PUBLISHER'S PERSPECTIVE: Take a Chance on Change - BodyShop Business
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PUBLISHER’S PERSPECTIVE: Take a Chance on Change

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If you’ve read any of my previous columns, you know that the recurring theme has been to plan for change and not be afraid of it. I read many columns in periodicals related to my interests and often wonder why there’s no follow-up to advice given or outcomes on upcoming events. So I feel that it’s my duty to follow up on several of my past columns that dealt with making changes and planning for the future.

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Change that happens to us that we’re not ready for is often not considered positive. It’s true that, in some situations, we grow from unplanned change, but it’s usually a painful growth period at best. Planned change is good because it allows us to feel a sense of control along the way. It also serves as a reminder of why we decided to make the change in the first place when we start to question our actions midway through the conversion. Much of the discomfort involved with change is mental, and we have to manage our minds in the process as well as the project itself and possibly our employees, too.

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About seven months ago, the staff and I here at BodyShop Business made the decision to hold the inaugural BodyShop Business Waterborne Conference. Our topic of waterborne/low-VOC coatings was a relevant one that we felt you, our readers, needed complete and accurate information on. We knew waterborne conversion was an important decision for you to make and that there was lots of misinformation out there. It could impact your processes as well as have potential financial effects on your business. Our decision was clear: You needed the information and we needed to get it to you.

As with any planned decision to change, we spent months planning the conference and created an end product for the attendees that proved to be beneficial. Along the way, we faced significant challenges, not the least of which was the ailing economy. Skeptics told us that shops wouldn’t attend a conference, with some even laughing at the idea. However, we remained undaunted in our efforts, with the need for this kind of conference driving us forward to find a way to deliver it.

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Our sponsors and exhibitors agreed that this would be a valuable and well-received event. Each one committed significant resources to it, and we went on with the planning. In the end, the shops attended and it was a huge success. Attendees were able to get information on the conversion to low-VOC coatings all in one place, from speakers representing the EPA and the South Coast Air Quality Management District and other industry heavyweights. Additionally, the weather cooperated and we were all treated to a spectacular evening dinner and a lakeside sunset.

My point in sharing this with all of you is that we saw a need and took a chance on change. We planned for the change and worked our plan. We were challenged along the way, but with our planning came conviction and the drive to execute our plan.

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If you’re thinking about a new profit center or major change in your business, don’t hide from the opportunity. Take control of the change and make it. There’s no new business in “business as usual.”

I want to thank all of our conference sponsors: AkzoNobel, BASF, DuPont, Garmat, Global Finishing Solutions, Sherwin-Williams and Spray-Tech/ Junair. I also want to thank our exhibitors and, of course, all of you who showed up. You all made the event possible.

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