Modern Tire Dealer

APR 2019

Magazine for the professional tire industry

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M T D A p r i l 2 0 1 9 54 O T R T i r e C o n f e r e n c e impact on the way things work and how we interact in that connected world. 10 QUESTIONS In preparation for his speech, Rasey asked OTR dealers 10 questions about how they ran their businesses. Question 1: "When thinking about key priorities in your business life, how important is taking time for strategi- cally thinking about the future?" 94% of dealers said it was either the most important thing or very important, but maybe not the most important. It was pretty unanimous that it was critical. Question 2: "What part of your busi- ness in OTR is price-only driven?" It was a split. • 37% said 50% or more. • 20% said less than 50%. • 20% said less than 30%. • 13% said less than 20%. • 10% said less than 10%. Rasey said there was no right or wrong answer, but a better question may have been how much of your business would you like to be price-only driven? If it's always just about price with your custom- ers, you're only ever as good as the last price that was quoted, as long as it was the lowest price. Question 3: "When thinking about your most profitable customers, what do they value most from you?" e results were pretty unanimous. It's all about service. Ninety percent said on-time reliable service and 10% said on-site support and service. Question 4: "When thinking about age demographics in your business, what's the time frame that represents your biggest risk for continuity of opera- tions?" Again no right or wrong answer, but 20% said this year; 40% said within the next three to five years, and another 40% said five years or longer. Rasey noted it's happening now. And it's going to happen in the next one-to-three years, and it's going to happen in the next three-to-five years. It's dependent wholly on what's going on in your business profile. Rasey looked at the five generations that we're all working within organizations today: the traditionalists, which are the pre-1945; baby boomers, 1946 to 1965; Gen-Xers, ´96 to ´77; millennials, ´78 to ´95, and the new Generation Z, aer 1995. We need to think about these groups, because each segment views work dif- ferently, says Rasey. e traditionalists say work is an obligation. Boomers say work is expected. Gen-Xers say it's a difficult challenge. Millennials say it's a means to an end. And Gen-Z says it's going to be constantly evolving. Secondarily is for us to acknowledge each group's views on changing jobs. If we think of traditionalists, they're pretty much going to stay for life. For boomers chang- ing jobs, they're loyal to their employer but seeking value. For the Gen-Xers, it's necessary for compensation. For millen- nials, job changing is expected. And the Gen-Z group is changing jobs constantly. Question 5: "How significantly do you see tire-connectivity technology impact- ing your business model within the next five years?" About 94% of respondents said likely or very likely. Question 6: "How significantly do you believe your customers' business models will change that will require tires and equipment and operations to be linked in the future?" 53% said a lot, or extensively. Rasey observed that the younger the respondent, the more they saw technology jumping in. Question 7: "How confident are you that you'll be adequately prepared to anticipate that change fast enough to sustain your business success over the next three-to-five years?" 63% said extremely or very confident, but there was a bit of a mix. is still leaves 37% who were either just somewhat confident or not so confident. Rasey says the real question is what if we don't know that there's a problem? He cautioned that dealers need to guard against complacency and arrogance. Question 8: "How important will planning for risk mitigation be in your business over the next few years?" Again a very high percent (77%) of dealers really understood that's the key. "Opinions vary, certainly. Ray Kroc from McDonald's said if you're not a risk taker you should get the hell out of business. Gary Cohn, who is an economist and was a senior advisor to President Trump at the beginning of his administration, said if you don't invest in risk management, it doesn't matter what business you're in; it's a risky business," said Rasey. Question 9: "How much does the federal/state regulatory environment affect your future business plans?" 54% of respondents said a great deal or a lot, but Rasey said it was quite dependent on where the dealer was located. If a dealer was in West Virginia or California, there were a lot of high hits. If they were in Iowa or Tennessee, not so much. But one thing is for sure, said Rasey, when the political environment affects us, swings in political power generally impact the regulatory environment as well, for better or for worse. Question 10: "How important will the ability to differentiate your service offering be from competition in your long-term success?" Virtually 100% of respondents said it's all about service. Service is going to define success. Service differentiation is going to ultimately define who succeeds in the market. And differentiation ultimately only matters if the customer really values it. Why do it if it doesn't move the needle? Rasey concluded his remarks with the following takeaways: • What you do every day matters. • It's important to many people. • Megatrends are real, and they're hap- pening now. • You control your own future, so don't relinquish that control to the universe. • Technology changes are happening all around us, and they're going to accelerate going forward. • Adapt and overcome. • Modify your strategies as the market dictates and when it matters the most. • People changes are in your business now or they will be soon, so prepare for a new workforce. • Manage the risks judiciously, be smart and calibrate your risk threshold to your own comfort level. • Service differentiation is going to be the key to your future, and make sure that it matters to your customers. ■ TECHNOLOGY CHANGES ARE HAPPENING ALL AROUND US, AND THEY'RE GOING TO ACCELERATE GOING FORWARD.

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