FleetCross boss shares business know-how

Dec 16, 2004

Jack Schickler '64, returned to Kettering to share his tips for business success with students.

"Go where people aren't, where there is no competition" was the advice of John "Jack" Schickler '65, chief executive officer and founder of FleetCross - Service Professionals Inc., to Kettering students recently. The Kettering/GMI alumnus was on campus at the invitation of Student Alumni Council to share his personal success story with students.

Schickler said he took a personal interest in the use of polymer technology in automotive manufacturing in its early stages. "It was the topic of my GMI thesis and I built a career on it," he said, "I continued to explore the possibilities of polymer technology as a production manager and plant manager."

His key philosophies of business included:
Think opposite - do what no one expects you to do.
Pleasantly surprise the customer.
Create opportunities with your expertise.
Provide measurements like pilot tests, cost savings potential and market analyses to sell your idea.
Flex and adapt to your environment.
Have integrity - make a promise and deliver more than you promise.
Analyze potential threats and outfox the outsourcers.
Find out how business works in other countries.
Integrate disparate systems.
Learn a foreign language.

Schickler started FleetCross with just himself, his sister and two computers. The company now has sites in Rochester, New York, Flint, Mich., and Kensington, Calif., and employs a Kettering co-op student.

Schickler holds BSME and MSCHE degrees from Kettering University (formerly General Motors Institute) and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

In addition to speaking with students, he also donated $900 to help the Student Alumni Council's (SAC) fundraiser for Flint-based charity Children's Dream Center. The donation helped SAC donate enough money to feed 300 families in Flint during the Thanksgiving holiday.

FleetCross provides custom databases, software and networks for parts and service referencing of vehicles and equipment. Service Professionals, Inc. will create and maintain any database for its customers, including text, illustrations and cross references. Service Professionals, Inc. also offers web-based network services.

Service Professionals, Inc.'s services include VMRS coding of parts and labor data and a range of ready-to-use software and data modules under the FleetCross? product label. Service Professionals, Inc. also owns and maintains the largest "all-makes" VMRS coded parts database and cross reference in the vehicle industry and sells licenses to their utilization in the FleetCross modules. They are on the world wide web at www.fleetcross.com.

Written by Dawn Hibbard