Data Mining – Statistics Revisited

One of the useful attributes of a VoIP system is the ability to choose the important elements of information about a client that you want to appear on the screen as the phone is ringing. Of significance might be the date of last contact, date of sale, type of sale, and value of sale. From the probability discussion yesterday this will help you determine when the next sales transaction should take place. It might help how you approach the discussion. The time is now..

Data Mining – Statistics

With all the data available to us and the lack for many of us of acquiring information, we should look at the branch of Mathematics called Statistics. With statistics you are able, amongst other things, to predict events or activities. It is all based on probability theory. I won’t bore you with the details of probability theory other than to say that the closer together the last two similar transaction or similar activities are the higher the probability that there will be a repeat transaction or activity in the future. And also the further apart the last two similar transactions or similar activities are the lower the probability that there will be a repeat transaction or activity in the future. This is the foundation of most inventory management system theory.

What I look forward to is the ability to do probabilistic planning for sales transactions. For instance, it is a truth that the larger the dollar value of the last transaction the higher the probability for a future sale and the lower the dollar value the lower the probability. This should help us in any number of ways. Sales call management and scheduling for instance. There are starting to be tools available to us that allows this type of data mining to determine the probabilities and start us on the path of “planning” activities in the business. This is very exciting to me as it opens a series of doors that will allow us to control our businesses better. In the end that means better customer service which means higher sales and profits. The time is now…

Data – The Next Skirmish

With the advent of the cloud and other forms of computing such as ASP’s we have perhaps lost sight of a huge transformation that is taking place right in front of our face.

In the year 2000 about 25% of all data was digitized and in fact 2002 was the first year that there was more digital storage than paper storage. let that sink in for a minute. That is a monumental statement.

By 2007 all digital forms, DVD’s and CD’s, memory cards and other digital devices accounted for 94% of the data storage capacity around the globe (these facts from Forbes) The total amount of data storage in 2012 will come to – are you ready for it – 2.7 zettabytes. That is 2.7 followed by 21 zeros. Isn’t that ridiculous?

For years I used to struggle with people talking about reports coming out of the old fashioned batch type computers. I argued that it was data coming out not information in the voluminous reports. I still take the same position on most information that is reported to people. It isn’t information it is data.

With the HUGE amount of digital data on the planet it is time we started to provide information. The people that need information on which to make decisions are weighed down by masses of data. This is a new skirmish that systems providers will have to start dealing with as we go forward. The time is now…



Many of you already know of my requirement for an inspection prior to any work being performed on equipment needing repairs.

The customer makes known to us what they have as their complaint. This reasonably standard operating procedures. They call or come in and tell us what they want done. Many of you also know that I draw a comparison between the medical community and the equipment repair community. We at the dealership are the doctor and the machine is the patient.

The diagnostic inspection necessary to determine the “cause” of the complaint is similar to the blood work and vital signs that the doctor will require of you prior to making any determination of the treatment necessary to “correct” your complaint. They will be seeking out hte cause.

Once we have the cause of the complaint the correction is the easy part. The time is now…

Product Support Selling

We are considering bringing back the Product Support Selling Programs in 2013. Does anyone in the United States or Canada have an interest in these programs?

Service Strategies

The service department is a much misunderstood group of highly skilled prefessionals. One of these days they will get the appreication they deserve but in the meantime we need to continue to raise the bar on their performance and image.

One of the methods we could use would be to track quality. each week that goes by with a 100% quality record should be noted and celebrated. I am not sure you truly understand that the work that is done is exceptionally high quality and the service warranty or employee redo levels are extremely low. Start to track it and publish it. Just like a safety record put it on the wall. Keep a running total of the number of weeks without a quality failure. You will be pleased when you see the results as the number will keep going higher and higher. The time is now.

Proactive Parts Programs

So let’s start the week properly.

For your parts business. Each and every customer phone call or customer counter visit we should be asking two questions. Every time.

  1. What is the machine model and serial number for this parts order?
  2. Who is doing the work for you?

With the model and serial number we can update the machine population records which we will discuss later and with the answer on who is doing the work for you we will know more about our competition. The time is now…

To Follow Up on Time Management

In his blog Growth Without Pain – Jay Roszell makes many great points.

I used to have a standard three questions I would ask regularly but at least twice a year of my co-workers.

  1. What am I doing that you like that I do and want me to coninue doing?
  2. What am I doing that you don’t like that I do and want me to stop?
  3. What am I doing that doesn’t really matter to you?

From the answers I could make solid decisions on how I was impacting others and what I did that should have been done by someone else.

Try it yourself and see how you like the approach. Please let us know how it worked out for you. The time is now.

The Parts Business

In doing background work for my monthly CED column I noticed some interesting facts about Genuine Parts.

Genuine Parts is the parent of NAPA the parts specialist in the automotive replacement business. From my perspective they also mirror the construction equipment marketplace. Over the past four years Genuine Parts has seen through 2008 and 2009 declines in profit of 2% and 14% respectively. In the years 2010 and 2011 they returned to profit growth of 20% and 19% respectively. Analysts are predicting another year of double digit growth for 2012.

How do individual dealers in North America compare? I think we have some work to do to regain our footing. The time is now.


We will be updating the web site in the next few days to better coordinate updates on the site, on the blog, and on twitter. We appreciate and thank you for your interest in all of the media that we use and hope that we can continue to pique your interest and your thinking and invite the continued diverse comments you send to us. The time is now.