Increase Gross Profit, Increase Net Profit, Control Expenses, Increase Sales.
Chances are you have been living those four financial principles since you became the owner or GM. And if you are a service manager reading this, you have been the willing champion of the preceding 4 financial cornerstones to dealership success.
How does it make you feel when you read the statement, and it is painfully obvious to you what needs to be done, yet there does not seem to be anybody on your team following those 4 financial principles?
A little frustrated?
Let me ask you another question. Do you know the 3 steps you can take right now to get your team focused on your goals and get you dealership on firm financial ground? Would you like to take a few minutes and learn how you can get started on your dealership’s financial success?
Ok, here we go.
1st, observe your teams performance and take notes on what they do well and what you would like for them to change. It’s quite simple really. In regards to your Fixed Ops Team, there are 3 areas to observe.
The service drive, the back parts counter and the cashier booth or customer pickup area (for those dealers whose service advisors are cashiering).
Making these observations requires no more than an hour a day for several days in a row. Best times for the service drive is morning 8-10, back parts counter anytime and the cashier booth from 4-6 pm. You will learn a lot about your dealership in a short period of time.
This is a critical step in making the necessary changes. Be prepared to discuss with your service manager/director the specific observations you made. Make sure your write down the things they did well and start with those first.
2nd, make a plan to correct the actions that do not meet the performance standards. If you don’t have performance standards, now would be a good time to establish them.
Get the manager involved by meeting with him or her and defining the standards they are to be accountable for. The number one barrier to success in any organization is the inability of leadership and management personnel to correctly identify performance goals. And if they don’t understand them, you can bet that Andy Advisor does not understand them.
This plan includes your expectations, mid-level and ending goals and should be focused on 3 separate timelines as follows; immediate (within the next 2-3 weeks), 90 days and 180 days. Describe exactly what actions you expect to be taken along with the expected outcomes.
3rd, train on the processes and coach on the performance. It is critical for every customer contact person to have a process for everything from answering the phone to making a service sale. Without a process to follow a team will disintegrate to the highest level of self-knowledge available to each individual team member and then begin to perform their duties at a level they determine to be acceptable rather than the level expected.
At this point they become un-coachable because you cannot correct or change the behavior of an individual who is performing their duties as best they know how in the absence of process and performance standards. Every single action in every successful organization since the dawn of man has been process driven. And when people are coached on their performance in the execution of processes they become successful.
Dealership financial success begins by taking action. These 3 action steps will get you started on making your dealership the financial success you expect.
By Leonard Buchholz