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Management

Leading You Through the Storm

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It’s no secret our industry is undergoing a phenomenal phase of change. Here at BodyShop Business, we too are changing right along with you. Some changes are obvious, such as new managing editor Jason Stahl joining our staff for this issue. But most others are less obvious, and I’d like to bring a few to your attention.

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As we began to evaluate our editorial mission a few months back, we realized an opportunity was staring us in the face. Like you, we were observing and commenting on the changes that were taking place throughout the industry. And, like you, we knew we could embrace those changes and help you manage your businesses through “the storm.” Or, we could sit idly by and be swept away by the gale force “winds of change.”

We chose to embrace the changes, but not because we didn’t like what happened to Dorothy as the wind swept her off to Oz. We chose to embrace the changes because it was a mere matter of survival – not only for us, but our readers as well.

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But a funny thing happened on the way to our new self-actualization. We realized that we could actually go beyond the traditional “reflect what you see, report what you know” role of trade publishing and guide our readers down the path of change – from the front of the pack rather than the middle or back!

Now, how is that possible when we don’t own a shop and don’t actually engage in the business of vehicle repair? Well, it started when I talked with a shop owner who had completely transformed his own business. He was having success, and was very excited to show me how he was doing it. During my visit, I asked a very simple question: “Did anything you ever read in any industry trade publication help you to realize that you needed to move in this direction?” As he paused to think about his answer, I knew instantly what it would be.

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Almost apologetically, he confirmed what I already knew. “No,” he replied, and justified my disappointment. Immediately following that visit, BodyShop Business began to transform. This is not to discredit nor diminish the value we brought (and continue to bring) to our readers in the past. Rather, this cried out to me as an opportunity to do so much more.

As this issue is printed, we’re now four months in to the “Process Efficiency” articles being written by contributing editor John Sweigart. Not only is he revealing to you the valuable components of lean manufacturing principles, he’s practically leading (if you’re willing to go) your business through the process. That’s how we’re “out in front” of the change that’s impacting your livelihood, and that’s exactly where we intend to stay.

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I hope you’re enjoying the transformation of BodyShop Business and our editorial goal of being the “elite business publication” serving the collision repair industry. But even more, I hope you’re benefiting from it. For, as the winds of change continue to gust and blow with mighty force, we want to actively lead you through the storm and not just report on it.

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