During my more than twenty years moderating NCM 20 Group meetings for various industries, the phenomenon called “process evaporation” has frequently been interjected into Super Idea sessions and composite reviews.
A good process gone missing
I am not sure who coined the phrase, but I suspect it was a frustrated owner who thought he or she had a best practice in place only to find out the procedure had “evaporated.” What I’ve heard numerous times from members is some iteration of the comment: We used to do that; I guess it worked so well that we stopped doing it!
Although said tongue-in-cheek, disappearing best practices are probably a reality at most dealerships, including yours. In my experience, putting processes in place is the easy part; the difficulty lies in making sure employees consistently adhere to them. Some of the reasons dealerships may experience “process evaporation” include management or personnel turnover, too many procedures, a lack of consistent follow-up, and dealer complacency.
Stop losing your processes
If you want to keep best practices in your business, now’s a good time for a department-by-department review to see if any “process evaporation” has crept into your operation. I’m starting with the administrative department, but I will touch on other units in future blogs.
Use this list to identify a few administrative procedures that you should check. How many are still in place at your dealership?
- Walk dealership; do you see any privacy compliance issues?
- Do you have weekly manager receivables meetings?
- Do you have weekly manager review of rebate receivable?
- Are all vendors on the approved list at agreed pricing?
- Do you have zero employee receivables?
- Have all employees signed their reviews and documented issues?
- Have you outlined an employee purchase policy for new, pre-owned, and parts & service?
- Are month-end financial statements completed by the fifth working day?
- Are all NCM reports submitted promptly and accurately?
- Does your staff open and review all mail daily?
- Are manager reviewing all schedules by 10th of each month?
While this list will get you started, there may be other best practices at your business that you’ve started but have slipped away. Be sure to track what’s happening in your dealership and, if something’s working well, don’t let it evaporate!