Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.
Issue link: http://lctmag.epubxp.com/i/765069
30 LIMOUSINE, CHARTER & TOUR JANUARY 2017 WWW.LCTMAG.COM MONEY: MANAGEMENT W ith names like Wheels in Motion and Global Partners, groups of operators gather to focus on the challenges within their markets. These so-called "20 groups" generally consist of about 20 operators gathered based on similar fleet sizes, revenues, and job positions. Some groups consist exclusively of af- filiate managers, while others are made up of owners or general managers. Other groups are organized by operators who add affiliates or friends. And a third type is organized by companies such as Driving Results, a business owned by Arthur Mes- sina, best known for his 30-year industry career running Create-A-Card, a market- ing company. Messina contracts with operators and former operators to facilitate the groups and spark conversations about challenges they face. Members share their perspec- tives on issues and offer peer-to-peer ad- vice. The groups meet in various cities around the nation offering operators a chance to participate in onsite visits with other ground transportation companies. While the groups are visible on social media for their team-building events, lo- cal tours, and dinners, the meetings typi- cally run all day and focus on learning, sharing, and critiquing each other. Each member signs a non-disclosure agree- ment swearing them to secrecy as no subject is off limits from accounts receiv- able balances to financial health of the companies, hiring and training matters, and just about anything else. Below are some of the critical challeng- es impinging on operators' bottom lines: 1. Recruitment Challenges The biggest challenge facing most op- erators isn't the TNC issue itself, but the competition that narrows the avail- ability of qualified chauffeurs. From New York to Los Angeles, Tucson to Charleston, simply finding chauffeurs to interview, let alone hire, has turned into an ordeal. Operators collectively blame this on shrinking profit margins limiting how much pay and benefits they can offer. TNCs contribute to this problem as chauffeurs have defected to Uber and Lyft to get more hours, be their own bosses, and work when they feel like it. Operators have shared their sourc- es of recruitment including Craigslist, Ziprecruiter, LinkedIn, and even Face- book. While Craigslist is a free service, Peer-to-Peer Groups Help Solve Financial And Business Problems Operators nationwide meet regularly to discuss issues, share advice, and recommend solutions. It can all lead to better practices and more profitable companies. By Jim A. Luff, LCT contributing editor Front Row (L to R): Stephen Ward, Above All Transportation; James Haiskey, Town & Country Limousine; George Jacobs, Windy City Lim- ousine; Marvin Prince, LSA Worldwide; Umut Aslan, Men In Black Transportation; Ashley McMullin, GHL; Margaret Day, Reston Limousine; Jeanne Caputo MTC Worldwide; Mary Beall, The Driver Provider; Mark Payne, LeGrande Butler; and Chris Bell, AWG Ambassador. Back Row: (L to R): Sami Elotmani, Destination MCO; Stephanie Walton, Best Transportation; Heather Allen, Network Limousines; Katy Urquhart, Limo Livery; Keith Soraci, A1A Airport Limousine; Johne Baker, Mosaic Global Transportation; Kara Raftery, Executive Limo & Coach; and Arthur Messina, Driving Results.