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Steven Banks

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What is the Answer to Work/Life Balance?

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I was at Barnes & Noble the other day to burn through a gift card that has been sitting in my wallet since Christmas, and on my way to the coffee nook located in the back corner I had to walk past three rows of “self-help” books. I mean literally, three full rows, from top to bottom and side to side. I couldn’t help but wonder if we really live in such a desperate time where we need 3,519 books that claim to hold the solution to life’s problems.

Most of us are guilty of reading at least one of these in our lifetime. I know I am. And while there is a plethora of good advice and friendly reminders found in the pages of these books, the truth of the matter is that there is no single perfect solution to life’s crises. And that includes the infamous work/life balance predicament.

I’m a firm believer in the quote by Lord Kelvin that states:

“If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it”

And time is a key ingredient to some of the most valuable measurement standards. Think about it, MPH is a measurement of speed but could not be done without “hours” being involved. RPM is a measurement of rotations that could not be done without “minutes” being involved. And light-year is a measurement of distance that could not be done without “year” being involved. While I do not hold the answer to the work/life challenge, I certainly feel those measurements are proof that one can at least improve upon how they manage their time.

What does this mean for dealerships?

I’m glad you asked.  Let me first throw a few stats at you.

Stat 1: The average dealership is manually generating, creating, or updating reports nearly 300 times per month.

Stat 2: The average time spent updating a single report is 15 minutes.

Stat 3: A manager in a dealership is averaging $50/hour.

What this means is that, on average, a typical dealership’s managing team is spending 900 hours per year manually generating reports. This is 900 production hours spent behind a computer screen and not on the floor. That is equivalent to $45,000. Here’s the catch: You NEED these reports because they contain information that is essential to operate the store.

So what are we supposed to do about it? Well, here’s a thought: With the ever-advancing technological world, there are invaluable resources and tools designed specifically for dealerships to automate these reports that are being generated manually. I believe these tools have now moved from the nice-to-have category into the essential category. Although people have access to an abundance of information, particularly inside the DMS, it is not always easy for them to find, compile, and make sense of.

Yes, there typically is an investment to obtain this kind of tool, but the return of the productive time that a dealership gets from leveraging it should outweigh the expense tenfold. By automating what many of us are doing manually, we can be more productive and save an abundance of time. Time which we can invest in areas of our lives that don’t consist of data mining or number crunching.


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About the author

Steven Banks

Steven has over a decade of sales and management experience with focused expertise in web-based benchmarking, forecasting and financial analysis technologies. As Operations Manager for the NCM axcessa division, he ensures the efficient and effective operation of the division’s day-to-day activities. Steven is also a valuable resource for NCM axcessa clients, assisting them in maximizing the many features and benefits of axcessa’s powerful data management tools, and helping them drive better performance and greater profitability from their dealership operations.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2014/04/what-is-the-answer-to-worklife-balance/

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