P C & E

During my recently completed time in the Army Reserve, I reported to a commanding officer who continually stressed 3 elements that needed to be included in any plan:

    1.The primary approach to completing the mission, which represents the first and most favorable option.
    2.Contingencies for addressing any changes or possible scenarios that might arise (those with some military experience are all too familiar with frago's).
    3.Finally, what would happen in case of an emergency at any time during the training or mission.

What brought this lesson to mind was browsing at an index(www.santech.com/heatindex) that tracks weather changes and the impact this has on automotive A/C work. Although the index hasn't recently been updated for 2005, looking at the results of last year helped to reinforce the importance of primary, contingency and emergency planning.

The majority of shops across the country were hurt by cooler temperatures, and the fewer A/C jobs that resulted. With much of the country off to a cooler start to spring and early summer, it might be time to ask whether your shop is equipped with contingencies, or even emergency planning if the temperatures stay moderate this year.

This translates to simple measures, like:

  • Aggressively promoting the capabilities of your tools and equipment in handling various maintenance and high--mileage services.
  • Ensuring your equipment is updated to handle new vehicle types and technologies.
  • Continuing to invest in the tools, equipment, training, personnel and promotions necessary to handle weather--based service drop--offs.
  • By taking time to consider all of the different elements that can possibly effect your mission (sustained profitability and customer retention), you'll be better prepared to handle the challenges you face, without sacrificing results.