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Lindsey Quinn

Lindsey Quinn

Author's details

Name: Lindsey Quinn
Date registered: July 30, 2015

Biography

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.

Latest posts

  1. NCM Case Study: How Darin Wade Saved Power Ford — April 25, 2017
  2. Five BDC Trends to Watch in 2017 — January 5, 2017
  3. Stop Embezzlement Before It Starts — October 6, 2016
  4. 3 Steps to Protect Your Dealership from Data Breaches — October 4, 2016
  5. 5 Reasons Why You MUST Attract Digital Car Shoppers — August 11, 2016

Author's posts listings

Lindsey Quinn

NCM Case Study: How Darin Wade Saved Power Ford

Power Ford

When Darin Wade purchased a Ford dealership in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 2012, there was no question that he was facing a challenge. “Nobody ever says,” he jokes, “‘Hey, our dealership is doing so well that we just want to give you a piece of it!’”

New employees, new challenges

So it wasn’t a big surprise when Wade realized that his new staff had no idea just how poorly they were performing. A big part of it, he clarifies, was the preexisting culture.

“I’m one of those dealers who believes in sharing all of the numbers with my team,” he explains, “because I have found that if you don’t share the numbers, they typically make it up. And they usually don’t make up the numbers in your favor.”

“Sure enough,” Wade adds, “most of the employees that were over here … the numbers weren’t shared with them. So, they had a pretty good idea that they weren’t doing very well, but they didn’t know.”

Quick solutions for a high-performing culture

“There was some lack of training,” Wade says. “So, when my NCM moderator called and thought that our store might need help … well, he knows me, and he was dead-on correct!” Wade made arrangements for Lee Michaelson, one of NCM Associates’ consultants, to evaluate the store and develop an improvement plan.

Michaelson and Wade began working together to address the dealership’s most pressing concerns. (They continue to work together to this day.) And, because the consultant came to the dealership each month, the approach had minimal impact on the overall operation. “This whole concept of bringing a trainer to your store is great because our number one challenge anytime we take people out of our store is that not only do we struggle with production going down, but we also struggle with the expense of getting them somewhere. Especially in Albuquerque, New Mexico: I mean, it’s a plane flight for quite a bit of distance wherever you want to go!”

Get the most from every expert visit

Success takes more than having the consultant onsite, Wade explains. Like any improvement process, consulting requires commitment. Here are Darin Wade’s must-do steps to bring an expert onsite.

  1. Make it mandatory for your team. “You just can’t have any interruptions,” Wade explains. “We know when Lee is coming in, and it breaks down to four hours tops, maybe three. You have to have an environment that’s a locked door deal, and you have to have the rest of your staff able to cover the positions. And it will be three hours very well spent.”
  2. Be there. “The general manager or dealer principal needs to be in the meeting 100% of the time because it shows his people that he’s serious about it.”
  3. Take advantage of goal setting. “NCM’s format is great on goal setting and commitment time,” Wade comments. “Every department head will be asked to do a commitment plan, and write it down. The sheets will be turned into not only the dealer and GM but also to the consultant. And I think the best use of the time is that every 60 days that you do the consulting, we also start with the commitment and did we get there or not? I think if you do that, you’ll grow your store.”

A powerful combination

While Wade was already a long-term NCM 20 Group member, adding consulting to the mix was exactly the right combination to bring Power Ford back to benchmark. “The format for the NCM deal,” he says, “is phenomenal.”

“I think NCM does a good job of recruiting people that have done things before,” he adds. “I mean, Lee Michaelson has run a dealership before. And, when a vendor comes in and speaks the same language and can actually walk the walk, not just talk the talk, people in the retail industry can see into that very quickly.

“When you have a 3rd party who’s validated like that … and saying the same things that you say … it adds another layer of credibility to how you run your business.” And your employees pay attention.

At Power Ford, consulting got the staff quickly up to speed and transformed how management and employees communicated: “Suddenly you’re having business conversations instead of guessing, even at lower levels, whether a department head or even just a manager. It helps them connect the dots between what their daily routines do and how they affect the financial statement and the numbers.”

Laying the foundation for success

About a year after taking ownership, Wade reported to Albuquerque Business First that sales were up 300 percent over the previous year, with car sales up more than 50 percent and trucks up 6 percent.

Four years later, Power Ford continues to be a top-seller in the area. While his new leadership clearly was the driving force behind the dealership’s transformation, Wade is quick to praise his partnership with NCM consultant, Lee Michaelson. “It was our moderator being the catalyst for change. Sometimes the general manager and dealer principal can say it, and everybody understands that. But when it comes from a different source, sometimes that’s the extra thing that’s needed that can help your team realize that they need to … they actually need to do the action in order to get the results.”

See how NCM 20 Groups and in-dealership consulting can help your dealership improve, just like Power Ford.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2017/04/ncm-case-study-how-darin-wade-saved-power-ford/

Lindsey Quinn

Five BDC Trends to Watch in 2017

Business Team Corporate Organization Meeting Concept

In many cases the first contact customers have with your dealership, the BDC is an important part of your business. We’ve reviewed what our experts have written about BDCs this year and identified five critical trends your dealership should watch in the coming year.

1. Increased focus on internet BDCs and digital selling

With more than 90% of new vehicle shoppers investigating their options online, there’s no question that digital strategies will play a major role in BDCs in 2017.

If you haven’t already formulated a digital strategy for your dealership or are uncertain how to get started with internet sales, I recommend you check out the NCM Institute classes Mastering Internet Sales and How to Lead in the Digital Marketplace. Taught by experts from Kain Automotive, each focuses on specific strategies to get your dealership up to speed and gives your dealership the performance metrics it needs to gauge your success.

Already have a solid digital strategy in place? Then it’s time to refine your efforts. Take a look at Lee Michealson’s recommendations for how to properly merchandize online. Next, run your website through Paul Potratz’s “Drunk Person Shopping Test” to see how it performs.

2. Expansion of service BDCs

Whether or not to have a service BDC keeps coming up in NCM Institute classes and 20 Group meetings. And given the increasing importance of the service department in maintaining customer loyalty and identifying sales opportunities, it’s not surprising that so many NCM clients are interested in investing in one.

Here’s what NCM expert, Steve Hall, had to say about service BDCs in a recent #AskNCM video segment:

3. Even more collaboration between BDC and Sales

There are many BDC models you can choose for your dealership. But if your sales and BDC teams don’t work together well, customers will be confused and frustrated.

Alan Ram recommends that you consider sales/BDC as one unified team. Not only does it help your dealership deliver one consistent message to buyers, but it also improves your credibility as a business. Read the full article for more of Alan’s suggestions.

4. Hiring for a better customer experience

We all know that employee retention in our industry is terrible: In fact, dealerships have plummeted to a three-year low with a dismal 45% retention rate. (Most industries, excluding farm work, hover around 67 percent!) And just one-third of sale consultants manage to survive to their three-year anniversary. That’s why we’ve featured article from our content partner Hireology that focus on how you can recruit and retain the best employees.

One huge trend we’re seeing to correct the retention issue is the push to hire employees who are highly skilled—or at least temperamentally suited—for customer service jobs. As competition grows even fiercer, strong soft skills are what will keep clients coming back to your dealership. This approach is so necessary that Hireology even recommends that you consider customer service skills over technical ability when selecting service advisors!

5. Personalized BDC training

Another growing trend we’re seeing are NCM clients who choose to customize training sessions for their dealerships or 20 Group.

Recently, Group 20B5 worked with their moderator, Mark Shackleford, and our NCMi staff to customize a training course that specifically addressed their needs. Taught by Steve Hall, shown below, the class was a great success. Scott Stevens, General Manager at Gene Stevens Honda, had this to say about his experience: “If you are in need of training for a new or seasoned Service Manager, I would strongly encourage you to enroll in this class. Timely information, real-world scenarios, all presented by people that have lived it, and been very successful at it.”

private_training_2

The class, Scott explains, was exceptionally rigorous, “I am in an NCM 20 Group; when we meet, I take a lot of notes. I took twice as many notes in this ‘specific department’ training than I take at a normal 20 Group meeting!” And, he added, it was a good value, “I know that my money was well spent because of the lessons learned and the training material that we took home.”

Customized training can be held on-site or at NCM’s headquarters in Kansas City, Mo. (Might I recommend you come when the Chiefs or Royals are in town?) During the session, we can help you address BDC concerns or work with you for training in any department. Just contact the NCM Institute for more details.

There’s no question that the automotive industry is evolving. Have you seen these trends in action or are you noticing other changes? Tell us below.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2017/01/five-bdc-trends-to-watch-in-2017/

Lindsey Quinn

Stop Embezzlement Before It Starts

"I would like to recognize your accounting achievements."

The facts of the case are enough to make any dealer sick. After more than 10 years of “faithful” service, an assistant comptroller—and longtime friend—was discovered to have stolen nearly $2 million.

A staggering employee betrayal

Dealer O.C. Welch uncovered the theft when he and the service manager at his South Carolina Ford store noticed a discrepancy between actual gross profits and the anticipated results from the number of repair orders. Welch and his staff dug deeper and found more issues; a police investigation would later uncover that employee DeAnne Ogden had perpetrated an embezzlement scheme that spanned nearly a decade.

While Odgen has been sentenced to eight years in prison and ordered to pay restitution, it is unlikely that Welch will regain the full amount of the funds stolen from him. And, although he reports that the dealership is doing well, a two million dollar loss is a heavy burden for any business to bear.

But what, exactly, are business owners like Welch supposed to do? They need trust to run the business, but that very same trust can lead to problems like this. We asked Frank Sheets, 30-year automotive veteran and Intelligent Dealer CEO, to share his thoughts on the case and explain how other dealers can better protect their biggest investment.

Understanding financial crimes

“The first thing you need to remember,” Sheets said during an exclusive interview with NCM, “is that embezzlement like this isn’t common, and I don’t think it happens that often. But, when it does,” adds the automotive expert, “it’s a lot of money, and it puts dealerships out of business.”

Financial crimes may be rare, but they pose a significant risk to your dealership. According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners’ (ACFE) 2014 Global Fraud Study, the organizations in their study lost 5 percent of their revenues each year to fraud, representing an estimated global loss of nearly $3.7 trillion in 2013. Smaller businesses, such as automotive dealerships, are disproportionately impacted by occupational fraud, partly because they lack the financial safeguards of larger companies. Certain types of financial fraud are easier to commit in a smaller business environment with lower oversight. In ACFE’s study, 77 percent of all the frauds were perpetrated by individuals in one of seven departments: accounting, operations, sales, executive/upper management, customer service, purchasing or finance.

Sheets cautions us, “You have to be careful, though, because it can feel like we’re painting everyone in the business office as a potential criminal.” Most employees, he adds, are dedicated to the success of the business.

Fraud Prevention Takeaways for Dealerships

These three key ideas can save your dealership millions.

Preventing embezzlement at your dealership

Oversight is what will prevent costly fraud at your dealership. Sheets comments, “If this woman stole $2 million, she must have had a hell of a lot of small vendor pay … because, if it were $20,000 per vendor, the dealer would have recognized it.”

And that’s exactly what happened. Ogden, who pleaded guilty last month to charges related to the crime, had carefully orchestrated the theft. Over the years, she added fake vendors into the dealership’s accounting system, then slowly siphoned off funds when she issued payments for their services. News sources report that she entered most of the fraudulent accounts as parts vendors. 

The dealership had a financial review process—otherwise, the crime would never have been detected—but the fraudulent transactions were so small that they escaped notice.  With the right software, Frank explains, that wouldn’t have been a problem: “I’d say that 99 percent of the time, a dealer using LiveAudit would have caught it.”

The right financial tools minimize fraud risks

LiveAudit®, a new dealership financial management system, has built-in fraud detection tools that can prevent such cases. Specifically, the system identifies and assigns all vendors to one of two categories: recognized or unrecognized. When the dealer or other financial manager logs into the system, he or she can quickly see what payments have been scheduled under each category.

“LiveAudit,” Sheets explains, “would have flagged every one of those fake companies as an unrecognized vendor. And obviously, the dealer, at some point, would ask the questions: ‘What are we doing? Who are all these people I don’t recognize?’”

Equipping dealers with the knowledge and tools they need to run their businesses betters is a critical component of Sheets’ work, he tells us. “That was part of the deal. You know, we talk to dealers all the time and everything we’ve done has been based on pain points and feedback. So many dealers were asking us to help them manage their expenses … and one of the things that continually came up was ‘make sure you put some fraud protection in there, whatever you can do.’ So, that was top-of-mind.”

Have you changed business practices to prevent fraud at your business? Tell us about it below. Learn more about LiveAudit and other operational tools for your dealership.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2016/10/stop-embezzlement-before-it-starts/

Lindsey Quinn

3 Steps to Protect Your Dealership from Data Breaches

Your dealership data is a tempting target for internet bad guys.  And, if they hack your system, you’ll face huge fines. Our newest infographic explores the growing cybercrime problem and outlines the three crucial steps you should take to protect yourself:

CybercrimeInfographic

Don’t leave your dealership unprotected. Learn how to protect your data and get even more insights from it.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2016/10/3-steps-to-protect-your-dealership-from-data-breaches/

Lindsey Quinn

5 Reasons Why You MUST Attract Digital Car Shoppers

Headline after headline tells us that the internet is playing a huge role in new vehicle sales. But just how important is it to the bottom line? NCM staffers did the research, and the results are clear. Your dealership is missing out on profits if you are ignoring your digital marketing strategy.

Digital Marketing InfographicDon’t miss out on online car buyers. Get even more insights on how to build a high-performing digital presence for your dealership.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2016/08/5-reasons-why-you-must-attract-digital-car-shoppers/

Lindsey Quinn

Behind the Scenes: NCMi

Mug

If you’ve ever taken a course with the NCM Institute, you’ve experienced the hard work and expertise of our NCMi staff. Get to know the people responsible for making sure your experience in Kansas City—or at one of NCM’s Roadshows—is the best possible one! 

Group

Brandiss Drummer, Operations ManagerBrandiss

A five-year veteran of NCM Associates, Brandiss heads the NCMi team. Under her leadership, each individual works together to create a cohesive, flawlessly executed experience for the student. Brandiss sums it up best, “As we all know, the experience is about more than the content of the education you received; it’s about every aspect of the process from A to Z.”  Her goal is that every aspect of your NCMi experience consistently exceeds your expectations.

NCM: What’s the best part of your job?

Brandiss: The best part of my job is that it’s never done! There is no end date to this project—something can always be improved and this challenges me to continuously push us forward.  I never worry about complacency creep; I am always motivated to continuously improve when I hear the success stories from the students.  There are some whose lives we have literally changed (and whose family’s lives we have changed), by helping them to grow successfully in their careers, both financially and personally.

I was working here late one night, and my sister remarked to me “Go home! Remember, you aren’t saving lives.” No, we may not be, but we are changing them.

NCM: What’s one thing you’d like NCM clients to know about the Institute?

Brandiss: I can honestly say that every single team member is invested in the students. This is not a job for any of us; we spend countless hours in our personal time thinking of ways to help our students. It is not unusual to find the instructors still onsite at 7 pm helping a student with their homework. Or to find a group text between the admin staff on the weekend, working to make sure even a Saturday add-on doesn’t know the difference when they walk through the doors on Monday. Our training classes are small enough that if you let us, we get to know you as a person first, so that we know how to best help you as a student.

NCM: Anything else?

Brandiss: Yes: Bribes don’t work on us! Your test grade is still your test grade!

Cassie Allen, Learning & Development Coordinator Cassie

With a keen focus on students’ training needs, Cassie has spent four years working to match your goals with our classes. If you have ever requested customized training for your dealership employees, you’ve likely worked with Cassie to identify what topics will be taught in order to garner the most success.

NCM: What’s the best part of your job?

Cassie: I enjoy working with our clients and building relationships.

NCM: What’s one thing you’d like NCM clients to know about the Institute?

Cassie: If you don’t see a course on our schedule, ask us! We are always listening to our clients and their training needs.  We might not have it now, but we are always updating and adding new courses to our schedule!

Racheal Ellis, Institute CoordinatorRacheal

During her two years with NCM, Racheal has committed to creating a great experience for NCMi students. Many of you have probably spoken with her, as she helps with class registrations and communication. She also greets students when they arrive at our classrooms in Kansas City.

NCM: What’s the best part of your job?

Racheal: I like connecting with the students and getting to hear about their success stories.

NCM: What’s one thing you’d like NCM clients to know about the Institute?

Racheal: We’re here for you!

Jeff Hardin, Client Engagement SpecialistJeff

Jeff has only been with NCM for two months, but he’s already an integral part of the team. He helps students register for the appropriate classes, based on what they’ve already taken with us and how they want to develop their careers. And he likes to do it all with a smile on his face.

NCM: What’s the best part of your job?

Jeff: The best part of my job is working with my team and with our clients to determine their true learning and development needs and help them accomplish their goals in efforts to improve their success.

NCM: What’s one thing you’d like NCM clients to know about the Institute?

Jeff: We have a vested interest in their success and truly care about them both as clients and individuals. We value the relationships we build with our clients.

Carolyn Rogers, Assistant CoordinatorCarolyn

Over the last year, Carolyn has been working hard on prepping all the classes for NCMi students. She’s also responsible for the tasty meals NCMi guests enjoy, so now you know who to thank when Kansas City’s famous barbeque is on the menu!

NCM: What’s the best part of your job?

Carolyn: The people I work with and interacting with the students.

NCM: What’s one thing you’d like NCM clients to know about the Institute?

Carolyn: That what we do is more than just a job.

NCM: Anything else?

Carolyn: Go NCMi!

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2016/06/behind-the-scenes-ncmi/

Lindsey Quinn

Christy Roman: Changing the Face of Automotive through Leadership

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Dealerships around the country struggle to find innovative ways to recruit and retain top female talent; meanwhile, women themselves face challenges balancing work and home and often have to establish their place in the traditional dealership. It’s a situation that many believe needs to change.

We recently interviewed Christy Roman, founder of Women in Automotive (WIA), about the difficulties women face and asked her how the industry can address them. Read on to discover her solutions.

NCM: What do you think are the biggest obstacles women face in automotive-focused careers?

Christy Roman: It’s a very family unfriendly environment—and it’s male-dominated. There are many antiquated requirements that could be changed that would make hiring and retaining women more feasible. The industry needs to make some of these adjustments, or their store demographics will not match those of their customers.

It’s not just women, either, it’s young people. The days of working 12 hours a day, six days a week with a draw and little to no training are coming to a close.

NCM: This seems like a question of leadership; it reminds me of a great meme going around LinkedIn right now. What do you think of this? Do you agree?

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CR: I love that—I think developing people is the mark of a good leader. Too many managers don’t understand that is their primary role—not just to provide a service or product. Developing people is the name of the game. That’s part of why we created this organization—to assist dealers in understanding that changes need to occur to be able to attract and grow people in the industry.

NCM Associates: Tell me more about what inspired you to create the WIA?

CR: I went to a marketing to women conference, and it got me to thinking about the industry and how cool it would be to have an event that we could tailor to women in the industry—from how to recruit and retain, train and develop women as employees to how to market and capitalize on their strength as consumers. It just seemed like it might be a good idea. We had no idea until we had the event how beneficial it would be. It was magical!

NCM: What role does WIA fill in women’s lives?

CR: It’s an opportunity to network, learn and be inspired by a great industry—it helps give women direction and shows them how much opportunity exists in automotive. At the same time, it helps dealers and human resource directors learn and share strategies that benefit employee satisfaction and retention. Marketers can come and be educated on how focusing on women is a good thing and can be very lucrative.

NCM: Do you have a particular mentor who helped guide you through your career?

CR: Jody Devere of Ask Patty has been one as it pertains to this industry and growing my business. Molly Curry of CDK also had a huge impact on me years ago, but there have been others along the way.

It’s always helpful to have someone who’s been there and done that to give you advice. It keeps me calm, so I don’t freak out when things are difficult. And, as an entrepreneur, things are often very difficult.

NCM: How important do you think mentorship is for women in automotive?

CR: I think it’s incredibly important. It’s not an easy industry, as much opportunity as there is and as great an industry as it is. To have people who can commiserate with you and provide a sounding board is an invaluable tool to help you weather some of the storms that invariably come with careers in automotive.

NCM: Does WIA help fill that role? Do you want it to?

CR: We have a mentoring program that we have been piloting and plan to more formally roll out at this year’s event.  If we can garner enough interest, we will certainly fill that role.

NCM: Who should those mentors be? Should women look for other women leaders in the industry?

CR: I think mentors come in all different shapes and sizes—so to find one in the industry or any other line of work, I don’t think it’s a necessity to be part of this industry. Beneficial, but not necessary.

NCM: Do you think it is important—especially in automotive—for women to have a male mentor in addition to female mentors? Why or why not?

CR: I stand by what I said above, mentors come in all shapes and sizes, and absolutely men can mentor. I think it’s more about how you relate to the mentor/mentee relationship and how it values both parties than whether it’s a woman or a man.

NCM: How can young women in the field—or women considering a move into automotive—find mentors? What should they do?

CR: Come to Women in Automotive in June and sign-up!

NCM: Do you mentor anyone in the field? What’s one of the most important lessons you’ve given them?

CR: I like to mentor those who ask me to do so—I have helped a number of people who have embarked on the oftentimes scary entrepreneurial track to help them be strategic and avoid costly mistakes. I’d like to teach young people about entrepreneurship: It took me until I was 30 to figure out I was an entrepreneur!

Later this month, Christy Roman joins other women automotive leaders for the second annual WIA Conference in Orlando, Fla. Be sure to stop by the NCM Associates booth to apply for our $10,5000 Women in Automotive scholarship. The scholarship awardee will attend an upcoming session of our GMEP—General Management Executive Program. Find out more about this great program. 

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2016/06/christy-roman-changing-the-face-of-automotive-through-leadership/

Lindsey Quinn

Interview with Randy Fluharty: Why “Fundamentals” are the key to success

Mechanics with merchandiser checking products availibility

We asked Randy Fluharty, NCM Associates Performance Partner-OEM Lead, to take few minutes out of his schedule to talk to us about the new Fundamentals whitepaper series. He shared with us insights on their creation and explained why, no matter how experienced you are, going “back to the basics” is an important management skill.

Randy Fluharty - Headshot

NCM: Hi, Randy. Thanks for joining us. You’re a fairly new member to the NCM team, so can you tell us a little about yourself?

Randy Fluharty: Sure. I’ve spent almost 30 years in the automotive business, doing everything from aftermarket to working with OEMs in numerous divisions and positions. And I have retail GM/Executive Manager experience. I draw on this broad experience while helping my clients identify areas of improvement and formulate a plan to correct issues.

NCM: Are you going to NADA this year?

RF: Yes! I’m looking forward to spending time in the NCM booth. We’re offering mini-workshops—really, a sampling of what the NCM experience is like—and I’ll be hosting several of those. Attendees will get a free 3D-printed gift and their selection of the new Fundamentals volumes. They are hot off the presses and we’re having to keep a close eye on them—all the moderators and other consultants are stealing copies for their clients!

NCM: We better be sure to lock those down! Now, the Fundamentals series was a massive project and clearly an internal success. What makes the Fundamentals guides so important?

RF: They remind us to not forget the fundamentals of the business, which are tried and true practices.  Compare it to practicing scales in music or practicing blocking or tackling in football … no different.

NCM: How were the books written?

RF: We took best practices that had been verified by our best performing dealers and industry experts and compiled them into this easy reference series.

NCM: Are these books for newbies? What value does Fundamentals bring to the experienced automotive professional?

RF: Right. That’s the question I get,Don’t we already know this?” Here’s the thing, though, without the fundamentals, nothing else works quite right. And surely not consistently!

It’s that lack of consistency that really gets experienced managers and dealers in trouble. When stability is lacking, we lose the ability to accurately determine that nature of the problem. It can result in the wrong fix being applied.

NCM: Who in the dealership should read the Fundamentals series?

RF: Every GM and department manager—NCM client or not. Really, every automotive professional should have a set of these on their shelves.

NCM: What’s the most important thing a dealership can do with these books?

RF: Use the 800# to call me! Seriously, though, it’s very helpful to get an unfiltered, outside prospective on your department or business. I’ve found that most businesses think all is well until another set of eyes starts looking at things and comparing them to known best practices.

An outsider’s view creates the context and perspective that causes businesses to find all kinds of opportunities. Translation? That means dealers are losing dollars due to inefficient and inconsistent practices.

NCM: What’s the number one takeaway you get from each guide?

RF: Let’s see … okay, for the Used Vehicle guide, you should ask yourself: What do you own your inventory for and is it the right inventory? On the Service side, I think the book comes down to the concern that, if we sell the work, too many advisors are discounting the profit away. And, when it comes to Parts, the biggest take away is process. Process, process, process. You can’t avoid it!

NCM: So, what’s next? Any more books coming?

RF: Sure. F&I is in its final edits, and we’re thinking about a volume for New and CSI fundamentals. We’re open to suggestions, though, so people should let us know what books they’d like to see.

Well, there you have it: The new NCM Fundamentals series gives a clear breakdown of each dealership department and the strategies you need for success. You can download the free digital ebook versions here. To get a printed version, just sign up for one of our mini-sessions. Attendees will get a 3D-printed gift, thanks to our partners at Ultimaker, and their choice of a Fundamentals book. Visitors to our booth—3013C—at NADA may also enter to win a FREE drone.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2016/03/8233/

Lindsey Quinn

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

DesktopBG

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!

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2016/03/a-tradition-of-innovation-a-blast-from-ncms-past/

Lindsey Quinn

Holiday Wishes from NCM Associates

It’s the season of good tidings and cheer! So, we asked NCM Associates to share their Christmas wishes with us.

Our biggest wish? That you and yours have a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year. 

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2015/12/holiday-wishes-from-ncm-associates/

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