International Door & Operator Industry

NOV-DEC 2013

Garage door industry magazine for garage door dealers, garage door manufacturers, garage door distributors, garage door installers, loading docks, garage door operators and openers, gates, and tools for the door industry.

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Page 34 of 131

TECHNICAL Business Succession... A Tech's Personal Viewpoint by Gary Lombard The hands of time catch up to us all at some point in our lives, and the business that you created is a thriving entity. All your time, sweat and blood has paid dividends. You are now ready to retire by either selling the business or transferring it to your employees or family members who will take it to the next level. What does this next level look like? How will the business be different or what changes can be expected to take place? Based on my personal experience, let me share some of my thoughts on what you can expect to happen. I have worked for several door dealers and seen others who have sold their business to an outsider. An outsider could be and investor or a larger door dealership looking to expand into your market. In this instance, the buyer has examined your company and seen a reason to make the purchase. The market potential is good and your business has been proftable, and has a good standing in the community. One of the frst things you may hear from the new owners as they introduce themselves to the existing employee base is that things are going to be just as they have been before and nothing is going to change. Well, from my experience that is the furthest thing from the truth. The one thing you can bet on is that things are going to change. However, please consider that these changes for the most part can be for the good. The new ownership will obviously have their own way of doing things. For starters, the existing software operating system may change to what the new owner likes or is using in some of their others locations. Getting use to the new system may take a little time and become frustrating, and the old saying; "If it isn't broke, don't fx it" 32 may or may not apply. Other changes may be in job descriptions. New departments may be created as an example, and from what once was one manager or dispatcher for everything, may change to one for Service, Install, Commercial, Residential, etc. Whoever bought the business is seeking to secure their investment. Watching the dollars and cents and testing changes that will add more dollars to the bottom line (proft) is something that will always be pursued. Businesses can be very creative in how to do this. Working on getting better pricing from the suppliers, and paying closer attention to freight costs, and ways to lower those are two important ones. Also, paying closer attention to how the feet of company vehicles are dispatched and maintained will often save money on fuel. Assuming that the new ownership is from a younger generation, you can probably expect an upgrade in the technologies that are available. Now, I am not saying that whoever had the business prior was totally outdated and behind the times. However, the new ownership may be more prone to make technologyoriented changes International Door & Operator Industryâ„¢ such as providing sales staff and feld worker with Smart Phones. The previous owner may not have seen a reason or been able to justify the expense of installing a GPS system in every vehicle. I would not have believed it myself had I not seen it with my own eyes. I am about as old school as it gets, but I would readily agree that some of this new technology has been very helpful and advantageous. Another situation that might occur when a business is going through a change like this is adding more diversity to the product line. This could be something like getting into dock equipment sales and service or starting to compete in the new construction market of Residential or Commercial Continued on page 36

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