Azione Conference Focuses on Labor as Underutilized Revenue Source
• Kim Michels of Electronic Environments, who created a separate service department that included a salesperson, project manager, designer, lead technicians and technicians. The new department proved so popular that it is currently booked six weeks in advance, he reported.
• Jon Myer of MyerConnex, who spoke of methods his company devised to boost labor efficiency, including: letting techs take their vans home and then drive directly to jobs; offering incentives such as tool gift cards to techs; raising billing for labor by $20 an hour; and paying himself first and "putting it on the team" to bring in the necessary earnings each month.
Next, dealer David Daniels, co-CEO of Xssentials, gave a presentation entitled "How to Succeed in the Changing Product/Services Business Model," in which he emphasized the importance of being innovative in today's competitive CE marketplace.
The key, Daniels said, was to create an innovative new business model geared for the way business is done now.
"It's not sufficient to just be efficient," he said. "We need a bolder vision."
This, Daniels felt, can be achieved through strategic partnerships that will drive creativity and profits, as well as delivering a superior customer experience.
This can be achieved, he said, by adding value to the customer with a clear value proposition--a dealer's competitive advantage. Competing on price, he said, ultimatey does not add value and is a losing proposition, as it is not sustainable.
The key ingredients of a value proposition he cited included:
• quantified value
• relevant to the shareholders (customers, investors, staff)
• uniquely differentiated from competitors
Daniels next showed a chart that indicated product sales are going to be nearly equal to labor sales by 2010, and service sales will significantly increase by this point as well.
The key to staying on top of the curve with service? According to Daniels, a clear customer focus.
Daniels then showed stats that indicated how much dealers are losing and stand to gain by increasing their focus on providing customer-focused labor and service.