National Oil & Lube News

March 2017

Digital issues of National Oil & Lube News, the trade magazine for the preventive maintenance industry

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Page 24 of 67

March 2017 | NOLN 25 "For the quarter ending September 30, Valvoline's Quick Lube segment represented about 30 percent of our total operating income, so adding quick lube units is a significant part of our overall strategy," Puckett said. He further credited the company's ability to provide a superior plat- form, which includes its proprietary SuperPro operating system and ful- ly-integrated point-of-sale system, that is key to the success in the mar- ket. is, in turn, should mean better service for customers heading to the shops Valvoline has acquired. "Our mission is to provide quick, easy and trusted service, so we start by improving speed of service in a newly acquired service center," Puckett said. "We then focus on team member development, so customers see better-trained employees, while employees start to see a career path in this business." Graying of the Industry ese acquisitions could be coming at a time when many independent owners and operators are looking to retire; so in this regard, this could be seen as a win-win for all parties involved. "Take a quick look around the industry today, and you'll see many quick lube owners are nearing retirement age," Puckett said. "ey're starting to explore their options, and they want someone who's going to care for the business they worked so hard to build. Selling to Valvoline gives owners confidence because they know we're in this business for the long-term, we've demonstrated an ability to improve store performance and we in- vest in employees. It's a win for the seller, the customer, the industry and Valvoline." e question is, how do those who aren't ready to sell or retire deal with this changing market, and should they be worried about how it is chang- ing the landscape for small operators? "If you are running a successful shop, it isn't really an issue," Baynes said. "It is about customer service, and if you can provide good customer service, you can always stand the competition — and that doesn't matter if it is a larger brand. It isn't something I'd be overly concerned with if I was an indie operator. "My mentor told me years ago that a quick lube is really selling the con- venience that comes with an oil change. If you provide that service and have a good location, then it doesn't matter. Competition from a larger brand isn't going to hurt you. One thing about this industry is, the larger players can't undercut you on pricing — they can get a little cheaper, but not enough." Industry acquisitions may change the signs on the shops, but the day- to-day business across the industry should continue. What could be a game-changer, however, is if those larger players ever do start to eye one another. S " " The folks like Driven Brands and Valvoline are looking at multi-operational brands to buy. It is really an economy of scale. Michael Baynes, president of Auto Center Sales

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