If we looked at numbers versus processes as it were two sport teams competing, we can learn a lot about how to improve.
First let's look at the numbers. It's obvious that numbers are critical to evaluate where you are and how you are doing. Many call me a numbers guy because on a new client we will evaluate up to four years of performance on a month by month basis. We develop wonderful charts and graphs evaluating trends of 12 month averages. We do this to understand where the dealership has areas of opportunity and how to best use our time in the dealership.
So numbers are always going to be an important measurement of success. Many dealers come back from 20 group meetings and tell their department managers their numbers are bad. They call a meeting and let the service manager know that they are at the bottom of the 20 group and they need to get their performance up on such items as effective labor rate or profits.
The problem I have with many of these situations is that nothing's discussed on how the numbers are developed or improved. They just know they are looking at a bad number and instruct their managers to fix it.
Let's say as an example, you want to lose weight like I do right now. I have found that for me to lose weight I must eat better foods with less quantity and exercise every day. If I measure my steps every day and exceed 10,000 along with watching my diet I lose weight. The more consistently I followed this process the better results I have. You see I wouldn't even have to necessarily weigh myself to know my results are improving. My clothes are fitting better and my energy level is substantially higher. If you did weigh yourself occasionally you'll find that the number is pleasing and shows you're using the right process.
So the number is important, however the process must be right in order to get the results you prefer. The better you do your processes, the better the results. I hope you take this challenge to understand how to attack the areas of opportunity in your dealership. What are the best processes to achieve the result you desire?
Understand and spend time on implementing the best practice processes in your dealership will be sure to win.
Rob Gehring, President
Fixed Performance Inc.
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Rob is President and Founder of Fixed Performance Inc. which he began over 15 years ago. His passion for customer care and helping others has assisted hundreds of dealerships with their fixed operations performance. His common sense coaching and training lifts people up as individuals and team members. With over 30 years of dealership management experience, he understands and respects the daily challenges of fixed operations. Placing a strong value in people and best practice processes always provide growth. His articles have been published regularly in national publications and weekly newsletters are read by thousands.