Body store house owners and professionals are constantly on the lookout for techniques to make their work opportunities easier. It goes with out indicating that collision repair techs are very good with their fingers, so lots of of them invent new tools and procedures to aid strengthen the effectiveness of their work. One these types of tech, Robert Greer, inventor of the ThumbGun, started such a journey above a decade in the past. In truth, BodyShop Small business spoke with him back again in 2010, and we have caught up with Greer to examine on the position of the ThumbGun.
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The ThumbGun is a holster for polishing compound that attaches to your rotary buffer. With the pull of a bring about, you can squeeze out specific, even amounts of compound with out stopping. Picture reducing the require to stop polishing, set the polisher down, squeeze on the compound, choose the polisher again up and operate it yet again. Not only does it help you save treasured seconds that incorporate up about the several hours just one spends sprucing (which is usually unpaid operate to begin with), but it also saves on polisher compound waste.
Journey of a 10 years
For Greer, generating the ThumbGun has been a extensive journey complete of trial and mistake. “The initially a single I crafted — it was not quite productive,” he admits. “I designed every mistake you could make as an entrepreneur starting a organization and setting up a tool.”
Greer conceived the plan of the ThumbGun in 2009 when he was a flat-level tech shelling out three or four hours a day buffing. “You get exhausted and you start out throwing away [polisher], shaking it, dropping the bottle. I just experienced an notion — it was push a button and retain buffing and command the polish without having having to cease. It would be a huge time saver,” Greer recollects.
So, he hired a agency to support him build a homemade prototype. The organization also partnered him with a Chinese generation firm. Nevertheless, the organization pulled the trigger on generating the product or service in advance of Greer authorized the style and design, and then it would not permit him retool it without the need of paying an additional $80,000. So, even while the style was not just what he preferred, he had to take it, considering that he wasn’t about to commit that type of dollars on one thing he had now compensated for. The difficulty with the initially variation was that it experienced a pump and only dispensed one viscosity of polish. Having said that, with about 100 distinct varieties of polish on the sector, Greer understood that would not perform for the normal tech. However, he filed for patents on the products in 2009, though he didn’t get them right until 2013.
It took him almost 10 yrs to get back again into manufacturing yet again, and he learned from his blunders. In 2018, he partnered with Brian Peters, who owns a tech firm, to enhance the tool’s layout. The new model of the ThumbGun is a person Greer phone calls “the drive design.”
“It’s just a compact caulking gun with a gear travel motor,” he points out. “We built it to drive any product. It could be slender, thick, metal. Now, we have a unit that can in shape anybody’s choice of polish.”
In fact, that’s a vital portion of the ThumbGun: Mainly because Greer now manufactures and fills all the cartridges himself (preserving generation and sourcing entirely in the U.S.), he can fill the cartridges with any kind of polish a client wants. On the other hand, for people with no desire or who use Clearcoat Solutions’ (CSI) solutions, he has partnered with the business to market its one particular-stage Ceram-X Polish system with the ThumbGun. The polish bottles are a tailor made 3.5-oz. tube meant to match inside the ThumbGun, and whilst the common tech may well assume they look “too small” at first, Greer notes that the dimension is deceiving, mainly because the ThumbGun puts out just as significantly polish as is desired — much considerably less than what techs normally squirt on.
Hurdles to Selling
When Greer restarted his output journey, he was continue to doing the job total-time. Having said that, when the COVID-19 pandemic strike, he was laid off. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise even though, due to the fact it allowed him to commit all his time into his company, as opposed to thieving a handful of minutes listed here and there in a parking whole lot conducting Zoom conferences.
Considering that this total enterprise started, he estimates he’s invested at minimum $500,000 into the ThumbGun’s production. Now, of system, he’s on the lookout to commence producing a return on that financial investment. He commenced promoting in August of 2021 and so significantly has done about $5,000 in income. At this stage, he’s not only wanting at person stores as likely buyers but also chains and distributors.
Greer knows there is an appetite for his solution: Almost everyone he’s pitched it to has been interested and seen the opportunity for efficiency and time saving. Sadly, Greer has recognized a craze that he feels is a hurdle to promoting the item, and it is a very simple circumstance of human nature. “Getting men and women to modify is a different obstacle, since they just want to pick up the bottle,” he explains. “It’s ingrained in their muscle tissues now to do so.”
Even so, the opportunity is there, and 1 of the highest authorities in the planet has acknowledged it. Greer attended the 2021 SEMA Demonstrate with his product and received the 2021 SEMA World-wide Media Award, which is offered to innovators in the automotive components field. With this award, SEMA acknowledged ThumbGun’s consumer appeal and gave it “a significant probability” that the products “will resonate with customers” and fare properly as it expands into intercontinental marketplaces. In addition, some California superstar painters and detailers have also endorsed the product, which you can discover extra about at thumbguntools.com.
Greer concludes with this take note to store proprietors: “I can verify to you how a great deal time you’re saving. If I go in your shop and we do four or 5 vehicles, I can convey you the vacant cartridges, how significantly we use and how substantially time we save. But, it’s up to [you] to implement it.”