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Bart Wilson

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4 Levels of Growth

Your dealership is all about growth. You may be looking to grow sales, improve your sales or service gross, maybe invest in new points.

Regardless of the growth path your store is looking to take, there are four levels that contribute to organizational and personal growth. In this post we will review and define each level. For an example, I am going to use employee development. Keep in mind that this same logic can apply to different areas in your dealership where you see growth opportunities.

The first level is ad hoc. Ad hoc growth is inconsistent, and has no structure. It is typically controlled by outside forces or just plain hard work. The main problem with ad hoc development is not very efficient.

For example, ad hoc employee development means inconsistent new hire onboarding. An organization may hire ten employees to find and keep two. Managers invent the training that occurs, and too often that training happens “at the desk” when the employee is in the middle of a situation. Performance is tracked is tracked on the sales board. It’s how many service hours an employee generates or how many cars an individual sold.

The next level is manager driven. Organizations that are manager driven take on the personality of their management staff. The Sales/Service Manager defines the processes that are deployed. New employee onboarding involves watching a veteran and modeling how they do it. Managers create and hold the training. Favoritism is rampant in a manager driven growth level. Another issue with this level is the management linchpin. If a manager leaves the organization, all of the training and processes leave with them. The dealership is left with a large vacuum that needs to be filled (usually with another manager and their training and processes.

The third level is dealership driven. This is the minimum growth level your organization should employ. In this level, the store defines and implements the training and processes. The market, time of year, or management does not control the training. Store goals are defined and driven by the executive team.

For example, the store onboards all employees. New employee onboarding means indoctrinating an employee on the “dealership way” of doing things. Training and processes are documented, and management is assigned to deliver the dealership training. Employees are managed based on performance, but the store has established activity metrics that lead to the ideal results with which employees are held accountable.

The final, fourth level is continuous improvement. In this level, growth is ingrained into the organization, and technology is leveraged to automate and scale.

In our employee development example, processes, training, and employee standards are captured in software. Orientation is automated for consistency. Furthermore, training is tied to strategy and uses a standardized curriculum for instruction. Everyone has a defined career plan, and training along with performance expectations are incorporated to advance employees through their career. The organization also executes performance reviews monthly to check in on employee development.

As stated earlier, we used employee development as an example, but you can use these four levels to create a growth in your organization. Inventory management, your service advisor or finance processes, digital retailing, all can use these four levels to help you define success. Take a few minutes to audit your store and determine what needs to take place to get to level three. You will create efficiencies and develop a successful growth strategy.

Daryl Sanders

awesome quick view to foster steps of change.  As I visit dealerships, using this method of identification, Ad Hoc is probably the most prevalent and I would say manager driven #2, but it usually is a single manager driven, not the manager team.

Thanks, Daryl Sanders

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