“I had an employee who was doing a great job in his current position; he comes from a business family and wanted to move up,” Shenk says. “I sat down with him and explained that this position requires an effort of 50 hours per week when all systems are go. And it may require more until then.”
Shenk says he also made it clear that it was okay to fail and, if desired, the employee could return to his former position.
“He tried the new position for nine business days — roughly the first half of July — and then decided to return to his previous position, which I agreed was the correct thing to do,” Shenk says.
“The current service writer, who had been a service manager at a Level 5 Honda dealership, has taken the position from July 16 forward. He is on a very steep learning curve, but he is putting in 100 percent effort. He seems to be doing well with systems, but he really seems to be struggling with managing/coaching people and controlling his emotions in a mature manner,” Shenk says.
ARE ENTHUSIASTS PROFIT-DRIVEN? The only way to run above industry norms, Shenk says, is by employing better people and processes.
“We know the correct processes,” he says, “but it’s people that are our main limiters right now. Once we get the people, we can start building back our Parts and Service departments.
“I only know of two options: Find the right type of person who has industry product knowledge and software knowledge, and then train them on our systems. This is very hard to find in an industry made up primarily of enthusiasts, not business/profit-driven individuals, but it’s a quick way to increased productivity.
“The second way is to find the right type of person and train them on the products, industry software and processes. This is a long process and can cost a lot in lost sales during the training process,” he says.
Shenk says the processes are in place and the hunt continues for the right team members.
Story originally appeared in the September 2012 issue of Dealernews.
Editor’s note: The Dealer Lab project is a joint effort between Dealernews and PowerHouse Dealer Services, a consulting firm run by Bill Shenk, detailing his efforts to return a Florida powersports dealership, renamed Destination Powersports, to profitability. The financial information in this report is taken from the dealership’s Composite Report supplied by Shenk and is prepared as part of the dealership’s participation in the PowerHouse Dealer 20nGroup. The Composite Report is produced from the store’s monthly financial report. In preparing these Dealer Lab reports, Dealernews reviews the dealership’s unaudited P&L statement and Balance Sheet and its Composite Report.
Bill Shenk is owner and 20-Group moderator of PowerHouse Dealer services, a dealership 20 Group provider and consulting/training company. He has worked full time in the powersports industry since 1976. To join a PHD 20 Group and take your dealership to Top Gun status, contact Bill at 877-PHD-0911 or Bill@phdservices.com