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Bryan Armstrong

Bryan Armstrong e-Commerce Director

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Internal Structures

This is probably more of a discussion, but...

There seems to be quite a few different Management sets in the Auto Industry, but most can be traced to something along the lines of a G.M. under which report a Parts/Service Director, G.S.M., F&I, Desk Managers, Team Managers, Salesmen and Lot-techs. Of course this is not a complete list, but most of you are familiar with what I’m speaking of and if not, look around your own Dealership, it’s probably there as well. While this model has served well in the past and set up the G.M. to be an isolation point, I believe it is archaic and cumbersome for communication.

I would propose that the most forward facing member of your team should be in the lead. In other words:

  • G.M.
  • E-Commerce Director- Manages all aspects of training and media ensuring our virtual Dealership translates real-world results
  • Service and Parts Director- Daily operations of Fixed-ops
  • Finance Director- C.I.T. and all finance related questions
  • BDM-Customer Care Specialists – engaging in direct feedback
  • Desk Managers- check and balance system, take traffic and convert it
  • Finance Managers- write deals
  • I-net Managers- Lead and phone rock-stars
  • Team Managers-typically “closers”
  • Salespeople- without who everyone above is irrelevant.

 

My question would be how are YOU set up? Is it important to have a GSM any longer or is it a wasted expense. Where does the i-net and e-Commerce fit into your Management profile?

Jim Bell
We have had some people come into our store wanting to be a GSM. Our GM says to them when they come in, "Why would I need a GM when I have 4 great Sales Managers that are perfoming great?" It's a good point. Why would you need a GSM when the GM is holding the management team accountable? I have a feeling that the best performing stores don't need one and it is just another added expense. As far as me, the Internet and Marketing guy, I am on level keel with the Sales Managers. I work hand in hand with the Sales Managers in what they want to hit on at any part of the month. The last part is there really a need for a 'finance director?' I don't think so. We are anywhere from 250-290 on any given month and all 3 of our finance managers are all level and held accountable for everything when it comes to contracts, missing docs, ect. Yes, there is one that stands out a little more so than the others, but for the most part, the GM will have his meetings with all 3 off them and not have just 1 in his office and say get your team together. That's just my 2 cents.
Bryan Armstrong
Great points Jim. The reason I ask is I'm looking for input as to how to best help a friend/client of mine who is trying to reduce costs, increase accountability and centralize communication points. I believe the time will come (soon) that the ISM/e-commerce Managers of today will be the most sought after talent pool in the Industry to fill upper Management positions (I know I get fairly consistently recruited, though I'm not sure why ;))So the follow-up to this would be an article outlining the Job descriptions and Management flow of each position. However, I'd love some input from others. C'mon folks, don't be shy!!! Share your thoughts and if your worried that in doing so you will render yourself obsolete, then it's time to re-invent your role anyway.
Stephen Brown
This being my first job, I don't have anything to compare my dealership to. However, I am pretty sure it is unique. We have a GM, no new car sales manager, 2 headed used car managers (deals and inventory), a VW service manager, a Off Make service manager, one parts manager for both sides and 3 finance managers (no director) I handle internet sales, marketing management (e-commerce I guess) and the rentals/service loaners My buddy who graduated with me does customer relations (BDM?) and assists the marketing and the GM with new car management of CSI (the GM acts as the new car manager closing deals and whatnot)
Kevin Bookbinder
To me it seems that the title of GSM and Finance Director have become recruiting terms rather than actual positions. Functionally it translates into a title given to an individual that needs the title to feel important / superior. I believe those individuals have gone the way of the Dodo bird with the economically required down-sizing of the last few years. Brian, Jim Would you agree?
Jim Bell
I concur Kevin.

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