Professional Community for Automotive Marketers, Car Dealers, OEM and Suppliers
Written By: Robin Cunningham
Most Monday mornings I find myself standing in NCM Institute’s beautiful training facility welcoming a new class of retail automobile dealership managers who have come to Kansas City for formalized training specific to their job responsibilities. After introductions, I tell them something like: “We won’t be talking about what you think you have come here to learn until just before or after lunch.” I tell them we are going to be learning about Accountability Management and Leadership first. I tell them they likely have some pretty good plans and processes at the dealerships where they work, and if they had already mastered accountability management they would be even more successful than they are now.
And because they are going to be returning to their dealerships with lots of new knowledge, processes and metrics to be paying attention to, some of which will require some significant culture change to not only install but to instill, it will become imperative for them to begin mastering accountability management to fully realize the return on investment for all the time and effort they will be putting in over the course of the training.
Recently, we graduated our third General Management Executive Program (GMEP) class. This is the NCM Institute’s premier program for educating automotive dealership general managers. We were on the last day of the 11-month course, talking about what they had learned, what processes they had put into place, what successes they were having…and it became clear, as would be expected, there had been “process evaporation” in some areas. On the spot, I kind of made up the “Six-Month Challenge to Maximize Your Profits.”
I said to the class, “Reflect on where you are right now in all your departments in terms of sales, gross, expense, inventory aging, training and personnel productivity. Then when back at your dealerships, be sure to go over the 30 items on the Used Vehicle World Class Checklist with your used vehicle team and get buy-in to all the processes. Also, go over the 35 items on the Service Department World Class Checklist with your service team and get buy-in.”
“Now imagine it is six months in the future. You have put into action and are now seeing the results from the consistent application of the disciplines learned during your GMEP experience, including:
OK…OK…I have to admit… I did not make the Challenge that long or comprehensive, although this just scratches the surface of what we covered over 11 months.
I could see in their eyes and by the nodding of their heads that I had made my point. If one was to cover all those bases systematically, day in and day out, and if rarely did more than a 24-hour cycle go by where most processes were performed, monitored and enhanced, increased productivity and profitability are virtually guaranteed! That is easier said than done for sure…and that is why we start and end each class with Accountability Management and Leadership.
We find for some managers the elements of the Six-Month Challenge are a timely reminder. We find for most, however, it is their first exposure to an approach that can truly help them become the effective leaders and managers they really want to be.
To learn more about the NCM Institute’s General Management Executive Program, click the link below or call 866.756.2620. Enrollment is currently underway for the next GMEP, with sessions starting August 5, 2013.