You’re finally ready. You know what you want, you know the parts you need and you can’t wait to have a certified technician start working on your work truck or cargo van. But who do you contact? Chances are, there are several options in your area for vehicle upfitting and you can’t be sure who is best. Fortunately, doing a little research is all it takes to find the best upfitter and ensure your vehicle reaches peak efficiency!
Read on to learn where to start when you research for your next vehicle upfitting service.
Use Online Resources
When planning a vehicle upfitting, the first thing you should do is look online. It can not only help you discover ideas and specific parts, it will also help you locate the best vehicle upfitter. A quick search can even find the closest upfitters to you as a starting point!
Online listings, such as through Google Maps, will offer you more information like links to their websites. Use those links to get a better idea of what upfitter’s history and whether or not they seem like a good fit for you. Not all upfitters work with all manufacturers, so if you’re looking for an Adrian Steel distributor, you can also start with our distributor locator!
While you will want to do more research, when you reach the end-stage and make your decision, you can refer back to business listings on Google or other directories to get their address, hours of operation and contact information.
Look Up Reviews
Doing online research is bound to bring you across one of the several platforms that allows past customers to review a business like a vehicle upfitter. Don’t underestimate how important these review sites are to making your final decision!
Read through all of the reviews to get a feel for the business. You can learn a lot about a company and its staff through reviews. For instance, if reviews frequently reference things like an attention to detail, willingness to work with customers and answer questions, you’ve likely found a trustworthy source for your upfit!
On the other hand, there may be negative reviews. Pay close attention to them to see what they say. Not all negative reviews are accurate, but you can often find ways to learn more about the business through them. If all of the reviews indicate sloppy work or unethical behavior, it’s safe to steer clear.
Sometimes, negative reviews come from customers that aren’t acting honestly. Keep your eye out for responses from the business. Do they take the time to address criticisms? Do they invite the unhappy customer to discuss the problem and potential solutions? These can be signs of a company that’s not necessarily problematic, but happened across a situation or customer that simply didn’t see eye-to-eye.
Google reviews are the easiest to find – they pop up right when you search a business. But there are plenty of other review sites out there, like Yelp or local directories. Look through as many review sites as you can to get the full story about technicians and distributors you intend to work with.
Look for Established Businesses
One of the best ways to create your shortlist for ideal vehicle upfitting candidates is to look to their history. While it’s not a guarantee that a business with a long history will be reputable, it does indicate that their practices have brought customers back long enough to keep working through the years.
Fly-by-night companies pop up all the time. It’s especially easy on the internet, where you can create a shell of a company in minutes by creating a social media account and a cheap website. Be wary of businesses that seem to have very limited information. Not all new businesses are scams, but you must do some digging to make sure they’re a legitimate company.
Do you research and look for mentions of a company in local newspapers or major publications – chances are, you might quickly find a great upfitter in your area!
Speak with Other Contractors
You don’t have to rely on websites and online reviews to get all the information you need. If you’re friends with other contractors in your area, you likely have some great information that’s just a single phone call away.
Talk to other tradespeople and fleet owners to see where their upfits were done or if they know anyone in the business with a good reputation. Referrals are one of the best ways to find exactly what you need. Your closest friends and colleagues of any vocation often understand your business needs well and can recommend you to the right source for perfect vehicle upfitting jobs.
Speak with as many people as you can! Single anecdotes aren’t always the most reliable – and sometimes businesses change. Try to get the most up-to-date referrals!
Make Sure They Offer What You Need
When you’ve done your initial research and moved onto your short list, it’s time to take a close look at each upfitter and what they offer. The most important part of any vehicle upfit is that it’s done properly and with great consideration for maximizing your business efficiency.
Contact each business directly. Any upfitter worth the investment will be happy to discuss your needs, how they can help and any suggestions they may have for you. If they don’t seem like they have time for you, or recommend stock upfits that don’t suit your needs, cross them off the list!
Remember, at the end of the day, vehicle upfitting is something that should benefit you and your business for years to come. If the process takes a few extra weeks to guarantee it’s done right, you should take that extra time. Never compromise on something so critical to your productivity!
Adrian Steel Can Find Distributors Near You
Use our Distributor Locator to find sales professionals and installation technicians near you. Our list of certified, reputable distributors makes it easy to locate nearby upfitters and get to work improve your van or truck
About Adrian Steel
Adrian Steel manufactures contractor-grade products and storage solutions including shelving, drawers, cabinets, partitions, ladder racks, aluminum toolboxes, and accessories. Beyond manufacturing, our dedicated Customer Care Team and a network of highly qualified distributors can have your vehicle upfitted at a location convenient for you – at the factory, out of dealer stock, at your place of business, or through a bailment pool.
Plus, upfits installed by an authorized Adrian Steel distributor are covered for a full 3 years or 36,000 miles.
Find a distributor near you to get started today!
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