"Wholesale parts below
IMPORTANT INDUSTRY INFORMATION
PARTS DISTRIBUTION – COSTS - AND "POLITICS"
A note to our customers about distribution:
This section will explain the industry politics affecting your business
it’s important to set up your account with us as soon as
A BRIEF INDUSTRY HISTORY:
Years ago there was only AMF and Brunswick.
They ruled the bowling industry and held patents on many machine
Machine parts, like everything else made in this country at
the time, were built to last and provide many years of
Good employees – mechanics and other staff were not hard to
find. Work ethic was high.
Patents ran out and aftermarket companies came into play.
To compete and break into the market, they lowered
prices but quality was often sacrificed.
Price wars ensued and although proprietors were initially
happy, they soon found that they were replacing parts much
Parts and labor increased as did insurance, utilities, and
other fixed overhead.
Employees became a business owner’s biggest nightmare. Good
mechanics and other staff members became hard to find and even
harder to keep. Everyone wanted a good paycheck for just showing up.
Equipment became more expensive to purchase, install, and
Centers began to rely on local distributors for supplies,
information, and capital equipment
HOW WE ARE CHANGING THINGS
CUSTOMER SERVICE (REF. EXAMPLE)
When Lifelong began 10 years ago
our company strictly sold directly to centers. Each and every time
we sold a Humpback (one example) to a new customer we would make
sure the center mechanic or owner knew to let us know when they
would be installing the first one so we could walk them through
the installation to be sure everything was installed properly and
working at 100%.
The installation of our Humpback Ball Return
is simple but there are so many variables in machines from center
to center and sometimes even from machine to machine in the same
center that there are times when field adjustments are needed for
optimum performance. Unlike kickers and PBL’s, our unit is
designed to accommodate these variables.
We did so well and had so many satisfied
customers that distributors began calling us wanting to carry our
line. We eventually began to sell them our products that started
going to centers we weren’t aware of. As a result, the
follow-ups we once did came to a stop – we no longer knew who we
needed help. Consequently installations, even by good mechanics,
were sometimes not to specs because machine variables were not
taken into consideration and they were installed in a PBL manner.
Yes, they still picked up balls, but there were long term
consequences such as belt damage. When installed correctly the
belts will last for many years of trouble free operation –
that’s why we can put a ten-year warranty on them
unlike other units that are sold with no warranty.
WE’VE GONE BACK TO WHAT WORKS BEST
AND IMPROVED UPON IT
To supply the very best service
to our customers we are now selling direct again. Even
better, we now have our own Factory Liaisons nationwide.
They are mechanics and
service reps that work between you and us
in ways that we find distributors are unable to.
In addition to being able to provide local tech support on
our products, our Liaisons are also able to provide tech
assistance on any equipment in your center by drawing on the
accumulated knowledge of our extensive Liaison Network.
As a result we have heard sales reps from
former distributors are saying we are closing down in order to
retain business. We want to assure you we are NOT closing,
in fact, we have expanded our
product line, and have added other high quality replacement
products supplied by a variety of top-notch manufacturers. We now
have worldwide distribution. Our available services far exceed
what you would expect from an ordinary distributor!
We also sell high quality traditional parts at wholesale
prices directly to you – these are not the
imported parts from
China that have been increasingly flooding the market and suppliers
inventories – we sell the best for less, so check out the rest
of our website and check out our V.I.C. prices and services.
BE AWARE: There are currently and
have been for some time, individuals on forums and chat sites that represent
themselves as mechanics. Some of these people are really mechanics
but are slyly representing other manufactures to run the bus over
their competitors. And, there are some mechanics that voice
opinions on things that they have never used or tried – as a
result, accurate, reliable information is hard to come by, making it more
difficult to make informed decisions when making purchases for
your center. When we
see this happening to our own line, a call to the center owner
usually puts a stop to the “misinformation”.
Sometimes though, manufacturers, (including us), have been
forced to turn things over to attorneys to put a stop to the
If you have questions we have answers
and can refer you to owners and mechanics who are using the item
in question so you can get real and true feedback on all products.
We have often recommended other manufactures products when
we get genuine positive feed back. For example, even though our
light ball clutch is usually the ultimate answer many of you know
first hand that we’ve recommended you use an AMF or Stalls super
rudder drive link instead of our light ball clutch depending on
the specifics of your machine measurements, conditions and
situations. We could
not in good conscience sell an item knowing in advance that it
wouldn’t perform to our standards due to conditions at your
center. It wouldn’t
be good for you, your customers or us. If it works we let you know
– even if someone else makes it and we don’t currently carry
Think about your current main parts supplier
could they, or would they, do all this for you?
That’s the beauty of the Liaison Program, they are trained not to sell you items you
don’t need. We
carry the items that you will or do need and our goal is to help
keep your costs down and your business profitable.
By consistently doing this, we are expanding an
even broader and more loyal customer base than what we already
Some suppliers will try to sell you something
simply because their profit margin is greater on it. Many don’t
recommend our door weldment rings because they know it’s the
last time they will ever sell you a door ring for that machine!
They would rather have you purchase an item with a limited
lifespan to ensure future replacement sales. Our door rings have a
ten-year warranty but are designed to last the lifetime of the
machine – a supplier’s nightmare.
We say wake up folks and understand the politics of the
industry you are in!
We are currently setting up our own web forum
that all V.I.C. customers can write in to with specific
issues, questions, and comments pertaining to any and all bowling
related products. Only our Lifelong Certified Professionals,
will provide real and viable feedback, will furnish you with
answers and/or advice. Before answering, they will most likely ask
you more detailed questions to provide the correct answer to your
specific issue – again, taking all possible variables into
consideration. (We know you’re too busy to weed through a dozen
or more nonsense responses, trying to figure out what to really
What amazes us is that on other forums, people
with little or no real experience, are answering questions they
know little, or nothing about.
In our opinion, they ought to spend less time on the computer
and more time working on the machines.
Questions being asked by “young or new” upcoming
mechanics (tomorrow’s stars) often don’t realize the questions
they ask have been answered and resolved 30 years ago.
All the years of knowledge has been LOST and the new
mechanics are now confronted as if the problem is something new
and if answered by some, who don’t know the true, answers
themselves will steer the mechanic into a horrible situation.
Our Liaisons were once those young up and
coming professionals years ago and can share a lifetime of
reliable information with you. Some of our Liaisons are young and
up and coming stars that have been taken under the wing of our
more seasoned Liaisons. It is not possible for you, me, or any
other mechanic to know it all, so our network of professionals
is your most convenient way of getting the most reliable and
unbiased information. What
many don’t realize is, that due to the variables of the machines
within each facility, the best solution to a problem may vary from
one center to another. Our professional Liaisons realize this and
will share their knowledge with you – personalized feedback is
much better than general bull.
The choice is simple, spend your time weeding through the
bologna or go to the professionals of the entire industry
- at “LIFELONG”.
Another thing to realize about Lifelong is we
won’t sell just anything. We have carefully selected the best
items on the market – items that will work for you and that come
from manufactures that stand behind their products. That’s why
we only sell the products that meet our standards so we only deal
with the best manufacturers – Their participation tells a lot
about them, their service and quality of their items. If a
manufacturer won’t deal with us you should question why and
what’s the problem. Not all manufacturers stand behind their
products as Lifelong and our associates.
Check out our V.I.C. section We’re
certain that after reviewing the products, services, and pricing,
you’ll agree that our approach “direct to you” will save you
time, energy, labor, and most importantly, your money. We offer a
host of valuable technical services not available anywhere else,
even from the original manufacturer of your equipment. Our company
was formed by mechanics and professionals who’ve been “in
the pits” and truly care about the bowling industry (unlike
those business suits you may be dealing with now.)
Call us toll free at 877-235-8300 to set up your
It’s simple, quick, and cost effective!