Facebook, eBay, DVDs, Blu-ray, CDs, MP3s, Wii, Xbox, collision avoidance systems, gigabytes, the Cloud, Windows, the Internet, high-strength steel and composites in vehicles, GPS, PDAs, satellite TV, digital smart devices, NACE, Chipotle, MAP Sensors and who knows what else.
What do these all have in common? Thirty years ago they did not exist except in a comic book. In fact, some on this list have already come and gone. What does this all have to do with our business? Well, if you look at the demographics of our industry, that’s about the time you and I got started in this business.
Whether you view these changes as positive or negative, the fact remains they have happened and will continue to happen. If you attempted to adopt all of these new technologies and advancements as they hit the market, you would fail! No one can possibly deal with all the fires that are burning in each of our respective backyards, if you will. There are simply too many shiny objects to try to focus on.
In our businesses, we need direction. It is not possible to be all things to the marketplace. The list of merchants that tried to be all things to all people is long and being added to everyday. As much as we would like to be the best at everything, it just can’t be done. Shops just can’t be a DRP and a highly specialized niche repair facility. They can’t service high-end exotics and entry-level day-to-day drivers. Parts suppliers can’t be OE and aftermarket while providing 30-minute delivery. If any one provider could do it all, then there would only be one provider (thank goodness, because the government wouldn’t allow it) and that won’t happen.
Choose what your business’ focus is going to be and focus on that. Become obsessed with that and stay on it. Keep an eye out for dramatic changes in the marketplace, but only react if it is a game-changer for your direction. Industry changes are inevitable, but usually minor course changes are all that is required. The old saying “this too shall pass” comes to mind. Just like many of the things above came and went, we need to be sure we are all around to see the next great thing come and go.
See you at AAPEX. I need to go pick up an autonomous car.