Rarely have I come as close to shredding my reporter’s notebook as I did while researching this month’s cover feature on how data and technology can help dealers boost profits and cut costs. Those moments came when I heard dealers say, “I’m too old for that stuff. I’m leaving it to my son to figure it out.”
Put off this revolution at your peril, I say. If you live in a market with any kind of competition, you can count on dealers and distributors that harness technology outpacing their competitors—including you, if you don’t keep up. This shift in market share is going to take place quickly, often before your children ever get handed the keys to the store. If you want the company to survive until then, you need to pay attention.
I confess that I have personal reasons for getting so worked up over this. On July 2, I turned 60. That dark-haired fellow you first met on these pages in 2006 has almost a totally silver head now. I’m three decades older than most of my staff. Like many of you, retirement nears. And my right knee hurts.
But I remain jazzed about our work. Every day I get joy, talking with you and learning about your achievements. I celebrate your anniversaries, laugh at your Facebook photos, and mourn when colleagues die. And all the time, I’m compiling more data about this business that I hope will lead to creating an even better issue next month.
There’s no waiting until the next generation for me. And no acting like I’m 60.