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Denim Simkins

Denim Simkins Director, Fixed Ops

Denim Simkins Blog Posts

Becoming an ACTIVE leader 101

Becoming an ACTIVE leader 101

Today’s workforce needs immediate feedback, constant counseling and suggestions to maintain motivation and focus on the current goal. The days of bei…

Fixed Operations Mission: Employee Retention Part One

Fixed Operations Mission: Employee Retention Part One

Typically when I review a store that is producing above average results in most categories such as increased sales, improved customer satisfaction scores a…

"Building" a winning team

"Building" a winning team

In sports there is an over used saying “next man up” that is referring to the next person in line to fulfill the position vacated by an injury …

Three areas of focus to help your service sales advisors succeed

Three areas of focus to help your service sales advisors succeed

Final count for U.S. auto sales for the month of October -5.9% and YTD -0.3%   As some of the industry experts have pointed to a potential softe…

Anyone interested in a little more profit to the bottom line?

Anyone interested in a little more profit to the bottom line?

Looking for a little more gross? How about looking toward a $33B industry. A few of the latest reports show that the accessory industry is on the climb at …

When There Is a WHEEL, There Is a Way

When There Is a WHEEL, There Is a Way

It's October and in most parts across the country this means it's tire season. A couple of things come to mind when I hear this. Number one, should…

A Slight Increase In Customer Retention Will Yield Huge Returns

A Slight Increase In Customer Retention Will Yield Huge Returns

According to the Harvard Business school increasing retention by 5% can increase profits by 25% to 90%. So the question is…Why is customer retention…

What Are Your Greatest Assets That Will Help You Survive an Economic Turndown?

What Are Your Greatest Assets That Will Help You Survive an Economic Turndown?

After a recent internal 20-group idea session where every GM was sharing their best idea that is helping their team and store become successful, I realized…

Great News!! Service traffic is up and so are sales….. WARNING so are your expenses

Great News!! Service traffic is up and so are sales….. WARNING so are your expenses

After finishing a very successful August and looking back on the success so far year to date it is very easy to blissfully roll into September and the rema…

How well is your team utilizing technology to enhance the customer experience and sell more service?

How well is your team utilizing technology to enhance the customer experience and sell more service?

On the service drive there is a plethora of technology options available to help your advisor be more efficient and improve the customer experience. Most o…

Focus On The Relationship + Make It Easy to Do business With You = Customer Retention

Focus On The Relationship + Make It Easy to Do business With You = Customer Retention

As a general manager or store director, you are approached daily with the latest and greatest technique to attract more customers to your service departmen…

8 Tips to Help You Increase Technician Production

8 Tips to Help You Increase Technician Production

Recently scrolling through my LinkedIn feed, I noticed about every third post is a service manager or fixed operations director across the country loo…

Well done Toyota, now all the other OEM’s should follow suit

Well done Toyota, now all the other OEM’s should follow suit

“28% of clicks from Toyota branded parts/service queries were LOST to the independent rooftops or other advertisers” Within the span of the …

Attention General Managers: Train to Retain, Keeping Your Employees

Attention General Managers: Train to Retain, Keeping Your Employees

Unfortunately during most month end financial reviews the question of training expense will surface when a dealer is looking at the financial statement, an…

Hire for ATTITUDE and GOALS, train for SKILL.

Hire for ATTITUDE and GOALS, train for SKILL.

During a recent conversation with a service manager at a high volume import store we had a discussion about how hard it is to get the right front line team…

Customer Experience Trend "Digital Parity"

Customer Experience Trend "Digital Parity"

Customers expect an experience that is streamlined and hassle-free/friction-free. Regardless of the arena in which your business operates, they want y…

"Vision without execution is just hallucination" Henry Ford

"Vision without execution is just hallucination" Henry Ford

2016 is nearly half way over and business has been great, retail traffic is up, more new and used cars being sold and this is great news, right? Well …

Increasing Customer Retention starts TODAY

Increasing Customer Retention starts TODAY

As a general manager or store director you are approached daily with the latest and greatest technique to attract more customers to your service department…

Fine Tune Fixed Ops Digital Performance

Fine Tune Fixed Ops Digital Performance

Recently I had the opportunity to attend and speak at the 2016 DrivingSales Presidents club in Miami, Florida. The event was packed with top-level thought …

Preparation + Opportunity = Success

Preparation + Opportunity = Success

This is one of my favorite sayings that have been around for years and I constantly use it in service training today.  The message goes something like…

365.52.12.1 Is the Key to Maximize Your Next Fixed Operations Marketing Spend

365.52.12.1 Is the Key to Maximize Your Next Fixed Operations Marketing Spend

For those service managers and fixed operation directors that have been at this business for as long or even longer than I have, the above number is an IP …

'If You Can Smell Them, You Can Sell Them'

'If You Can Smell Them, You Can Sell Them'

This is one of my favorite sayings when I am helping our team get on the right page about selling tires. Hands down the best way to sell tires is to LOOK l…

The Art of Listening and How It Impacts Your Ability to Serve Your Customer

The Art of Listening and How It Impacts Your Ability to Serve Your Customer

Even before cell phones, tablets, social sites and unlimited web sites that draw you to eye guzzle hours during the day, the service advisor has many distr…

Here We Go Again – Greenhouse Gas Standards Increasing

Here We Go Again – Greenhouse Gas Standards Increasing

Who remembers the last air conditioning change over? Actually I can remember my first conversion from R12 to R134a. I remember the parts department now car…

Does your training program measure up? 4 characteristics of a good training program

Does your training program measure up? 4 characteristics of a good training program

Right now we are upon a time within the automotive industry where there is constant change. For instance, try to keep up with the latest recall, are pa…

5 “No-fail” Ways to Increase Customer Retention

5 “No-fail” Ways to Increase Customer Retention

When it comes to building your fixed ops business there is little doubt that increasing your percentage of customers retained is the number one area to rev…

Service and Parts Department Marketing: What is YOUR Message?

Service and Parts Department Marketing: What is YOUR Message?

Are you the low price leader? Do you constantly have a $19.95 oil change special? My question is, why do you feel the need to give away your service and p…

Does Your Dealership's Website Have A Fixed Operations Presence?

Does Your Dealership's Website Have A Fixed Operations Presence?

The digital disruption has already happened and our customers are utilizing our digital tools to interact with our service and parts departments. Specifica…

Increase Trust and Improve Sales in Your Service Drive With These 5 Steps

Increase Trust and Improve Sales in Your Service Drive With These 5 Steps

Transparency is key – This is the hardest one in our business since we have a history of doing just the opposite and our customer’s guard is up. In ord…

9 “Must Do” Steps To Follow To Ensure High Customer Satisfaction

9 “Must Do” Steps To Follow To Ensure High Customer Satisfaction

As a service director or general manager, I would encourage you to spend time on the service drive to observe and listen to the conversations your service…

4 Tips for Creating an Efficient Workforce

4 Tips for Creating an Efficient Workforce

Already a promising year starting off in the automotive industry and there is no plan of let down in sight and according to most of the industry experts 20…

Create a Workplace Environment That Attracts the Top Talent

Create a Workplace Environment That Attracts the Top Talent

We have all experienced the let down of a well qualified, proven performer slipping through your fingers at the last minute to make a decision to stay with…

Who Is Your 'Next Man Up?'

Who Is Your 'Next Man Up?'

In sports there is an over used saying “next man up” that is referring to the next person in line to fulfill the position vacated by an injury or poor …

Use “together” and you will achieve more

Use “together” and you will achieve more

Looking forward to the New Year and in most of my conversations with executive level management about their fixed operations business, they have indicate…

Creating a Positive Workplace Culture and Building Your Human Capital

Creating a Positive Workplace Culture and Building Your Human Capital

As you are preparing for 2016 and finalizing your forecast, keep in mind the biggest opportunity for improvement: Building a passionate work culture that i…

Understand your customer and excel in building your business

Understand your customer and excel in building your business

Understanding the difference between a “transactional customer” and a “relational customer” is the first step to helping your team succeed in custo…

Leadership 101 – Recognize the impact of a properly trained employee

Leadership 101 – Recognize the impact of a properly trained employee

Human capital is the stock of knowledge, habits, social and personality attributes, including creativity, embodied in the ability to perform labor so as t…

RECALLS - The good and the bad

RECALLS - The good and the bad

Looking at the recent projected numbers by NADA, it appears that fixed operations is in a position to increase on their 2014 total of service and parts sal…

Customer Retention Starts With Employee Retention

Customer Retention Starts With Employee Retention

Periodically, I get the opportunity to roll up my sleeves and dig into a dealer’s pain point. More often than not these pain points lately are, “How do…

Customer Service: Recalls – 3 steps to maximize profit

Customer Service: Recalls – 3 steps to maximize profit

As I look through a group of dealers’ financials I quickly see the huge increase in warranty labor sales and gross. I quickly think of the enormous opp…

Urgent Update: Magnify Profit Potential by Putting Your Focus Into Building Your People

Urgent Update: Magnify Profit Potential by Putting Your Focus Into Building Your People

Many dealerships are focusing and investing in fixed operations. They are adding high tech equipment, expanding service bays implementing growth strategies…

Focus point: Customer retention

Focus point: Customer retention

There are several critical performance indicators in service, however, the most critical one to measure and excel in is customer retention. Customer rete…

Life as a Service Manager: Structure your day properly for success

Life as a Service Manager: Structure your day properly for success

In my current work capacity, I have the opportunity to interact with multiple vendor partners that service the automotive industry. We are continuously d…

5 Skills that Build Service Customer Loyalty and Increase Customer Retention

5 Skills that Build Service Customer Loyalty and Increase Customer Retention

Customer retention is much more than just a “buzzword” in the car business today. It should be what governs your day to day decisions when handling …

Fixed Operations: Winning Market Share

Fixed Operations: Winning Market Share

The average new car customer keeps their vehicle for 6.5 years reported by Rian Bosse of BusinessJournalism.org and according to IHS consulting firm the av…

Keeping your customers happy and employees engaged through proper training

Keeping your customers happy and employees engaged through proper training

Recently I was called by a dealership about a previous employee who was being considered for a service advisor position. Of course we were able to discuss …

3 Factors to Emphasize That Customers Use When Choosing a Service Center

3 Factors to Emphasize That Customers Use When Choosing a Service Center

As per Google’s most recent services path to purchase study the top 3 factors when a customer is deciding on a vehicle service center are, positive past …

3 ways to prepare for the future and keep your customers coming back

3 ways to prepare for the future and keep your customers coming back

Ok Service Managers, the tempature is hot, the shop is full and everyday you are wondering how you can get more vehicles through the shop to meet the summ…

5 simple tips to help create the currency of trust in your service drive

5 simple tips to help create the currency of trust in your service drive

Transparency is key – This is the hardest one in our business since we have a history of doing just the opposite and our customer’s guard is up. In ord…

3 Areas to Target For Your First Fixed Ops Digital Marketing Spend

3 Areas to Target For Your First Fixed Ops Digital Marketing Spend

Over seventy percent of our customers perform research online prior to making a purchase decision. Forty percent will perform research online but purchased…

Increase Your Revenue Per Customer by Increasing Their Lifetime Value

Increase Your Revenue Per Customer by Increasing Their Lifetime Value

In the service drive, we constantly are discussing performance metrics that measure how much is being sold on average to every customer. Although, these me…

How Is Your Service Security? Car Stolen From Service Drive.

How Is Your Service Security? Car Stolen From Service Drive.

Recently I was visiting a dealership and watched the frantic pace of employees moving around going about their day. After only 3 months removed from a 22…

3 easy steps to improve your message to your customers

3 easy steps to improve your message to your customers

Today marketing to someone and getting through to them are 2 very different methods of operation. Most everyone to this point has migrated their marketing…

Want to kill it in customer retention? Build a Quick Lube.

Want to kill it in customer retention? Build a Quick Lube.

I recently spoke with Jon Lancaster, a “retired” dealer out of the Midwest.  He sold his Toyota dealership to Penske Automotive Group, Inc. (PAG) in…

The Add On - Impact of Selling Accessories

The Add On - Impact of Selling Accessories

Looking for a little more gross? How about looking toward a $40B industry. A few of the latest reports show that the accessory industry is on the climb. Cl…

70 Million Automotive Repair Searches

70 Million Automotive Repair Searches

While you are sitting there enjoying a strong finish to the end of a great month and want to have a little shock or a serious reality check try this –…

Creating Customer Retention

Creating Customer Retention

I’d like to introduce myself to the DrivingSales community. My name is Denim Simkins and I have spent the last 22 years living with multiple dealershi…

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