Wheel Service

Champion Tire and Wheel

Champion Tire


NASCAR is big business in North Carolina. One unusual business is Champion Tire and Wheel located in Cornelius, NC.

A single NASCAR team owns about 260 wheels. Keeping track….storing….transporting the wheels is so involved that NASCAR teams contract the “wheel service” to companies like Champion.

An article in Photonics Spectra details how an image-based bar-code reader with a liquid lens module is part of a well-designed system to keep track of the race car wheels.


Sophisticated technology for a “wheel”.


Casper Sleep

Matress in a Box


Bedding (mattress and foundation) is very confusing to a customer. The main reasons – many varieties and price points. There is even super premium bedding that retails for thousands of dollars.

Casper Sleep has developed a mattress that is easily transported….it comes in a box. The one drawback….it still requires a foundation.

In our business….a customer objection was that they only needed to purchase a mattress….the box spring was serviceable. In reality….the box spring/foundation was worn out. 

Just like for a house, a solid foundation (box spring) makes a better house (mattress). Of course….the manufacturers would not warranty the mattress without a matching box spring. A 312 coil mattress would also have a 312 coil foundation….the best combination.

Mattress in a box – different and meets a specific need.




Alphanumeric Systems


Alphanumeric Systems was founded in 1979….its primary business was computer hardware sales.

The business was sold to new owners in 2009….the business was good but the future was uncertain. The new owners decided to reinvent Alphanumeric by transforming it into an information services technology business.

From the N & O: http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/04/19/3794905/focus-on-services-helps-raleighs.html

There are several lessons learned in the article….yet the key point….if the business had not changed directions “we wouldn’t be in business today”.






From the Sports Page


Two good articles from the N&O sports page and an observation on what they say:

1) The new Athletic Director (AD) shakes up the status quo at UNC. The AD takes a business management approach to the position. He’s a fan of Jim Collins’ best seller – “Good to Great”. The focus of the article is that it was time for UNC athletics  to have a strategy and learn how to be better from a business perspective and an athletics perspective.

2) Duke basketball has an exceptional leader in Coach “K”. The program instills a strong sense of loyalty and dedication to be the very best. It has done so consistently for many years. One of Coach Ks assistants (a former player as all the assistants are) is now the head coach at Marquette University. His comment: “You said you’d (Coach K) give me your best every day and you would expect the same from me.” A simple but powerful example of leadership.

My Observation:

While sports and business is often about wining and losing….it is more so on how you play the game.


Ineffective Ad


I wrote about a poorly designed advertisement in Business North Carolina (4.15.14)

Well, in todays News & Observer, was an example of advertising that doesn’t work.

Total Wines is a large retailer of wines with several locations in the RDU area and also nationwide. Previously, Total Wines has used multi-color circulars as their primarily advertising medium. It seems those have been replaced by traditional display newspaper ads.

Todays ad is 3/4’s of a page….black and white….20% of which is completely unreadable. From my experience….especially in this form of advertising….color enhances the products and produces a more effective ad.

The ad itself doesn’t do much to sell wines other than a 10% off coupon (of course with stipulations!). Whoever wrote/designed this ad needs to go back to Advertising 101….and in this case advertising doesn’t work!




Customers Forever


Seth Godin (4.11.14): “The customer is never out of warranty, even if his product is. Think lifetime, all the time.”

My newest ink-jet printer is an Epson XP-410. Epson printers have worked well for me….however, my last Epson printer lasted less than a year and a half. I don’t buy the Epson replacement ink….I get that from PrintPal (Most printers are sold at a little above cost. The manufactures expect their printer profits to derive from ink cartridge sales.)

So far, I’m a long-term Epson customer. I trust Epson remembers that when the XP-410 is out of warranty.

What Seth is saying in his post. Businesses forget the lifetime value of the customer. Regardless of product warranty….take care of the customer.



Readable ?

BusinessNC Ad


Business North Carolina has redesigned their magazine. The design for the most part is well done….except for:

The advertisement on page 35  (April 2014 issue).

Fortunately, the page was not a paid advertisement. If it was, an advertiser would have wanted a complete refund. Graphic design can become too esoteric. Page 35 is orange/yellow with text….most of it small….and unreadable.

Even though this was an in-house ad….it could have been better designed….at the very least readable.