you as an independent. Turning a mom and pop into one of the most powerful glass retailers in the US takes one hell of a lot of vision, work and talent. I hope the strategy works for your employees sake and the good of the industry.
Great Post! I agree the company is changing at the speed of light for the better. The old leadership caused us all a lot of issues but I do think they are now going to do as they say. The new team has a plan and does what they say. They are very serious and do not at all tollerate bad behavor. It will take time but watch. I for one am on the train with them and would not want to be anyone who is playing games.
When are all their stores going to get on that train.Here in the midwest they are still giving it away.most sheilds in for less than 175.Even if they have to drive an hour to do it.dumb!!!I hope they get rid of the people that are ruining it for them and everybody else.It looks to me that alot of their problem is the people under their own roof,not so much their competion.
I will now set the record straight. I have owned my glass co for 4 years.....Prior to that I would for a national supplier for MANY MANY years.
I actually helped D/T set up shop in my market at the time.....This was an area and a time when it did not make any sense for D/T to supply glass to this location so we picked up the ball and ran with it.
I took the 2 fellas(owners of D/T at the time .. brothers I beleive) from PA out for a dinner and a few drinks on the day they came to check out the crappy little low rent building (wich they are still in).that they had just obtained.
I got to hear the market plan from the man himself.....Goes like this.
We at D/T compare ourselves to Lowes or Home Depot...These big hardware stores come to a market and sell at a lower price until they have put all the little Mom and Pop hardware stores out of business. Then once that is done we can slowley raise our price.
He explained to me that this is the way they were comming to my market....D/T will undercut any glass price until they have ran the little guy out of business and then slowely raise there price (Yeah that plan worked) Havent you noticed 10 years later all the little guys are gone :)
Let me give you a little heads up on how wonderfull this little Mismanaged company is ran .....
Within 9 months of my then employer taking on this nightmare called D/T ....They were over 1 million in debt to us nationwide and was placed on the national DO NOT SELL LIST .....
10 - 12 years later (time flys) they have the FEDS on there a$$ .... Closing shops ... FIRING people...Covering up ....Same crap different year.
Now for wonderful techs D/T has now.
Lets see 1 man in a van doing 14-16 a day by himself.....Hmmm you know thats some quality work ... LoL
As far as how cheap D/T will go......When I have a price shopper call me...I quote a price...Then they say the magic words....You are very High....Really who quoted you and at what price?
Oh...D/T will do it for $XXX .... I then have a little fun and quote a price that is just friggin rediculos ... Guess what D/T takes the job.
I love it when it is a part that is Net Priced at $300.00 and they do it for $165.00 ... LoL
I have been standing in the presence of one of the D/T regional managers..I will not say his name ...( because we go waaay back ) But he was an Harmon employee that got fired for sexual harrasment ... oops did I say that. (Yeah the winner is a buddy .. LoL)
This 3 time loser stood in front of his CSR and said take EVERY JOB regardless of profit or loss ... This is from a area manager .... The Home Depot plan raised it ugly head.
What a freakin Joke!
D-FLAWLESS you are absolutly lost and clueless in regards to the company that you come here thumping your chest about.
well, my my my it seems you have stirred the pot a bit! Good for you coming forward. Now it seems that someone other than the "disgruntled" ex D/T employees are calling this company out. Of course D/T wants everyone to believe that the employees that are being let go are being let go for legitimate "cause" as they put it. However, doesn't it seem they have been getting rid of the "underperforming or unenthusiastic" because they may have been aware of the BAD business practices. All of these employees were not running the company they were doing what they were instruced to do. There may very well be a new team running this company but there is a handful of employees still there who should be cowaring in corners wondering where they will be a year or two from now. Jobless... perhaps, something a bit more unnerving.
How is D/T going to track the flat glass inventory when they can't track what they have now?
For twenty bucks a case, you can get as much urethane as you want out D/T here in the NorthEast. I don't do it but, it is so bad over there that it caused our company lock up the urethane. I knew a two man shop that didn't buy a legitmate case of urethane in two years.
You would think after that amount of time D/T would see something is up with the amount of urethane being used.
The no raises this year comment above is absolutely true. I'm fairly new to the industry. D/T was paying me dirt for wages, but still expected 7-9 jobs a day with no overtime and PLENTY of drive time (200+ miles on some days). Finally a competitor leveled off a much better offer. When I took it D/T finally ponied up and started offering more, but like I told 'em...its too late. I admire you guys who start your own business...I plan on doing the same sooner rather then later.
In responce to your statement.."I welcome anyone out there to challenge our business practice".
I'll give it a shot.... The practice of engaging a PR firm (if this is the case)to spew this bloviating, ineffective, rambling statements of defiance, threats and tossed into the mix, (Crying towel) self pity, your reward will not be the empathy you crave, but rather the *apathy you deserve (to date).
*If D/T's new team is serious about the (re)birth of a new and improved company and it's image, new management may want to consider some time away from the office to hit the streets. Get out there, open their eyes and see for themselves why this nationwide apathy exists towards their company. If effective change isn't realized, then D-FLAWLESS will be right, "D/T is NOT going anywhere"!
All the smoke & mirrors don't change the truth of DT's business practices, D-FLAWLESS.
The following is an actual email sent to insurance agents by a DT salesman. It has been forwarded by me to the AG and FBI:
Reno <> wrote:
From: "Reno" <>
Subject: Fw: Louisiana Trip
Date: Thu, 3 Aug 2006 19:01:16 -0500
Triumph Auto Glass
WOULD YOU LIKE TO GO TO LOUISIANA WITH US? IT IS OUR WAY OF SAYING THANK YOU FOR YOUR BUSINESS.
We are inviting our friendly agents to join us on August 26, 2006 to attend a day in Kinder, Louisiana. We have limited seating so please sign up as soon as possible. We will provide breakfast and drinks. We will depart from the ----- located on IH 10 & ----- next to the Target Store. Depart time will be at 4 am saturday morning and return 12 midnight from Kinder, Louisiana. if you have additional questions please call me at xxx-xxx-1624.