Pirtek is the number-one supplier of fluid transfer solutions and repair, specialising in hydraulic hoses, fittings and pipe couplings
Commercial & Industrial, Motoring Services
Pirtek founder Peter Duncan started his company from his garage at home in Australia in 1980. His vision was for repairs to hydraulic hoses to be completed on site, eliminating the need for costly and inconvenient trips to equipment manufacturers.
Pirtek vans would be mobile workshops, able to deal with most repairs and replacements right away and reduce customers’ downtime.
Duncan soon realised that his business would be perfect for franchising, and this strategy has led Pirtek from strength to strength. The brand
arrived in the UK in 1988, and launched in the USA eight years later. The strength of the business model is such that Pirtek has quickly grown to be the number-one operator in any market it enters.
Pirtek operates in a wide variety of industries, including automotive, utilities, manufacturing, mining and quarrying, agriculture, transport and logistics, defence, and many more. Wherever fluid transfer systems are found, Pirtek can supply replacement and repair services.
Pirtek’s promise to customers is that its mobile service engineers will arrive at a job within one hour of receiving it. It is a business that operates on a 24/7 basis. As well as its mobile units, Pirtek has Service Centres throughout the UK and Ireland where customers can bring hoses, couplings and fittings for repair at the trade counter.
The Pirtek UK franchise model is structured as a business format franchise – the franchisee takes control of a region of the UK and will be in charge of at least one Service Centre and several mobile workshops.
The Service Centre is open to customers and can provide repairs at the trade counter, while also acting as the warehouse for storing equipment and supplies for the mobile service engineers visiting clients on site.
The franchisee will be purchasing an existing business either on an assets basis or both assets and liability.
The Service Centre building is usually leasehold, with the lease being transferred to the incoming franchisee. The mobile workshops (vans) are sometimes leased to the franchisee or sometimes purchased outright. This is up to the franchisee. All new purchases include sufficient stock to start trading right away.
After this, the franchisee will need to purchase new stock from Pirtek UK periodically. All stock comes through Pirtek so that the company can maintain the highest possible standards in the products they use and supply.
Franchisees must be prepared for the challenges of a business that must be available 24/7 for customer emergencies. They must also be good at leading a team, as they will be managing a team of mobile service engineers as well as Service Centre staff. Financial acumen is important, as is the ability to spot new business opportunities. Franchisees are encouraged to run their own local promotions using approved printers and branding.
Costs of acquiring a Pirtek UK franchise can vary significantly depending on area. Some franchises have only a couple of mobile workshops while others could have as many as ten. Pirtek UK protects both the outgoing and incoming franchisees, ensuring that a fair price is paid and received for the franchise business.
Typically, a bank will provide 70 per cent of the total outlay required to purchase a franchise, with the franchisee required to provide around £70,000-£100,000 themselves. However, this figure could be higher if purchasing one of the larger Pirtek UK franchises.
Pirtek UK charges an initial franchise fee of £30,000 + VAT. Franchisees also pay a monthly ongoing Business Development fee of 1.5 per cent of retail sales – this is used to support the Pirtek network. Other monthly costs such as IT and accounting costs will vary depending on the size of the franchise.
Pirtek UK has been operating franchises since 1992 and has a longstanding and successful business model.
Since Pirtek UK franchises are well established and have a low failure rate, the company has a good relationship with the major banks when it comes to securing funding for franchisees. Franchisees will have guidance from a Pirtek UK Commercial Manager at the initial meeting with the bank, and will typically be able to secure 70 per cent of the funding cost as a loan from the bank.
Since Pirtek UK already operates franchise regions across the entire UK, there are no opportunities for new franchise locations. All new franchisees must go down the resale route and purchase an available existing franchise.
Existing Pirtek UK franchises available for purchase are advertised on the Pirtek UK website. However, franchisees are often in place long term and consequently franchise availability is relatively rare.
A wide range of people become Pirtek franchisees, many with no previous experience of the industry. In the larger franchises, the collective team knowledge can provide vital support for an incoming franchisee still learning about the industry. In the smaller teams, some prior knowledge on the part of the franchisee can be useful.
However, all franchisees need to be able to demonstrate business and financial acumen, team-management skills, and be able to work within the established business model of Pirtek UK, using its own systems and IT to their full potential. They must also be willing to work to the customer promise of emergency call-outs attended within one hour, and manage the availability of Pirtek engineers 24/7.
All Pirtek UK network staff, including franchisees, attend a residential course at the dedicated training facility in Birmingham. The City and Guilds-accredited course provides full training on choosing and using Pirtek products correctly, with a strong emphasis on health and safety procedures. Pirtek prides itself on its commitment to a safe working environment for all its staff and customers, and holds the international health and safety certification OHSAS 18001. There is also a Centre Management course available.
Pirtek UK is a market leader in its field and is also a well-established and successful franchise model. Successful franchise applicants receive an existing business, with its employees and stock all in place and ready to start right away. The thoroughness of the application process to become a Pirtek UK franchisee ensures that both the franchisor and franchisee fully understand each other and can start their business relationship with confidence.
Support for franchisees is available from Pirtek UK right from the start of the application process through to the ongoing business of running the franchise. Assistance with marketing is also provided, although costs need to be met by the franchisee. Franchisees have access to Pirtek UK’s Shared Sales Resource initiative, as well as a team of Sales Development Managers to help their business thrive.
Pirtek reviews can be read at glassdoor.co.uk and at indeed.co.uk , but be advised that many reviews are by employees rather than franchisees.
After applying for a Pirtek UK franchise, potential franchisees go through a three-to-six month assessment process to ensure that they are a good match for Pirtek UK, and vice versa. The first step is to contact the Area Operations Manager in the relevant region, after which there will be various paperwork to complete, followed by further meetings and assessment exercises. This part of the assessment is overseen by an independent organisation.
Once the paperwork is complete and the confidentiality agreement signed, potential franchisees will have the opportunity to view the accounts of the franchise they are interested in, as well as talk to existing Pirtek UK franchisees.
After the successful completion of these stages, the negotiation procedure will begin between the incoming franchisee and the existing franchisee looking to sell. A Pirtek UK Commercial Manager will be involved at this stage to assist with legal and funding issues.
To begin the application process, complete the enquiry form on this page.
New articles added every week
Hand picked franchise opportunities just for you
First class help and advice for franchising and business
We have the industries best contributors on board
Inspiring and insightful franchise case studies