Dealership Management is a “big to small” daily thinking and management process. The Service Manager or Fixed Operations Director that can see the “big picture” and then make it into small Action Steps that can be communicated clearly, are measurable and can be implemented is way ahead of the next guy who only focuses on the “big picture.”
As a Leader in your Dealership (Dealer Principals included), the ability to take the biggest challenges and break them down into small chunks of Actionable items is a highly prized and trainable skill. Here are 3 Actions Steps you can take to start making big mountains into little hills.
Start by measuring the most important Key Performance Indicators every day. This one step takes all of the “this month is terrible” and “I’m having a bad quarter” feelings of doom and gloom out of the equation and lets you focus on the most important pieces of the Profit Puzzle.
How does this happen? When you begin to break down the whole Service Department Operations into smaller pieces of “What can we do today about the Effective Labor Rate?” or “What can I do today to change my Additional Service Requests conversion rate” then you can make real changes where they need to happen…on the ground floor.
This daily monitoring and measuring produces results as long as you do something with the information you have collected.
That leads to the second step. Take Action.
After you have measured used and monitored you will have a complete set of good and not so good statistics that will give you some idea of the direction you need to take. That’s why it is so important to do it daily. Remember, the goal is to make small corrections to stay on course. In other words, change the big picture with small adjustments, not remake the big picture.
If your Service Advisor has an off day in ASR conversion, make a note of it, and then ask the Advisor at the earliest opportunity, “I noticed that yesterday did not seem to go so well for you regarding ASRs. What do you think happened?” This constant “course correction” will yield sustainable progress.
Lastly, keep your personnel informed.
Tell them, inform them, and communicate with them on a daily and regular basis, not just the “Do you have a minute” conversations that always seem to have a negative connotation.
Have other conversations that start off with “Hey, Mr. Jones was very happy with their car yesterday” or “Wanted to let you know that you are doing a great job and I am counting on you to lead the way” and other similar conversations. These will keep the personnel up to date and make them feel they are part of the team.
Breaking the “big picture” down into small Actionable Steps is the first step to sustained and reliable Profit. Measure and monitor on a daily basis, take Action on the data collected and keep your personnel informed and up to date. Before you know it, you will have months of consistent Profit.