contend that as motor club providers, we are better off eating Twinkies together than eating broccoli alone. The problems created by having an assortment of opinions in a room dwarf the weight of navigating a business these days on an island. The cry of a single voice is so easily drowned out when your business partner is as resourceful as your average motor club. Because motor clubs tend to paint policies and procedures for their providers with a wide brush, a one size fits all approach can be cumbersome for a small business to manage. But in the problem is hidden the blessing; one policy for the many can propagate one solution for the same group. This is why the UCMCS has the motto “STRENGTH IN NUMBERS, STRENGTH IN FOCUS.” When we come together to solve the problems we all have in common, we not only solve the problem, but we build a stronger community when we do so.
Why community matters
When one stops to think about what it is that we do everyday, it is the sort of thing that is noble, understated and necessary to the well being of the motoring public. Despite the advancements of the automobile, road service is still an essential service for the general public. So many people count on our services to keep them safe and keep them mobile. Law enforcement agencies, repair businesses and motor clubs all depend on us to help deliver their services. Too often it is the providers of road service that have the least to say about how and when this gets done. On our own you and I are left to tell our story to an audience that can simply refrain from any dialogue that may be costly or painful to them as they can easily give us the old, “take it or leave” speech. Together we have a larger voice to speak out in defense of our craft. And speak out we must! We owe it to our businesses, our employees and the general public to not only to sculpt our futures but to communicate our story. A collective voice with a focused story is just the right medicine for an industry in need of autonomy.
Towers have historically been resilient business people who exist in a tough industry. Huge capital investments for equipment that on average only lasts for 5 years and ever changing pools of employees make our business models some of the most competitive ventures around. We are heavily regulated, highly demanded, and largely ignored until we are needed. Most towing companies are usually an American story of self starting entrepreneurs or a story of legacy with many towing businesses being handed down through the family. Whatever the case may be one thing is for certain; there are not many large corporate towing companies that come to mind. Perhaps the only large company owned fleets are owned by auto clubs. One wonders why this is the case; is for economic reason or to make a statement? Whatever is the answer to that question it is still the mom and pop style of businesses that survive. It is our small diverse and yet similar businesses that have the needed touch to deliver a safe reliable service to the motoring public. Currently no one does it better for even close to the efficiency model that we display on a daily basis. Many have profited from our labor and even take the credit for our work but in the end it is us the road service responders that are getting the job done.
Why the Coalition is Essential
As towers we move forward in an uncertain business world. Technology is changing the cars that we service and is changing the expectations of those receiving our services. The cell phone has become a carry around personal computer allowing for greater choices for our customers. This is presenting major challenges for those motor clubs who control the emergency road service market place. One need not join a club or be a member to receive the benefits of road service. The way in which the business is being dispersed is now in play but much of the service that will be provided will still come from our industry as it now exists. Although it is true that some road service providers are using personal vehicles to perform some light service, it has yet to be demonstrated that these are the least bit viable as future business models. So far these models have only proven to be flimsy businesses that are here today and gone tomorrow. The UCMCS is committed to making us strong. There are no shortcuts to our trade, if there were we would have been pushed out long ago. Our greatest weakness has been that we are easily fractured and pitted against one another. The Coalition has set about to unite us in a legal and fair way to improve our businesses. Here is a list of some of the things your Coalition has done:
1. We have established a trade organization and registered it with the Secretary of State.
2. Within the Coalition we have legal counsel that has educated the membership on anti trust law as well as other laws pertaining to our industry.
3. The Coalition set forth the idea of sourcing and many of its’ members have been instrumental in different venues for making it a reality.
4. The Coalition is currently weaving together an education program that is suitable for certification with law enforcement agencies and yet addresses the unique concerns of roadside safety that motor club towers face.
5. We have created a legal fund.
6. We have interviewed public relations firms to begin to investigate our industry and begin to tell our incredible story to the general public; stories of our exemplary employee’s that are true heroes on our states streets and highways.
7. We have created a communication network of businesses that want to belong to a community of like minded businesses that want to change their futures.
8. Finally the coalition gives you a voice with your government. We have through our legal counsel a group of talented lobbyists that continually monitor the goings on at the State Capitol with regards to changes in the law that will affect you. We invite you to come be a part of the UCMCS. We believe that participating in the coalition is the best way for you to be the next change your business and not hope that some motor club or agency will stumble upon something that benefits your business. Together we can make a difference, please join us for our annual meeting.
My Best Regards,
(former) UCMCS President