The Installed Marketer
A little more than a month into 2014 I have already abandoned some of my New Year’s resolutions. While resolutions may be of some value, usually in the short-term, I have more confidence in an organized, measureable approach to achieving progress toward meaningful objectives. With that in mind, I believe the following to be true, “If it’s not measurable, improvement or decline is unknowable. Without that knowledge, you can’t adjust your performance. If you can’t adjust, you can only improve accidentally.”
For fast lube operators, there is certainly no objective more vigorously pursued than the underlying reason you got into the business in the first place — to make a reasonable profit.
However, all the resolutions, goals, or witty thoughts combined will never improve your profits until you are willing to do one thing: adjust.
Without adjusting what you are doing on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, the result you are currently achieving with regard to profit, or anything else, is simply not under your control.
In this column, we’ll talk football. We will also lay out a plan, which involves three words — measurement, knowledge and adjustment. We will discuss how these three words, utilized in an organized process, can help improve your profitability.
Daily Measurement: Five Key Steps
It may relieve stress, to some degree, to complain about the possible ramifications that extended drain intervals, the Affordable Care Act, competition, oil specification changes or other possible events may have on your business. But the one thing that all of those impending developments have in common is the fact that there is not much you can do to stop them.
So, what can you do? Prepare. How can you prepare? Well, you sometimes hear it said of particular football teams, “They’re a great second-half team.” What is really being said is that the particular coach has the ability to respond effectively to what happens in the first half of play.
Since the Super Bowl has recently passed, let’s apply football measurements to our fast lube challenges. Every statistical result that can be measured in football will be. First downs, third-down conversions, penalties, takeaways, turnovers, time of possession — the list goes on. For good or for bad, with those statistical results, the coach now has critical information to help affect the final outcome of the game.
Measurement plays a vital role when it comes to the success of top NFL franchises — which, according to Forbes, are valued from $1.2 billion up to $2.5 billion, taking in profits from $10.2 million to $250 million annually. So, how much more vital should a measureable process be to a fast lube operation, valued at a tiny fraction of those numbers?
With Super Bowl XLVIII in the books, football is over for this season. However, this year’s fast lube is season just beginning. It is vital that you establish measurement systems in every area of your operation, including: sales, product cost, labor costs, daily operating costs, rents, royalties, etc. Did I just hear you say, “No kidding Sherlock”?
Yes, that is a list of some pretty obvious measurement categories. Let me ask you a few, less evident questions about what you’re doing with them.
1. How often do you measure them?
Correct answer: Daily