Tom Morley Wants to Make a Footprint, Not a Carbon Footprint, on Industry
Tom Morley is just slightly ambitious. As president of Lube Stop, the oldest privately owned quick oil change company in Northeast Ohio, he wants the company to be financially viable, lead by example with its sustainability-focused business principles and support the communities its 37 facility locations serve.
These are not easily attainable goals, but Morley is making serious progress. Even more impressive is the fact that he has done so with less than 10 years of experience in the fast lube industry. It started in 2004 when he joined Lube Stop, which is based in Berea, Ohio, and employs 250 people. In the same year, he also joined the Automotive Oil Change Association (AOCA).
During the next nine years, Morley has proven himself to be an industry leader as well as a responsible, forward-thinking local businessperson. He was recently interviewed by AOCA Headquarters. Below are pieces of that conversation, which touch on what motivates him, his commitment to sustainability and what he sees as the industry’s biggest challenges, just to name a few.
AOCA: The fast lube industry can be very challenging at times and yet rewarding as well. What keeps you motivated?
Morley: A big motivation for me is our 250 employees and making sure Lube Stop remains an industry leader and pioneer providing meaningful livelihoods for our folks over the next 30 years. Our focus, since 2006, on sustainability and our efforts to do well by doing good — both for the environment and the communities in which we operate — has also kept things really interesting and are transferable to small businesses outside our industry. If more northeast Ohio companies adopt these practices, they will become more competitive, thereby improving the regional economy and making sure Lube Stop has a robust market to do business in the years ahead.
AOCA: Sustainability is obviously important to you and Lube Stop. Please explain your business’ sustainability program?
Morley: We launched the Lube Stop Sustainability Program (LSSP) in 2007, which includes a specific mission statement and a formal process to help us incorporate sustainable business principles into all the decisions we make. The constant exercise to question and re-think our processes, services and products — both for operations and sold to customers — continually challenges us. The result is that we have found or developed more environmentally sustainable products and services, significantly reduced waste streams and lowered utility costs, enabling us to drive down costs and seek and partner with more local suppliers. This latter point furthers our goal to support the community that supports us. The LSSP seeks to educate not only customers about our efforts, which differentiates our business in a competitive industry, but also employees to promote their buy-in and harvest innovative ideas from across the company. I often say that 250 minds are a lot smarter than mine.
AOCA: How do you promote your commitment to being green? Does it help drive additional business?