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From: Jared Hamilton
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Steve Tuschen

Steve Tuschen Fixed Operations Director

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Changing Cultures and Breaking Down the Walls


99016e2f233ab636b47ab2005bc5689e.jpg?t=1Having the opportunity to go through the Disney Institute with GM they talked about how everyone only cared about their bottom line, so if someone was needed by another department it was no problem just give me a number so I can bill their time against it.  It is human nature to get tunnel vision and only care about your department and your numbers, this doesn't add value to the business it only moves dollars from one department to the other, but the bottom dollar doesn't change for the business.  This brings a shirts against the skins approach to the business and puts up walls so no one helps the other departments unless they are getting paid.  There are times for this such as used car reconditioning; ultimately the customer pays the bill not the used car department due to the repair expense will be added to the cost of the vehicle. If a transmission suddenly goes out as the customer drives a used car off the lot, why should the service department move a bunch of money from sales to service so they look good, did it bring value to the business? These conversations go back and forth, as the service department will say I could have been doing work that made me money and I suffer because of it, sales gets the bad taste that service just gouges them on everything, and the wall get's higher. 

 
I am fortunate enough to work for one of the best owner's and companies. Our vision is "to be so effective that we are able to be helpful to others" with focus on five business critical areas, customer enthusiasm, employee satisfaction, financial performance, market effectiveness, ongoing improvement.  When a decision is made WE look at customer enthusiasm as our number one priority as that carries the most weight.  In this case the used car department is the customer, does it make sense to barrel them over because you can, this is a bad profit.  Better to cover your expense, bank the goodwill and they will help in the future, this tears down the wall.
 
Every company has many departments and they are all looked as profit centers, dealerships are no different and as we look to increase our pay we forget those other centers, this moves the financial above the customer and the employee which isn't where it belongs.  If everyone looks out what is best for the customer, while protecting the other four areas, in the end everyone wins including the business, while never taking advantage of anyone.

David Ruggles
So what's your opinion of retail recon?
Steve Tuschen
We charge retail on parts and labor for used cars during the reconditioning process. If they choose not to fix something we recommend and it gets done later we charge full price as they took a gamble and lost. If we missed something we should have caught, brake pads at 1mm and no record of it on the inspection, the service department pays for it. If something fails after the vehicle is sold then we do at 10% over on parts and less than half door rate, it takes care of the customer, keeps the tech whole.
Denim Simkins
@Steve and @David most UC Mgr when taking in a trade or when taking a car at auction plan on a "retail recon" or an estimated value of recon. Its only when there is a unforeseen major issue arises during the inspection. I still believe that these need to be taken at a case by case scenario. Sometimes on those issues is best to determine what recon exp. the vehicle can absorb and still be priced in the market. With recon there is a great solution out there to help you not over spend, improve the turn and keep all your managers in the loop with what is going on with every vehicle. I really like the approach of working together as departments and building the teamwork culture. In those situations when something happens like a breakdown after the sale, take care of the customer and move on. The pricing structure will help build the teamwork bridge and the UC department (service and parts best customer) will not feel like they are being abused.

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