When I first started running GameTruck, we only had one truck and trailer. That worked until demand shot through the roof. We quickly built 3 more trailers and I had to hire staff to handle them. Early on, Chris and I could do everything. But when that third trailer showed up, we needed more help. Josh joined us and that’s when things started to get interesting. Who had filled the truck last? Was the first driver to leave going to be the last driver to return? GameTruck was small back then, so everyone was trained to every task. And while everyone could do anything, no one could do everything. This really blew up in our face when one day I sat down to update the game libraries in all the trailers and Chris had parties to run. See the problem? I get this panic phone call. “Where are the GAMES!?” I sped up to North Phoenix with a bundle of DVD’s. Not fun.
Booking was just as complex – we started out with index cards. I learned at Motorola you never automate a process you don’t understand. The index cards helped us put information on the google calendar. But… it was too easy to put something on the calendar without checking how far it was to the next party, or from the previous party for that matter. Parents, especially Mom’s don’t like it when there are 20 anxious 12 year old boys in her front yard and it’s party time with no truck or trailer in sight.
Caring is a great start, but being dependable requires more. Some problems you just can’t muscle your way through. It takes more the raw effort and desire to run a sophisticated mobile business. It takes smarts. Specifically, it takes tools and planning.
Caring about your business is not enough. You have to be smart about it too.
Until I ran a multi-trailer video game party business, I had no clue on the level of logistics planning that goes into executing a flawless weekend of events. This was why we early on invested in planning and logistics software to meet our needs. I’m talking about a lot more than GPS route planning. Our software is purpose built to help GameTruck owners. The whole goal is to give owners the right information, at the right time, when they can act on it.
Let me be more specific, the GameTruck portal doesn’t just tell you how long it would take to drive from one party to another, it also tells the person booking an event how long it is likely to take to make that drive on that specific day of the week, at that specific time of day the event is scheduled for. It does this right as you are booking the event! The system gives the owner, and the client information they can plan with.
“Being Smart” is about helping everyone make informed decisions so they can plan
From my perspective “Being Smart” is about helping everyone make informed decisions so they can plan. Our logistics software is just one example of that principle. When the person on the phone has accurate information, they not only sound smart, but they can make better decisions. When you have the information you need, when you need it, you can focus on the people you serve. Automating the ordinary, so the our team members can do the extraordinary is the best kind of smart I know.
Automating the ordinary, so the our team members can do the extraordinary is the best kind of smart I know.
Being smart is not just about having a high intellect or memorizing a lot of facts. To me it is a mindset. It is about learning from mistakes, reducing opportunities for error, and putting people in a position to be successful. It is about anticipating problems as much as possible and preparing to mitigate them. At the end of the day, competence is made of two core elements: Knowing what to do and being able to do it. As a franchisor we can make owners lives easier if we make the work easier to do with automation and strong systems. If we do that, then our owners can make mom the hero of her child’s birthday. And that, is the real goal.