Looking for the easy button

Jan. 30, 2014
Don’t let ever-changing industry activity put a strain on your awareness of current issues.

Looking at industry issues from recent months, there has been a great deal of focus and effort placed on parts procurement mandates and other business process mandates that have very little benefit to the actual vehicle owners or repairers. Although the parts mandates accelerated in 2013, it was far from being a “surprise attack” to our business future. So, how did so many in the industry get blindsided by it?

First, today’s speed of doing business has accelerated to levels for which not many have been prepared. Whether it is because of a lack of staffing or technology, or unwarranted expectations of insurers, the pressure to meet insurer key performance indicators (KPIs), satisfy the vehicle owners, meet promise dates and reduce costs has never been so high. Bottom line: As an industry, everyone is running at full speed as if in a hamster wheel. They are just trying to get the cars done, process paperwork and keep the vehicle owners happy — and then go home and try to forget about it all.

This type of perpetual activity drains the very essence of awareness of what is happening around us. The mental and physical strain has been overwhelming to many, and this is where our industry can easily be taken advantage of. If you are too busy to see it coming, and too busy to stop it, it becomes pretty easy to become a type of reality that you do not like, but didn’t do anything about.

No shortcuts
As in other industries today, it seems that everyone in our industry is looking for the “Easy” button. If we could only hit that button, just like in the commercials — miraculously, it is all handled! Unfortunately, unlike the commercials, the world and our business future do not work that way. It takes an engagement in the industry that only a small percentage actually takes on.

What are we doing today that is just as if we hit the Easy button? Many are selling their businesses, an easy way out so they don’t have to worry about it any longer. Many don’t take a stand on any issue — they may complain a little, but it’s easier to simply give in. They use excuses such as “I had no choice” or “I can’t afford not to.”

Contrary to the Easy button, there is an important saying a percentage of dedicated repairers believe in and live by: Anything worth having is worth fighting for. Unfortunately, the 80/20 rule often applies here: Twenty percent of the industry does the work for the remaining 80 percent. They often work very hard on industry committees and in associations to have a say in the future of this industry. They also often stand up for what is right, regardless of the personal and business costs. They often battle in courtrooms and legislative arenas on behalf of the rest at their own expense. But without them, the future would definitely become a reality none would want.

Are you going to be part of the 20 percent, or stay in the 80 percent? Your business future just might rely on which one you choose.

Subscribe to ABRN and receive articles like this every month…absolutely free. Click here

Voice Your Opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Vehicle Service Pros, create an account today!