The AOCA team is off to Nashville for the oil change industry’s signature event, iFLEX at The Car Wash Show, taking place at Music City Center May 13-15. The good times commence the evening of May 12 at AOCA’s Welcome Reception at the Hard Rock Café, where AOCA members will be treated to bites, beverages, giveaways and live music. The following three days will be jam packed with education, networking and the largest trade show in the fast lube industry. You can get all the details at: www.aoca.org We hope to see you in Music City!
Looking beyond iFLEX, AOCA has two opportunities for fast lube managers to become AOCA certified managers. You can experience AOCA’s Management Certification Course in Orange County, California, on August 6-7 or Dallas, Texas, on September 10-11. Don’t miss this chance to ensure you or your management team is certified to the highest level of industry standards. For more information, visit: www.aoca.org
This month, we continue our board of directors spotlight series with none other than incoming AOCA president Bill Floyd, of Lucas Oil Center in Indiana.
AOCA: Tell us about your business and your experience in the fast lube industry.
Floyd: My entire working career has been spent around my love of automobiles. Growing up in Southern California, guided by my grandfather, we were a racecar family! Preparing a racecar or building an engine was something we did after-hours and weekends. It was my destiny. Now 45-plus years later, I’m still racing, but racing business with Lucas Oil Centers, USA. My career has included general auto repair, auto parts sales and high-performance and racing product manufacturing and distribution. In 2007, after enthusiastic support from Lucas Oil Products, we secured a license agreement and began developing Lucas Oil Center.
AOCA: What challenges do you see facing the industry today and in years to come?
Floyd: Our industry operators need to be agile, willing to adapt to new and changing technologies and because of longer service intervals, have a greater concentration on additional services and alternative revenue streams. We need to accept the fact that hybrid and electric car technologies are here to stay. In our business model, we are considering electric car charging stations and maintenance to be integrated into future store designs.
There has been a real decline in qualified or interested young people pursuing an automotive repair or service career. It is going to require a national effort, and vocational training needs to resurface at the middle- and high-school levels.
AOCA: Why did you opt to get involved with AOCA?
Floyd: With an entire career dedicated to racing and high-performance, I knew the value of being involved with trade associations through SEMA and PRI. Starting with a new business concept in 2008, I looked to see what trade organization served the quick lube industry and came across AOCA. Before starting Lucas Oil Center, we attended trade shows in Las Vegas and Dallas. It was these shows that really got our business on track. Meeting fellow operators, attending seminars and interacting with vendors really got us moving in the right direction. Now some 10 years later, I’ve never missed a show, I’ve become involved as a board member and I’m now serving as incoming president to our members.
AOCA: How has AOCA benefited you as fast lube business operator?
Floyd: I don’t believe I would be in business if not for AOCA! Again, building a new business from scratch was a major undertaking. Maintaining and growing it successfully has its own sets of challenges. The knowledge and relationships that came from attending iFLEX was a game-changer for us. Personally, I am an AOCA Certified Manager, as are all of our store managers. Our services offered, procedures, vendors, equipment suppliers and a lifetime of business and personal relationships resulted from my AOCA membership.
AOCA: What do you do in your spare time, when you’re not running your business?
Floyd: I love all forms of auto racing and sponsor many racecars. Being located in the Midwest, the hot bed of sprint car, modified and late model circle track cars, we race a lot. I personally own a race engine in a USAC Silver Crown car that we campaign nationally on that circuit. Our family has grown somehow to eight grandchildren, ages four to 17, so we are truly blessed.