Management & Operations

CBA meeting offers help to struggling motorcoach operators

Posted on January 1, 2002

Trying to figure out what to do to help business recover is on the top of every motorcoach operator’s list. Dale Bunce, president of International Market Development, shared some ideas with operators during the California Bus Association’s (CBA) Annual Meeting in November in Garden Grove, Calif. “There will be a significant reduction of operators in the industry if we don’t do something quickly,” Bunce said. There are three things that can hinder operators, he said: sales mentality, management and type of business. Motorcoach operators tend to run under an order taking mentality and they need to shift to a sales mentality. “You want successful salesman, not necessarily from the motorcoach industry,” Bunce said. Investing in management skills and running a world-class business means offering a better service to your customer. Know your costs, make comparisons and don’t be resistant to new technology. “Customer satisfaction is the chip to get into the game,” Bunce said. “You need to differentiate or customers will buy based on price.” To do that, Bunce shared five new ideas with operators. These ideas are part of his traveling road show taken to different motorcoach operators around the country. 1. Reverse Convention. Provide both ends of the convention service. Package transportation, hotel and registration. Make available onboard show material and refreshments. Sell this service to trade shows and firms. 2. Key Business Partner. Create a custom travel package between corporate locations or airport hubs. Let the customer design the product. 3. Partnership Program. Partner with local hotels and resorts for packaged vacation products. Provide the transportation arm of total packages for resorts offering local vacations. 4. Major Player.Partner with major businesses to reduce their total cost of transportation in your local market area. Brand local coaches for corporate use. 5. Executive Class Service. Create scheduled service runs between large cities with significant traffic. Tailor programs to business executives to increase their efficiency. The CBA also featured seminars on seat belts and managing the scene of an accident. A maintenance track was held concurrent to the show, which also featured a one-day trade show.

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