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Gary May

Gary May President

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Come on, let's admit it. If someone launches a new tool, application, service, widget, doohickey, gizmo or gadget, we'll all explode. We are so full of tools, you likely feel like the Craftsman section at your local Sears...

Fact is we can probably expect more and that is what keeps pushing the bar forward. With the store closures, OEM staff reductions, agency layoffs and more you can likely look forward to more consultants, new software, increased industry service providers and just plain more 'stuff'.

And considering how most owners, GMs and GSMs buy stuff, there may be cause for more companies wanting to get their piece of a smaller spend pie because they're 'new, shiny, better, sexier or have great advertising'. Folks, we're not using all the tools you have currently, even if you don't really know how to use them in the first place (Ok, you can put all of your hands down because we know you haven't seen your so-called rep in nearly a year who promised the latest training you needed months ago).

More than ever, it's not about sticking with who you already have, simply saving a buck or not taking meetings with new vendors (excuses today are a penny a dozen). Simply put, you get what you pay for. If you are saving $200 a month between one service and another, you had better know what you're missing. If you're not investing in your staff's education/training (yes, I hate that word but the old guard will understand it), you might as well lower your unit forecast by 25-40%. And if you're not willing to take 'another meeting', you might as well hand a few extra dollars to your competitor down the street and take the rest of the week off.

Overwhelmed by technology? Don't ignore it, please! Don't understand something? Get a non-manager in your office that will use the tool/service and get THEIR take on it first hand, don't just give them a sell sheet and have them make a decision.

Over the next couple weeks, IM@CS is going to take a deeper dive into services available to the industry and write 'em up. We'll cover mobile, chat and inventory to start and see where it takes us. We hope to clear up misconceptions, especially around price since nearly everyone seems to be completely misguided on saving a buck versus being more effective. And then we'll try to take it from there...hope you get to use the information in profitable ways!!

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