More IS Better.....

Brad Bossen
Everyone is scrambling to find the most cost effective way to manage each department. Like many of you I have developed a pretty good "gut feeling" ability about what will work and what won't. Or so I thought! Your and my gut training has come from time and experience in the business. That old school of hard knocks! But I would challenge you to rethink those experiences and the lessons learned. They were learned in a different generation, probably no internet, Twitter, Facebook or My Space, right? No economic recession. Sure we've struggled through some tough times in the auto industry in the past, but not like now. Many more variables involved now. Different attitudes, politics and theories for recovery, consumer reluctance and exhaustive evaluation. Check those gut feelings before you make that next decision. Every manager with whom I've spoken in the past 18 months has complained of the volumes of new company, corporate and franchise accounting documents. Everyone wants the numbers. How many, what time, conversion rates, up-sales, advertising, payroll and ROI. "Seems like that's all we do is document what we do!" is a response I hear over and over. For some it's just fodder for the next management meeting. For effective managers it’s a necessity right now. We don't have the luxury of anything less than a minimized, efficient and productive operation. If your corporate or franchise requirements don't require DAILY written accountability from your Service and Parts departments then you need to implement them immediately. Shop efficiency (total flat rate hours sold divided by the clock hours of business), total shop hours sold, total sales $, CP and W hours sold and percentage of total. Want to really get everyone's attention? Post these numbers first thing every morning on a large 'white board' in the shop. Include a progressive monthly chart for each ASM and hours in each category for each Tech. Get an ' accurate' running total of "not on shelf" and "special order" parts. Put a time clock and clip board on your Parts counter. Every time a Tech requests a part the clock starts ticking! Record the time on the clipboard. Review daily. Don't forget, your intent is to make everyone realize how they personally impact the bottom line. Use the carrot, not the stick. Be professional, helpful and buy a few pizzas for the winners!

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