The Zymöl Detailer Experience – Thus Far!
In a change to the norm, Zymöl Europe have agreed to us writing openly on our site and on forums we sponsor about our experiences as licenced detailers. I am glad they agreed to this, because to be honest I’ve read rather a lot of rubbish both on here and on other forums in the last few months about the way Zymöl operate. I suggested to Zymöl Europe that it might be nice for us to write about our experiences so that people can get an insight into what really goes on, and how the system operates. Hopefully this will raise understanding and awareness, and allow Zymöl to be seen in a proper, factual light, rather than in tones shaded by gossip and misinformation.
So, firstly, why choose Zymöl? Well, our business plan always had us looking to approach a high end manufacturer to become affiliated, but in fairness the requirement to do so came much sooner than we originally envisaged – two years if I am honest! Anyway, with rapid growth in both the store and the demand for our services throughout the NE of Scotland, we decided it was time to invest in our future, and become ‘approved’ or ‘affiliated’ with a major brand. The decision about which brand to choose was straightforward. Zymöl is renowned for quality and reputation as a brand, and we lost plenty of work last year due to not being associated with Zymöl; a fair number of Porsche owners came to us for work and walked away when they found out we didn’t use Zymöl. Additionally, through numerous discussions with existing Zymöl authorised detailers we realised that the products were going to meet our needs for truly stunning finishes coupled with proven durability; something other brands cannot match.
The application process to become licenced (the term authorised Zymöl detailer has been replaced by the term licenced Zymöl detailer) was relatively straightforward, and overseen fully by John Barker at Zymöl Europe. In brief, you have to show that your company is suited to the brand, fill in a binding contract and pay an annual licence fee. This is not cheap, but you have to remember you are buying into a protected brand that has already engrained itself in the minds of many enthusiasts; anyone who scoffs at the thought of paying a fee to use a brand name should realise that it is potentially very lucrative, and a great way to grow your business. For us, it was a no brainer; the projected figures work even on a relatively low work rate for the next couple of years, and all this talk of Zymöl ripping people off and being greedy is simply complete rubbish when you understand that you are making a choice to pay and that the benefits of being licenced are numerous and not insignificant.
As part of the licencing process, you have to attend a training course, and there is a fee for this built into the overall fee for becoming licenced. A few people have commented that this is also a rip off and even unnecessary, but after having attended the course this last week I can say that it is worth every penny. We went to Zymöl Europe’s HQ at Parc Fermé in Dorset with an open mind; yes we can both detail to a high standard, but we both know there is always more to learn, and we weren’t wrong. Whilst we didn’t learn much new about washing or paint correction, we learnt a lot about other techniques, such as soft top care, leather care and getting the best out of high end carnauba waxes, including methods such as highlighting. Our instructor was Craig Binns (co-owner of Parc Fermé), who has won numerous awards for concours level preparation at events as prestigious as Pebble Beach. In addition, Craig and his partner Lynn have also a wealth of business experience, having built Parc Fermé up from scratch over the last 20 years to being the largest specialist valeting company in the UK today. It is fair to say we benefited from as much business training as we did car care training, and for this we are very grateful. In summary, we not only learnt how to use all of the products in the Zymöl range (including Vintage), but we also learnt numerous new car care techniques and business methods, making the course excellent value for money and highly worthwhile. Our thanks to everyone at Zymöl HQ for their hard work and hospitality.
So, where do we stand now? Well, the licencing process is complete, and we can now focus on selling the service and raising our profile further. Our pot of Vintage is due any day, and Royale will follow in a few months time, just in time for the opening of our new unit in late spring. The detailing section on the site will soon be completely revised to show new services, information and a revised gallery. We already have bookings for Vintage details, and the results of these will be posted as and when the work is completed. I should say at this point that due to certain restrictions in the Zymöl contract we cannot name other brands of products we have used when we post details finished with Zymöl products; many of you have already noticed this change of style in the few Zymöl details we have posted to date. However, if anyone ever wants to know what other products we used on Zymöl details we are happy to answer by pm, as this is allowable under the terms of the contract.
So, in summary, dealing with Zymöl has to date been a relatively pain free experience (the only pain thus far being various non licenced people objecting to our application – go figure!), and one that has opened up doors for us, and taught us new things. Zymöl is like a posh club; you pay your fees to join and get the benefits on offer. Those looking in through the window may think the club or the terms of joining unfair or worse, but in our experience so far the air inside is cosy, the management friendly and very supportive, and the products every bit as good as we hoped. We look forward to sharing more of our experiences as time passes, and if any of you have any questions at any point we will happily answer them (well, as far as we can given the boundaries of the contract!). A final thing to note; you will notice the above paints a rosy picture of life at Zymöl that raises the question of why anyone would voluntarily leave once in the door. My advice; don’t believe everything you read on forums!