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A Tradition of Innovation: A Blast from NCM’s Past


Here at NCM, our employee-owners tend to focus on the future. Coordinators are always prepping for the next 20 Group meeting, while the moderators are busy combing through composites. Our NCMi instructors keep an eye on advancements in the field, all while making sure they are available for their students. As for our business intelligence team … well, join us at the NADA Conference to see what they’ve been up to!

Progress is important. But when we discovered a treasure trove of old 20 Group documents during our corporate headquarters move, we couldn’t wait to share them with you.

So, take a break from the future and enjoy this blast from NCM’s past!

20 Group Meeting – 1954

We don’t have a record of which particular 20 Group used this meeting pack, but in 1954 its members would have had a session with moderators from Central Services—the original name of our company.

You’ll see that members enjoyed a pretty short agenda … but that the information speaks to issues we face even today!

1954 Meeting Agenda

We sent the materials out to be “copied” – or, as on this invoice, mimeographed! This bill isn’t from the same year, but it gives you an idea of the cost.

Dealer Analysis Bureau, or DAB, is the name of our original 20 Group, Group 2001, which still thrives to this day. Those of you who’ve attended a class or 20 Group session in our new Kansas City headquarters should recognize the names—we honor our founders and our old company names by naming all our conference and training rooms after them.

1959 Copying Services Receipt

Going back to our 1954 meeting pack, take a look at this section “The Things We Neglected in 1953.” This group’s moderator made it clear that improvements were needed over 1953’s results. This handy checklist told dealers exactly what they should monitor in the coming year.

Things We Neglected in 1953 - Checklist

Any of these items sound familiar? We may not hand type them, but NCM’s experts continue to publish guides to help our dealers make the most of their departments. Thanks to new technologies and demands on dealerships, they are quite a bit longer!

In fact, we’ve just launched our new Fundamentals series. With three volumes currently available—30 Fundamentals for Used Vehicle Success, 35 Fundamentals for Parts Performance and 35 Fundamentals for Service Success—and several more in production, the series highlights our commitment to continuous improvement. Test drive our experts’ knowledge and get your choice of guide when you sign up for a mini-session at NADA. (You’ll also be entered into a drawing to win a free drone!)

It just goes to show that the more things change, the more things stay the same!

About the author

Lindsey Quinn

Lindsey Quinn

Lindsey Quinn, our content manager, works with NCM moderators, consultants, instructors, and staff to keep you informed of developing trends in the automotive industry. After more than fifteen years writing professionally—and a brief teaching stint—she believes that everyone has a compelling story and valuable knowledge to share, but sometimes they need a little help getting it on paper. Lindsey holds a BA in anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania and an MA in English Language and Literature from the University of Missouri, Kansas City.

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