A repair workshop which is owned and managed entirely by women always receives such amazing acknowledgments. While gender has very little to do with their ability to perform a job, it is currently popular for people to be labelled and categorised in some way. The new owner of the business worked as a Manager for three years before taking the reins in April 2018. So she has a true hands-on approach to running the front and the back end of her business.
It is satisfying to know that by providing a service such as vacuum cleaner repairs and vacuum cleaner servicing it makes a huge positive impact on the lives of thousands of Portsmouth residents. Many customers use the facility on a Monthly basis to avoid having to do the dirty, dusty maintenance at home. Adding this tiny job to your cleaning schedule eliminates struggle and loss of suction overall. However, some customers prefer to use their vacuum cleaner regularly until it decides to slow down and vacuuming becomes less effective, then drop it in for a service. There is also a huge part of the local Community who prefer to refurbish over buying new. So when the time comes, and a vacuum cleaner is somewhat tired or broken, the famous Copnor Road Vacuum refurbishment is a real blessing. Therefore there are several packages available to customers to suit preferences and make life a little easier. On average the workshop will be processing around 40-50 vacuum cleaners at any one time.
Keeping Up With Demand
The services provided have changed periodically over the years to keep up with customer demand. Online reviews have been consistently positive which is a great way of knowing when things are being done well. Many businesses focus entirely on the job they are hired to do. However, it is important to understand the reasons why a customer makes contact. This one rule of thinking ensures that every single customer gets what they need and wouldn’t find a better deal anywhere else. There is absolutely no point in offering a product or service to every customer who walks in the door regardless of their circumstances. This would be a great way to make a fast profit, and many people would be none the wiser. But to be absolutely transparent and understanding of a person’s needs allows the development of a trusting and long lasting professional relationship. The Management does not have aspirations of being like any particular other business. However, there is a strong desire not to be like brands such as Dyson or Curry’s who will sell you anything they can, disregarding your real needs, and any element of sustainability.
The Dyson Hub / Dyson
Although the current business model and mission statement of Dyson makes it unworthy of its reputation, the basis of Copnor Road Vacuum Service & Repair was built on Dyson products which were produced from 1995-2014. Despite Dyson losing the respect of independent retailers and repair centers, many years ago, it did continue to produce excellent vacuum cleaners right up until the DC33 which was the peak model. This goes hand in hand with the workshop opening its doors to other brands of vacuum cleaner. In recent years brands such as Shark and G-Tech are beginning to knock Dyson off the top spot due to the quality of its products being disproportionate to the retail price. Although it is considered that Shark vacuums are also overpriced and low quality, they have managed to secure a large proportion of the market. Customers who learn this information before buying new cleaners are able to have their older Dyson refurbished before they go wasting money on a new vacuum which won’t last very long in comparison. However, the bigger brands have a huge marketing presence and they know how to make you want things even if they are not really as good as what you would expect. Therefore it goes without saying that the most loyal and happy customers are those who know the value of their older Dyson and wouldn’t consider jumping on the cordless bandwagon. So despite the renaming of the workshop to ‘Copnor Road Vacuum Service & Repair’, the business itself is still called ‘The Dyson Hub’.
One of the most frequently asked questions is: “Is this the same place that used to be in Kingston crescent?”. The answer is yes, and is always responded to with a satisfying “Great!”. Although the business and its processes have developed over the years from back-street repair shop in to professional and well established business, the foundations have always been the same. The changes made to the name of the business as well as the physical location moves have been partly down to growth and a natural progression, while others were ‘mistakes’, or what any successful entrepreneur would call a ‘learning curve’. The full story on the history of The Dyson Hub is available here. The biggest lesson learned in recent years is that a local business must never lose sight of its core beliefs and ethics. What started out as ‘Pompey Dysons’ in 2008 has always been totally independent and often worked against the grain to provide services that met the needs of its customers. In 2015 a decision was made to try to follow the trend and sell cordless vacuums. This decision cost the business dearly with a huge loss of revenue and trust. The identity of a business comes from being true to itself and its individuality. To lose that distinctiveness and originality can cause a raving fan base to simply wonder back into the crowd.
The beauty of a business being put under that much pressure is that it either sinks or it swims. After several Months of working on a new business model which mimicked the accessibility and in some way the standards of larger stores, the Management decided to go back to its roots. The approach was an aggressive and transparent portrayal of Dyson’s shortcomings and advertising tactics. The raving fans returned in droves and promoted and sustained the workshop as it reverted back to being a local and concise vacuum repair business.
Despite the doors now being open for all makes of vacuum cleaner, Dyson vacuums are still the main focus and area of extraordinary expertise. The workshop staff know everything there is to know about all models of Dyson. Understanding the entire range of products from the early DC01 right through to the latest cordless allows for the most sustainable serving and repairs. There are often little quirks or hidden difficulties associated to each model that will save you a lot of time when the workshop just “knows”. For example, the DC40 to the naked eye all models look the same. However, it actually has 2 versions which are not interchangeable. In a nutshell one version of the DC40 is sustainable to repair because the parts are available, and interchangeable between models. While the other version is referred to as ‘disposable’ because spare parts are rare. Knowledge such as this is essential for the workshop to help decide which spare parts to keep available. With the range of Dyson machines out there it may seem logical to keep spare parts for every single model. However, the staff understand that parts relating to certain models can have little to know value to the customer.
Sustainability is at the core of everything Copnor Road Vacuum Service & Repair does. It starts with value for money with the customer. For example, it would not be possible to get a service or repair on a vacuum cleaner if the technician thought it may be cheaper to buy a new one, or if the machine was about to go obsolete this would be a factor in whether or not it would be repaired. This would not be a deal breaker in all cases, because the workshop has the ability to keep machines going long after the manufacturer makes them obsolete. However, it is a major consideration when undertaking health checks. There is a page dedicated to sustainability here.
It is not possible to determine exactly how much money has been saved by Portsmouth households since 2008. However, the following assumptions can help produce an estimated total ; When a customer visits the workshop it is because there is a problem with their vacuum which they were unable to rectify themselves, thus deeming the vacuum out of service. Until very recently, when a household owned a Dyson they would generally continue to purchase another Dyson. The workshop has undertaken around 5000 major repairs, and sold/resold roughly 1500 refurbished Dysons. Therefore, working on the presumption that anybody who has a major service/repair or bought a refurbished machine would have otherwise had to buy a new Dyson, it can be assumed that they would save an average of £250. Notwithstanding the amount of machines which are turned away by the workshop because they are not worth repairing. Working with these assumptions it can be estimated that Copnor Road Vacuum Service & Repair has saved local households over £1.5 million in 10 years.
With similar assumptions and taking the average weight of plastic in one Dyson machine it can be estimated that this amount of repairing and refurbishing has prevented around 45 tonnes of plastic from going to landfill. While it is stated on Dyson.com that any machines returned to Dyson are disposed of in accordance with the WEEE directive (which can be found here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/waste-exemption-t11-repairing-or-refurbishing-waste-electrical-and-electronic-equipment-weee), it is worth pointing out that Dyson show no evidence that any machine they receive back is recycled. The only thing that Dyson need to do to meet requirements is show that any waste they dispose of is disposed of legally.