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In every Dealership there is a desk. And behind that desk sits someone who has the responsibility to increase Profits.
In Fixed Ops, this person is called the Service Manager.
Typically (when I go into a store that is not profitable), I find the person sitting behind that desk working on everything not related to increasing Profits while believing that they are working on everything related to increasing Profits.
I call it the “Theory of Un-relativity” and it goes like this.
P=ATD+PIxNC. Profits equal the Amount of Time Dedicated plus Process Implementation times the Number of Completions.
Simply, the Manager must dedicate as much time as needed every day to making sure processes are being followed and that they are being done with every Customer.
In stores that are not profitable, the Manager spends more time on things that have nothing to do with Profits and everything to do with nothing…including Managing the department…or as I stated before the “Theory of Un-relativity.” The things they are doing have no Relativity to making more Profits for the Dealership.
UP=ATW+UTxNC. UnProfitable equals the Amount of Time Wasted plus Unnecessary Tasks times the Number of Completions.
Let give you an example. I am standing in the Service Drive with a Service Manager when he is approached by the Sales Manager and informed that the tethered marketing balloon outside which normally is in position first thing in the morning is not up yet and “Could you take care of that as soon as possible.” Unnecessary Task.
Another. SM is working in his office when he is informed that the lights on the front lot “are not lit up and can you do something about it?” Unnecessary Task.
One time, as the owner of my store had just handed me another daily task not related to Profit growth, I decided to write down all of the daily tasks that had been thrown my way over the past year just so I could get a handle on it. The list was 40 plus items and guess what…not one of them had anything to do with making more money.
Were some of them important? Yes. Necessary…no doubt about it. But at the end of the day when the Dealer Principal has “The Fin” in his or her hands and wants to know why “Fixed Ops is off by 15% and what are you going to do about it?” and you have the “But Boss, I’m so busy doing all of these other things!” excuse sputtering out of your mouth…now doesn't that paint a pretty picture Mr./Ms. Service Manager?
By the way, when I handed the Dealer my list and asked him to specify which of those tasks were Top Priority and which were not, he actually apologized. He had no idea how many things he had "delegated" to me until I pointed it out to him.
1st, make a list of the things you are doing every day. Now separate that list into “Tasks That Make Money” and “Everything That Does Not Make Money.” Give Top Priority to Monitoring, Coaching, Training, Managing and Nothing, Zero, None, Nada Priority to Everything Else. Within a few days someone will come to you and say something like “The lot lights are out again” and then you can show them your list that makes the Dealership money and they will find someone else to ask about the lights.
2nd, share this list with your Dealer Principal or General Manager. Why? Because they forgot they told you to do half of those things and don’t remember the reason why they told you to do the other half.
3rd, learn to say No. Point out that working with your Advisor on Phone Sales Skills is way more important than stocking toilet paper in the bathroom or talking to the coffee vendor about the price of the new machine. Stick to what makes money and makes sense.
Lastly, you and I work in the real world. If the DP drops the keys off and asks to get his demo washed and gassed, don’t show them your list. Get the demo cleaned up and gassed. Remember the 20 foot rule. Walk outside the building 20 feet and look up 20 feet and see whose name is up there.
by Leonard Buchholz