International Door & Operator Industry

JUL-AUG 2013

Garage door industry magazine for garage door dealers, garage door manufacturers, garage door distributors, garage door installers, loading docks, garage door operators and openers, gates, and tools for the door industry.

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Page 23 of 119

DOORDEALERDIALOG (continued from page 18) came to writing skills and spelling, Ken turned to a lady who worked for his former employer asking her to type all the various words he didn't know how to spell. "It was one of the smartest things I ever did," noted Ken. I asked Ken why he decided to move his family to Tennessee and start a door business from scratch. His quick response was actually a question. "Have you ever installed a garage door in minus 25 degree weather?" Actually, Ken and his family visited Nashville while on vacation and were impressed with the city, the people, the environment and tremendous opportunities. "A lot of people laughed at me, a Yankee, coming to Nashville and starting a business named Dixie Door," he exclaimed. Technicians Joey Scalf,Steve Mayer, Steve Gupton, David Grizzle and Danny Millikin. Once Dixie Door was actually a reality, Ken literally hit the streets walking block after block seeking business and handing out business cards. This took place for weeks on end, and eventually his business began to grow. It doesn't take long being around Ken Knippel to just know that he is a man flled with enthusiasm and perseverance. And, as another industry veteran shared with me years ago, "Persistence wins". I asked Ken if he remembered his frst customer. He immediately responded and shared that during one of his cold calls a man told him he needed a new garage door. I responded by saying that I could repair the one he had, and thus stood before him his frst customer. We all agreed that it was no doubt the smartest thing he could have done. Ken and Eugene both concurred that the practice of repair when possible remains to be a strong attribute of the company. Tara Flora, Natalie Delph and Jade Dearborn. "Many times if not most when we offer to repair an old door, the customer will inquire about the cost of a new one," stated Eugene. "Once the customer realizes the advantages of today's new products, and has developed a trust in me, the sale is normally made," he added. Ken's son-in-law, Eugene Crumpton serves the company as General Manager. Prior to working for Ken and becoming his son-in-law, Eugene worked in the construction business, and for a local dairy. As a matter of fact, following a full day of delivering milk, he learned how to install garage doors and openers from one of the most talented trainers in the industry…Ken Knippel. Once Eugene became profcient at installation and sales, he quit his job at the dairy and became a full-time employee of Dixie Door. Eugene shared some thoughts regarding today's business and Dixie Door. I asked him to provide the readers with an operations tip, and he responded, "Know your inventory. Having a warehouse with organized, labeled inventory prevents unnecessary products, creates effciency, and keeps installers on point and on time. Keeping trucks stocked with parts keeps customers happy and alleviates extra service trips." Both Ken and Eugene shared that the new product enhancements provided by today's door manufacturers have helped their business grow. "Used to, people just wanted a pan door and weren't concerned with R values," stated Eugene. "Today buyers are knowledgeable about energy conservation and want a door that adds curb appeal to their home," he added. He also informed us that he keeps a sample of door products in his truck so that he can demonstrate the quality of each. "When a Continued on page 22 V o l u m e 4 6 i s s u e 4 2 0 1 3 21

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