To Maintain a Competitive Edge, Operators Should Embrace Change

Posted on October 1, 1995 by Sara Eastwood, LCT Publisher

Change is difficult. People often resist change. It is a natural human phenomenon. This attitude can be damaging, especially in business. If you do not adapt, you go under.

How does one make changes as painless as possible? Are limousine operators generally receptive to the change that seems to be so rampant in this industry? Operators have to be willing to educate themselves, but they cannot do it alone.

As the limousine industry becomes more sophisticated, operators must gradually incorporate the technology necessary to remain competitive. A large part of this technology is computerization. How does an operator go about incorporating computers into his or her business? Do you educate yourself? Do you solicit advice from a colleague? Do you seek information directly from the players offering the technology? Probably a combination of the three?

After a lot of research and a great deal of effort, there will come a time when you will have to make a decision about your new computer system. But once you finally get the new system up and running, does it end there? I’m afraid not.

The minute you make a commitment to a computer company, a relationship begins. The company must be able to provide fast and efficient customer support. This support is vitally important, especially when an operator has taken his first plunge into computerization. A legitimate software supplier will consider product support as part of its overall package. Software support is something operators should not hesitate to utilize if they have problems.

“Support comes in many forms,” says Jeff Thorson, president of Paragon Industries, Inc. in Downers Grove, IL. “You must provide software support, technical support, knowledgeable limousine industry support, and compassionate support.”

When an operator makes the decision to computerize, he must do extensive research on the company he is considering. The company should be firmly established. A new player should be closely scrutinized. It takes time for a software supplier to gain experience and knowledge of the industry.

You cannot afford to put time into purchasing a new software package, inputting information into the new system, putting your staff through an extensive learning curve, and then have the company go out of business. You will be left floundering with no computer support.

Be absolutely sure your research is thorough. The relationship you establish with your computer company be a positive and lasting one. The right software company will make change painless and that relationship will have a direct impact on your bottom line.

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