Each year, I apply various presentation themes, and this year, I based my theme on something Wayne Gretzky, the legendary hockey player, once said.
He was asked what he learned that made him such a great player, and he said, “Skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been.”
In other words, he looked ahead, anticipating where the puck would be. As this year begins to wind down, we all need to think about not where the “puck” is in our industry right now, but where it is going to be—where you’ll want to be and how you’ll get there.
Here are four examples of how, like Gretsky on the ice rink, you may want to be looking ahead rather than looking at things as they are now.
1. Scanning has become the norm in the industry, which is good, but where the “puck” is going is a related process—calibrations. Shops need to be investigating the time, money and, most importantly, investing in shop space to be able to perform more ADAS calibrations in-house. Understand what types of vehicles you most commonly work on that require calibrations. Research those procedures, understand what targets or tools are needed, and look for the potential space to do them. The space can be a hurdle; the average body repair stall is 300 to 400 square feet, but some of these calibrations can require 1,200 to 1,800 square feet. This is where the “puck” is going, and starting to head there now will help you succeed.
2. We need to start thinking about artificial intelligence (AI). While it remains to be seen whether AI can be used to write estimates, I believe it is or soon will be used to identify total losses. What does that mean for shops working to anticipate where the “puck” will be? Think about the non-DRP work you do, and how much total losses contribute to your revenue in terms of tear-down costs, storage fees or administrative fees. Storage is generally 100% gross profit, right?