By louis
Published: May 10, 2007

Did the dinosaurs realize what was happening to them? For millions of years they did exactly the same things that always worked in the past. Unfortunately for them, the world was changing. Creatures that were able to adapt survived, those that could not perished.

It is never pleasant to face change, but it is a fact. The automotive industry has changed, and will continue to change. Many have been able to adapt and are now flourishing. Others, like the dinosaurs, seem to think as long as they keep doing what they have always done, they will be okay.

Methods of marketing services, attracting customers, compensating employees and pricing service, that worked well in the past, may no longer work in the future. Down-sizing and trying to hold on until things get better is also likely a short-term strategy.

Survival will require huge inputs of knowledge, training, planning, capital and yes most importantly, a willingness to change [attitude]. Managers will have to become leaders, able to share their vision, rather than task masters. They will have to learn to market as professionals, and price their service as professionals.

Capital required, to make the improvements needed, will not come from loss leader specials. Salaries required to attract and retain the caliber of technicians needed, will not be raised by "we beat anybodies price," marketing. Two to three million dollar, air conditioned, facilities will likely become the norm and rather than the exception. Extremely well trained and equipped technicians, quickly diagnosing, and properly repairing vehicles the first time, every time, will be the standard.

Does anyone know the future? Absolutely not! But an intelligent person can certainly observe trends and predict future results with a high degree of probability. Just as the modern home center has replaced the corner hardware store, and the word processor replaced the typewriter, the future will come. Now is the time to become part of it.

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