Change – We Have No Choice!

Automotive & HD Business Management Articles.
Bob Greenwood. August 6, 2014. ( over 7 years ago ) 1,704 views

If you haven’t noticed, business is trending to be different over the past year… or is it? 

 Progressive Independent shop owners are starting to think, “This is happening faster than I expected”, “where are we going from here?” and “time just flies every day”. These thoughts are constantly playing through their mind.

 The obvious question that must be asked “Will the true independent be around in the long run?”

 Short Answer: If shop management remains focussed only on “the basics”, the answer is NO!

 Explanation and Solution:

 Independent shop owners must realize and accept (as much as they hate to) that this business is not as it was 10 years ago. That has frustrated and scared many owners as they know they still have a number of years left that they must produce income before they can “pack it in”.

 It is time to rethink your business structure and how you must execute it.

 In the real world, social media, digital interface and telematics technology—because it’s in the vehicle and in the shop facility today—management must accept the fact that he/she has to undertake a “reformatting” of their business and its practices. Consider the depth of the business requirements today that management must address:

- the shop can only be involved with selling quality products that meet and/or exceed OE specifications

- the shop must “connect” and “secure” a solid parts supply source therefore a business relationship with a competent Jobber/Parts Distributor that stocks the right parts properly and has access to an efficient Warehouse Distributor is a must

- the chosen Jobber/Distributor and WD must have a “Corporate commitment” to providing in-depth business solutions for the shop and working as a “partner” with shop management to ensure future shop financial success.

- “E-business solutions” must be available and put in place to embrace shop process “efficiency”

- the shop must have full access and a dated schedule to attend detailed, up-to-date, timely, on-going, competent technical and business development courses

- shop management MUST commit to attend to all courses and not use the traditional excuses of “no time”, “too busy” and “too expensive”. If you cling to traditional excuses and habits, you will die!

- Management must secure a proper banking relationship to provide the right level of on-going business financing

- Management must secure a detailed, timely and professional customer/client retention and support system and instil the processes into the business.

 Management today is not just a person, but also a position of great responsibility.  Management must understand that and to accept that responsibility they will have to re-learn this business all over. The business must be measured differently today. A shop cannot just measure parts and labour. There are formulas and ratios to learn and apply. Your business numbers in front of you must be put into a management format where they “talk” to you about where your business is going. Traditional cost accounting methods do not do that. There are management methods and culture to be embraced that, when implemented, secure much needed NET profit for the shop, not just create sales, car count and activity for the shop. When the right bottom line dollars are created, then there will be “job security” for everyone associated with the shop.

 To be blunt…  “if you don’t want to learn again, get out NOW”.

 Our future is very bright, very exciting, and very profitable… for the select few who get it.  Embrace the CHANGE required so you can have your fair share of it.

Bob Greenwood

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Bob Greenwood
Surrey, British Columbia, Canada