...and gets the management team in the settlement!
Lee Harkins and a part of his executive team at ATcon decided it was time to move. They have formed a new professional performance enhancement coaching firm called M5™ Management Services, Inc.
M5™ Management Services, Inc., specializes in advancing fixed operations of auto dealerships around the world. The M5™ team is made up of Lee Harkins, Dave Vaden and Mark Erickson. Combined, Harkins, Vaden and Erickson have nearly 100 years experience in the retail automotive service industry.
I spoke to Dave Vaden, former Vice President of ATcon, now Executive Vice President of the newly formed M5™; he shared his new vision of the company. “We want to accomplish 3 main objectives at M5™. These goals are very simple,
1. We want to make a difference in the industry we love
2. We want to leave a legacy for our peers to follow
3. We want set the standard for auto dealerships in the future
This is the time for leaders to rise to the forefront of the industry. M5™ will not hide and wait until things turn around. We are going to aggressively pursue small, medium and large dealerships and dealer groups. We have done this before under the ATcon badge and now we will again establish benchmarks for all others to follow”, Vaden says.
When I was a new service manager, I was with The Hendrick Automotive Group
. I was a just green-eyed boy from the Midwest. I learned advanced production techniques from Lee Harkins in 1996. (Funny story, on my trip to Lee’s training class, from Los Angeles, California to Charlotte, North Carolina, the airlines lost my luggage. Lee would kid me as I wore the same clothes to class for three days.) Lee’s teaching gave a brand new service manager a foundation to build upon. Lee taught us to map out our processes on paper. I remember going back to my dealership, Saturn of Cerritos, where my team and I mapped out every process in the dealership. We wrote out how we did business. I think I took his example to the extreme. I learned how things happened in my store and what needed to be changed. IT WORKED! I still refer to my well worn copy of The Seven Controllables
I have preached the ATcon advanced production system way of life my whole career. As I write in my blogs and mydealercoach.com website, I spout off about Production, Production Systems and Process Improvement as the mainstay in a dealership. We as dealers now need to know ways of improving gross profit and reducing expenses and creating a profit. Lee, Dave and Mark wrote the book on fixing dealerships.
Dave continues to talk about directing change in the stores. It is important to be able to change the service department quickly and then sustain the changes. Dealers are not going to give any consultant or management firm one dime unless they have a proven track record of success. These guys walk-the-walk. And of course they are available right now.
I write my words because I am passionate about the industry. I do not accept any monies for my blogs or articles. I want to share my knowledge and tell you as a reader of the quality people in the industry, the great products that actually work, and the things that will help you be successful as a dealership fixed ops professional.
I will give a heartfelt recommendation to anyone who has a need, looking for advice or wants to meet these genuine men. They can change your world. Give one of them a call.
Steve Shaw, mydealercoach.com
If you are interested in talking with these guys send me an
e-mail or call them direct. They all have their cell numbers below.
Meet the M5 Staff
- President and CEO. Lee began his career in the automotive industry as a parts truck driver and worked his way up through the ranks to parts manager, service manager, and service director to become one of the most desired management consultants in the industry. He brings 24 years of performance coaching and consulting experience, along with 10 years of retail management experience to our company. His client list reads like the “who’s who” of the auto industry from manufacturers to individual dealerships. His innovative approach to the enhanced performance of his clients has earned him a well-respected reputation. Lee is an innovative performance enhancement coach, implementation coach and speaker. Lee has been a featured speaker at the NADA national convention for the past 8 years.
Lee's mobile number: 205.747.8305
- Executive Vice President. Dave has over 30 years experience in the automotive industry, with 12 years as a performance enhancement coach and implementation coach. Dave is a recognized speaker for many manufacturers and independent performance enhancement groups. His thought provoking presentations skills keep his audiences wanting more. He delivers with a touch of humor and plenty of “real world” experience. Dave’s enthusiasm and passion for helping his clients improve their business earns him a busy travel schedule.
Dave's mobile number: 714.396.4915
- Vice President of Operations. Mark has over 35 years in the automotive industry with 18 years as a performance enhancement coach, speaker, and implementation coach. He has facilitated numerous training and discussion groups for many manufacturers. His depth of knowledge in Fixed Operations has made him one of the most sought after speakers in the Fixed Operations industry. One of Mark’s greatest assets is his ability to build realistic financial and operational business improvement models that work! His exceptional ability to implement the tactical methods and to earn the buy-in of dealership personnel to achieve significantly improved profitability and customer retention for his clients has earned him his vast client referral list.
Mark's mobile number: 714.396.4935
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