Operations

A Note Of Encouragement And Advice

Posted on November 6, 2015 by Sara Eastwood - Also by this author

It’s LCT’s mission to report on everything that is unveiled in this marketplace. It’s up to you to take advantage of the information.
It’s LCT’s mission to report on everything that is unveiled in this marketplace. It’s up to you to take advantage of the information.
So it happened that I was attending my competitor’s trade show in Miami to listen to the keynote presentation of Terry Jones. Jones was an International LCT Show keynote speaker years ago.

What I really love about his message is that you have to continually embrace change. We don’t live in a world where businesses can enjoy a steady and consistent cycle like in the old days. Since we’re not going back, we have no choice but to embrace innovation and open ourselves up to self-evaluation on a daily basis, and understand what’s working for us, and what’s not.

We need to be mindful that “responsiveness” is our key to success. It’s that simple.

During Jones’ presentation, I particularly bought into how being open to new technology and pursuing every business sales opportunity can make you more money. In the travel space, there are literally dozens of booking sites similar to the two Jones created, Travelocity and Kayak, and he advises us to embrace them all.
In our industry, there are many new on-demand apps being created that promise to bring new leads your way. It’s LCT’s mission to report on everything that is unveiled in this marketplace. It’s up to you to take advantage of the information.

I remember a few years ago when the Lincoln Town Car plant shutdown and the product was officially retired. The following year at our International LCT Show, the expo floor was packed with manufacturers looking for market share opportunities. We even had to hold a special OEM panel to include Ford, Cadillac, Toyota, Hyundai, Audi, Mercedes and BMW. We put them on the main stage so everyone could listen to them, and they answered questions about each of their company’s livery programs.

Here we are today with some of those same OEMs gaining traction in our marketplace, while some have moved away from our niche. It was a tough ordeal for this industry to have to rethink its fleet strategies, but you all have survived and some have even thrived.

Fleet decisions, good or bad, can make or break companies. Folks, so can technology. The operating systems and mobile technologies being launched are critically important, and just like in my fleet example, there will be some tech players who’ll stay and some who’ll go. But that is for the market to determine.

I recognize there’s a bit of a panic in the air. I’ve heard the forecasts that this industry has six months to live and so on. Well it’s not true. Our industry has been affected by Uber, but for both the good and the bad. Remember, it’s thanks to them that chauffeured transportation went mainstream.

There’s no doubt their technology rocks and we must copy that, but we are a strong group and a growing population. Group business is expected to rise by 12% in 2016, and business travel forecasts are excellent for next year. Resist the urge to make rash business decisions based on feelings of desperation or stress.
Do your homework and approach all of this with confidence. Technology may be scary, but in the end it will replace overhead and streamline profits.

No pain, no gain.

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