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Tag Archive: NCM Associates

Robin Cunningham

Service BDC: Where are Your Customers, and When Are They Coming Back?

Call Center Operators Working In Office

I’m a big fan of service BDCs. In fact, during my retail days in the mid-Nineties, I was an early adopter of the concept. I had asked a consultant friend of mine, who help dealers set these up, to give me a hand at my store. We had staff who were either mishandling or not making inbound and outbound calls, so I remember being eager to see the results.

This topic must have been on my mind recently when I asked a class of NCMi students, “Where are your customers, and when are they coming back?”

Well, you would have thought I’d asked the question in a foreign language or something! There was absolute silence in the room. Some were looking at others to see if they had an answer. My take on the look on everyone’s faces was, “This is THE question, isn’t it?” No one ventured an answer.

The first service appointment is key

So, I then asked, “How many of your dealerships set the first service appointment on each new and used vehicle at the time of delivery, based on time or mileage?” Of the 25 or so people in the room, only two raised their hands affirming that this was, in fact, happening at their dealerships.

When we started our BDC, one of the processes we decided track was the first service appointment. We, for sure, were not setting these. I’d heard that getting a 65% return rate for the 1st Service Appointment was the Holy Grail but, we were told, only 14% of customers would come back on their own for non-warranty, maintenance, and repair work. You cannot build a business on 14%! So it became part of the sales and delivery process to have the BDC, based on time or mileage, to put the customer’s scheduled first service appointment into the system.

Consistent appointments make loyal customers

While we were very good in service in those days—especially in menu sales and work found on multi-point inspections, which we called the “perpetual service clinic”—I am sure we were not setting next service appointments, something I now know is a critical component to service profits.

With that in mind, I asked my students, “How many of you set the next service appointment with each customer during the active delivery with their Service Advisor?” The answer was zero.

It’s a given that the first service Appointment is a must to get the whole process started, but it’s setting the next service appointment that keeps it all together. I always think of this analogy: “How often would we get our teeth cleaned, if the dentist didn’t call to remind us?” The answers range from “not as often” to “never!” Service work on automobiles is no different; most people forget about it until the vehicle doesn’t run or they are reminded of needed work. It’s so obvious that it still amazes me that so few American dealerships take the initiative to set the appointment!

Challenge yourself to invite clients back

We all know that customer loyalty is on the wane. In response, most dealers have invested in CRM software to help us keep track of our clients. Yet, these tools are only as good as our processes. The sad truth is that many of my clients still are not setting first and next service appointments, even when they use these tools.

So, here’s my challenge for you: Always be able to answer the question, “Where are your customers and when are they coming back?” Create a reliable system that gets your clients back to the dealership after their purchase and keeps them coming back.

NCM Expert Robin Cunningham is an instructor with our Institute and a frequent contributor to our blog and video series #AskNCM.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2017/02/service-bdc-where-are-your-customers-and-when-are-they-coming-back/

Lee Michaelson

Retail Solutions: Hold Your Car Up to the Phone

Smiling salesman having a phone call

“Hold your car up to the phone, sir.” (hahaha!)

Remember when we made comments like this to customers who wanted phone appraisals? We were real witty back then when a customer wanted the old sight unseen trade appraisal!

Capture an interested customer

Well, today, we can do a phone appraisal, and it’s easy. As long as the buyer has a smartphone with a camera—and who doesn’t—you’re set!

You have a great chance to sell these customers because they have already narrowed their choices, and you have made it to the top of their shopping list. Make it easy, and you have an opportunity to sell a car.

Develop a process and set expectations

Customers are conditioned to the information you have provided about your car online: multiple pictures and possibly a video, equipment list, CarFax, and a compelling description for starters.

Let’s say the customer insists you provide an appraisal of their car before they come to the dealership. Do it in a professional manner. Tell them you have a process for this situation, and you need all of the following documentation just like they see online for the car they are interested in purchasing from you: six to eight pictures and a complete appraisal form. Explain that you will run a CARFAX or other similar vehicle history report on their vehicle.

My recommended Online Trade Appraisal Process

  • Make a PDF of your appraisal document and have it available for all appropriate team members to email to a customer. This is a great tool for qualifying the customer, and it gets the customer mentally involved in the appraisal. You also will start to build creditability in the evaluation, lower the client’s expectations of the trade price, and help build rapport between the salesperson and customer. You are now getting answers to many questions before the deal is started!
  • Have the customer complete the entire document, including disclosure about the odometer, accidents, body damage/work, and any mechanical deficiencies that require reconditioning. Make sure they sign it before they scan it (the camera app on their phone will work) and return it to you.
  • Detail the reconditioning and reconditioning cost on every appraisal to justify your appraisal. Use current market pricing evidence from the internet to validate your appraisal. Inform the customer that your appraisal is firm based on the appraisal document they submitted to you, subject to driving and inspecting the vehicle. This is a similar process they will likely want for the vehicle they plan to purchase from you.
  • Upon arrival at the dealership, every appraisal should get a trade walk around with the customer, 100% of the time. Profit can be improved if the evaluation of damage and missing parts is correct. Likewise, customer satisfaction can be improved as a result of clear communication and a transparent process.
  • Define follow-up responsibility in case of missing parts (needing a second key, for example). You can also reduce stock days by completing the vehicle trade-in process.

Most of our customers enjoy the easy satisfaction and quick turnaround of online shopping. Although there will always be a necessary in-person component to trade-in vehicles, by creating a simple phone appraisal process you can capitalize on their habits and gain new customers. And just think: how many more cars would you sell if you adopted this process?

Learn more about Lee Michaelson and how he and his NCM colleagues can help your dealership through 20 Groups and in-dealership consulting

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2017/02/retail-solutions-hold-your-car-up-to-the-phone/

Terry Wichmann

From the 20 Group: How to Defend Your Used Vehicle Appraisal

NCM-CD-127

Editor’s Note: It’s clear that our readers found Terry’s last blog, My Favorite Wordtracks to Defend UV Gross Profit, an incredibly useful tool for their dealerships. We asked him what other defensive wordtracks he could share, and Terry came back with this excellent guide to making the most of your appraisal.

You, as the dealer principal or general manager, have two options when you feel that used vehicle gross profit per-vehicle-retail (PVR) is mediocre (or worse). You can yell at your sales managers to increase the gross profit PVR. Or you can determine if there is a Used Vehicle process which is “broken” or needs improvement. As yelling doesn’t accomplish much for long, I recommend that you consider your processes and fix them.

The four types of trade-ins

I have an NCM Retail Solutions client who likes to say that there are only four ways to take in a car: 1) steal the car; 2) take it in for the right money; 3) stretch to make a deal; or 4) bury yourselves in the trade-in.

During this conversation, let’s assume we are discussing trade-ins that we “took in for the right money” or “stretch a little bit to make a deal.”

Step One: Appraise the vehicle correctly

Many dealer principals or general managers believe that they make gross profit when buying the car. That is, the dealership makes its money when we trade for or purchase it, as opposed to when we retail it.  One of the factors in making gross profit when you ‘buy the car’ is determining if we appraise it correctly.

I imagine your sales managers mostly value trade-ins of your franchise accurately. You need to evaluate their performance on other franchises, too, to protect the appraisal. Here are some sample questions to get you started:

    • Do you think they correctly appraise trade-ins of other franchises accurately?
    • When it is necessary to replace the windshield on a luxury car, do you think they know which luxury car has the $300 windshield or the $3000 windshield (which includes cameras and sensors)?

Step Two: Understand the costs of misappraisal

If we appraise a trade-in or lease-return incorrectly, say by $500, we will probably make $500 (or so) less gross profit than if we caught it, assuming we took in the trade for the right money in the first place. So, it’s critical that you get the appraisal right.

Another of my NCM dealer-clients likes to include the line item “$300 hidden reconditioning” on the used vehicle appraisal form. This reminder helps his sales managers consider hidden problems that are often missed during an appraisal, such as the water pump, rear main seal, and other items we may not see or hear during the evaluation process.

Step Three: Replace negotiation with documentation

To solve the misappraisal problem, I recommend to my NCM clients that their fixed ops managers provide pricing to their sales managers for the forty or so most common maintenance items on their most frequently accepted models, based on the CP labor rate and 40% gross-%-sales for parts, which is cost plus 67%.

Once this menu is available, your salespeople—or, preferably, sales managers—can defend the appraisal to prospects by showing them the costs to repair these common maintenance items. It’s hard to argue against the costs in black and white. This approach of replacing negotiation with documentation was one of Dale Pollak’s philosophies when he defined used vehicle “velocity” by designing vAuto.

There’s so little room for negotiations nowadays, so you need to prepare to counter any objections while accurately appraising trade-ins and lease returns as a means to increase your dealership’s used vehicle gross profit PVR. With the right process in hand, you’ll see better results than yelling at your staff.

How does your dealership defend the appraisal? Tell us below. Have more dealership concerns? Meet with Terry or another NCM Consultant to identify opportunities for improvement in your store.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2017/01/from-the-20-group-how-to-defend-your-used-vehicle-appraisal/

Brian Faulkenberry

From the 20 Group: Checklist to Stop Process Evaporation

Close up of working process at business meeting in office

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.

Administrative Checklist

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!

Learn more about Brian Faulkenberry and how he and his NCM colleagues can help your dealership through 20 Groups and in-dealership consulting

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2017/01/from-the-20-group-checklist-to-stop-process-evaporation/

Kevin Cunningham

From the 20G: Members’ Advice for Getting the Most from Your Meeting

kevin

As a moderator, I’ve had the fortunate pleasure to work with wonderful NCM 20 Group members. I’m always impressed by the great pains they take to prepare for our discussions, and it’s clear to me that their work is the key to getting the best possible outcomes.  So I asked some of the most successful dealers I know to tell me exactly how they get the most from their meeting, and they agreed to let me share their insights in a blog. Please know much of the following article comes directly from their quotes.

Dealer One – Get your management team involved

I typically get my agenda and meeting materials 4-5 weeks prior to the actual meeting, so I have no excuses for not being prepared. To determine what my best opportunities are, I actively review my group composite, circling, highlighting, and making notes. This really keeps me focused throughout the meetings.

After I get my juices going, we get our management team together to review the agenda allowing me to delegate topics for their research and follow up. I like to do this for many reasons; however, most importantly, this lets me and my team know where our opportunities are. Also, when I read the responses from my team, I now am aware of their best thinking. This can—and has— create opportunities to develop people’s talents.

Note from Kevin: On a side note, while talking with our team at the NCM Institute, l learned that is a significantly high percentage of our class attendees don’t even know what their actual responsibilities are! There’s a real chance here for you to validate what you expect from your team and to communicate it in writing, then get them the training they need to meet your goals.

Dealer Two – Create a to-do List

After our follow-up management team meeting, I create my list of what I want to take away from the meeting. I ask myself of this trip’s purpose: “to make another dollar or to save another dollar?”

Dealer Three – Embrace the social aspects

Getting away from the store is vital to my own personal growth, as attending a meeting truly allows me to work “ON” my business instead of just working “IN” my business. During the meeting, I very specifically and clearly articulate what issue I want to get addressed.

Please know that I can and do get as much important feedback from the social events as I do in the meeting rooms. With so many individual agendas—some strategic, some operational—I try to pick out members who are already succeeding in the area I want to improve upon and make sure I get time with them regardless if it is in the meeting room or a group activity.

One more tip:  As so much of our sales are initiated though e-commerce channels, I work to review the websites of my fellow members and local competitors. This gives me an opportunity to compliment members and offer constructive criticism.

Dealer Four – Don’t scare your employees

Note from Kevin: A common thread I have witnessed over my decades with clients is the pages of notes and exuberant enthusiasm members go back to their stores with. So not to scare your team, the following notes from a member are ones I would recommend:

  1. On your first day back from a hectic travel event, try to sit down and get your notes and action plans organized.
  2. It is very important NOT to overwhelm your team with a “Meeting Mania” list of things, ideas, and processes you want implemented a week ago. So pick out the TOP THREE things you learned. Set up a meeting later in the week to discuss these ideas; get your team involved in the implementation or the construction of a new or modified process.
  3. Share all of the Best Ideas presented and collected while attending the meeting. After discussing them, distribute the ideas to your department heads where they best apply.
  4. Review the composite with your team when you get back. Also review it monthly and be as transparent as possible, so your staff knows the metrics you expect them to meet.

My dealers have given you a lot to think about, I realize, so let’s prioritize here. I think the key takeaways here are to know what you want to get from each meeting and make sure you put yourself in the position to get it. Stay focused and open to new ideas while attending your NCM 20 Group meeting. Bring back your ideas and, after a few days, share them with your team and discuss ideas for positive change.

As I am not in your shoes, I realize much of this is easy to say. As such, this is why I contacted your peer dealers to get the truth from those in your shoes. Here’s to great selling!

Learn more about Kevin Cunningham and how he and his NCM colleagues can help your dealership through 20 Groups and in-dealership consulting.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2017/01/from-the-20g-members-advice-for-getting-the-most-from-your-meeting/

NCM Associates

New Ideas for New Orleans

Going to New Orleans? With just a week to go, we can’t wait to join you in the Big Easy and to share our exciting new options for your dealership.

Announcing the NCM-Rawls Dealer Executive Program

We’re debuting our newest education option, the NCM-Rawls Dealer Executive Program, at the convention. A joint-venture with The Rawls Group, this 10-month training course is specifically designed for dealers and their successors who want to create and maintain a family legacy. Visit the Rawls Group booth #3937 to talk with Kendall Rawls or the NCM Associates booth #4931 to speak with Brandiss Drummer to learn more. On the operations and expenses front, our Software Solutions team will be on-site to demo LiveAudit®, HealthCheck™, and axcessa®. If you haven’t yet seen these products in action, be sure to book a time to see how these cash flow, expenses, and operations tools can make managing your dealership easier and more efficient.

We’ve also brought back last year’s crowd-pleaser, the Ultimaker 3D printer! When you sign up for a demo or consultation—or stop by the booth—you can pick from our selection of three gifts. The video above shows a time-lapse of their production.

Are you coming to New Orleans? Visit our team at Booth #4931!

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2017/01/new-ideas-for-new-orleans/

Alan Ram

How to Be the New England Patriots of the Car Business

Business people at work in their office

It was 2008 when it hit me.

The economy had just begun to hit the skids, and I was leaving a dealership after having done a live meeting. As I walked through the empty showroom, I noticed four managers on shift, sitting in an otherwise vacant tower waiting for salespeople to bring them a deal. There were no customers on the floor and nothing happening outside beyond the huddle of salespeople by the front door, and I realized: A lot of people in our industry that we call managers aren’t necessarily managers. They might be great on the desk—and they’re often strong closers—but they don’t all have management skills. It became clear to me that what these managers do when there are no customers in the showroom is every bit as important as what they do when they have a showroom full of customers.

How did we get to this point as an industry where we have managers

who don’t have good management skills?

It has to do with how someone becomes a manager at a dealership. We tend to take our best salespeople and make them managers. Wouldn’t taking the best salesperson on the floor and making him a manager be the equivalent of taking the best NFL player and making him a coach?

The best players don’t make the best coaches. Take Wayne Gretzky, for example. He was an amazing player and an absolute disaster as a coach. Likewise, the best coaches in NFL history have not come from the best players. The reason is this: Being a great coach is a different skillset than being a great player. Yet, what do we tend to do in the automotive industry? We take our best players off the floor, we hardly train them at all on how to manage, and then we’re surprised when they fail.

The time has come when dealerships actually have to have good management. In today’s industry, it’s not just about desking and closing deals, a manager’s most important functions have to do with preparing the team for game day.

Here are my tips for how managers can begin to master managing.

Strategic duties

A coach is responsible for a team’s overall offensive and defensive strategies. A great manager focuses on offense by honing a culture of business development at his dealership. He educates his staff on how to drive traffic to the showroom, how they can work orphan-owner bases, sold bases, social media and the service drive for repeat and referral business.

A strong manager also focuses on turning defense into offense by making sure he has given his staff the tools to convert inbound phone calls and Internet leads into customers on the showroom.

Practice makes perfect

Just know the playbook doesn’t prepare the team for the game—the best managers practice and drill plays until salespeople become reflexive and command the confidence to deliver in crunch time.

Great managers prioritize practice with their people just as football teams simulate five days a week to prepare for a game. Managers must simulate critical skills such as how to handle the phones, so everyone is practiced in “what” to say and “why” to say it to get customers walking through the front door.

Accountability is key

Finally, the best coaches hold their players accountable. Bill Belichick is an example of an incredible coach who holds accountability as a top priority. Belichick’s history demonstrates this value most memorably when Chad Ochocinco (aka Johnson), a superstar signed from Cincinnati, was cut for not knowing the playbook.

Great managers hold their salespeople accountable; for example, in order to have accountability on inbound sales calls, managers must actually listen to these calls—just as coaches review game film. When salespeople know that they are being listened to and that they will be held accountable for their performance, their effort level naturally rises.

Management must then have clear consequences. If people are not performing, if they fail to meet the standard, they need to know that there will be immediate consequences. For example, if a salesperson repeatedly mishandles calls, a consequence could be him or her losing the privilege of taking sales calls.

What do all great football teams have in common? Great coaches. Teams don’t come together and win games without strong leadership guiding them. In other words, no team will achieve greatness despite poor coaching.

Fortunately, great managers are made and not born. Check out in-person training options through NCM Associates, and discover our online platform, NCM OnDemandAlan Ram’s Management by Fire course offers additional tools for your dealership training needs.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2017/01/how-to-be-the-new-england-patriots-of-the-car-business/

NCM Associates

#AskNCM: Help! I Can’t Meet My Net-to-Gross Goals!

Many managers out there struggle with this issue, says NCM expert Steve Hall. You reach profitability but then encounter problems getting to this more refined metric!

Don’t give up! Steve outlines the conversation you need to have with your boss and the steps you should take to meet this goal.


Have another question for Steve or the other #AskNCM experts? Leave a comment below!

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2017/01/askncm-help-i-cant-meet-my-net-to-gross-goals/

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/

Robert Neuman

Are Your Employees Actually Working at Work?

Business people

Five or six times a week, your employees get up in the morning and say to themselves: “I have to go to work today.”  That’s good because you hired workers to produce—or assist in producing—gross in the first place.

Here is the big question, though: Do your work expectations match your employees’ work expectations? You likely want your employees to put in a full day of activity at work; you know, working while at work. On the other hand, your employees may believe that “as long as I am at work, I am working.” Notice the difference?

Gauge productivity

How do you know if you are getting the full work production out of your employees? Be observant.

Compare the numbers produced by your departments against industry production benchmarks: How are you doing? Is one department falling behind? Then, inspect all departments in the dealership, at all time slots, to see if or when there are pockets of idle time or non-productivity.

Create productive employees

If your departments are not producing as they should, it’s time to make sure your employees work at work! First, evaluate your employees. Here are some questions to consider:

  • Are your sales people producing the volume and gross as you would expect a professional sales person to achieve?
  • Is your used vehicle manager producing the inventory turn you need to achieve your return on investment?
  • Does your service department produce the simple key performance indicators, such as gross as a percentage of sales, increasing your effective labor rate and selling more hours per RO?

Once you’ve identified any problems, you need to develop a correction plan. One of the first things I recommend is educating your staff through the NCM Institute, especially if you haven’t yet invested in formal training for your team. If you’ve already taken the time to train your people, there may be some process issues happening—be sure to talk with your NCM 20 Group moderator and 20 Group members about opportunities for improvement. Another option is to meet with one of our consultants, who will review your operations and help draft an action plan.

Is downtime okay?

You may say, “It’s OK,” to have some employees have idle time, as long as they produce to a set production standard or expectation. I agree with that statement to a point. Just make sure that your employees are achieving—or exceeding—industry benchmarks. I recommend you keep an eye on it, though.

Accountability helps everyone

Obviously, everyone must work at what they were hired to do. Let’s make sure we are getting our fair share out of the employees we have hired. Share your expectations with them. Show them the industry benchmarks or standards, train them in the skills they need to achieve these standards and then hold them accountable. Times are getting leaner, and now is not the time to allow employees in your business to not work at work.

Learn more about Robert Neuman and how he and his NCM colleagues can help your dealership through 20 Groups and in-dealership consulting

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2017/01/are-your-employees-actually-working-at-work/

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