Management Musing v2.6

The summer is over and it is time to get down to business again. We will return to submitting blogs on this site regarding parts, service, sales, training, education, and the like on a regular basis. Those of you that follow this blog are more than welcome to make suggestions as to which subjects you would like me to focus on this Fall.

This Fall marks the end of five years since the economic disruptions became so dramatic. Equipment sales levels still linger at roughly half the peak they realized in 2007/2008. We should not expect machine sales activity to return to that level in the United States, excluding resource-based equipment sales until well after business and the general population, get healthy again.

Employment numbers are like grasping at straws. The number of unemployed got lowered to 7.3% for August with the overall unemployment rate being 13.7 if you exclude those that have given up. The labor participation rate has not been this low for over three decades. The lingering overhang of the arrival of the affordable care act is having an effect on hiring. More jobs are becoming part time to avoid the cost to employers of providing healthcare to full-time employees. Healthcare offerings from employers are asking for more contributions from the employee. Wage increases are almost nonexistent. And we should never forget that the American consumer drives the American economy. Without people having disposable income the American economy will continue to struggle.

It is against this background that those of us in the equipment business are working. Parts and service has to become more the focus of these equipment dealers if they are going to succeed in this reduced equipment market. At some point you have to start growing your business, as opposed to saving your way to health. Employee productivity can only be driven so far before it reaches the breaking point, both for your employees and for your customers who don’t receive the level of customer service that they deserve and expect.

The opportunities in front of us are huge. But opportunity is an interesting word much like the word potential. If somebody tells you that you have a lot of potential at the age of 16 that is quite a compliment. If they tell you the same thing at the age of 66 I wonder what you’ve been doing for the last 50 years. Opportunity is what we make of it. So for those of you that are prepared to go get it – these pages are for you.

The time is now