Assess the information gathered from your meetings and piece your puzzle together. Does accounting spend time chasing information because paperwork is incomplete or untimely? How do you know that all parts purchased are billed on repair orders? Are you meeting deadlines for purchase discounts programs or are you paying unnecessary penalties? Are service customers greeted with positive anticipation because your sales department informs the service department of promises in a timely manner and with respect for the service work load? These are just a few questions to ask when viewing your dealership puzzle to see that each piece of the puzzle fits together well.
Now that you have identified problem areas, what do you do about it? Regardless of the problem identified you can apply a simple methodology to solving it.
First clearly define the problem and the objective of the solution. If your problem is a lack of adequate controls, what controls need to be in place? Are we in need of cash control, inventory control (parts or vehicles), expense control, information control or work load control? Next write down all your ideas as to how to resolve the issue and achieve your goal. Then rank your ideas from the most likely resolution to the least likely resolution. Analyze each potential solution for effectiveness and to be sure it is not unnecessarily burdensome. Keep in mind that the best solutions are most often the simplest solutions. Solicit your employee’s ideas throughout this process. They are often your best resource in finding and testing possible solutions. Implement the necessary change based on your analysis. Employee involvement in the resolution process will smooth the implementation and lessen resistance to the transition.
An operational review of your dealership is most certainly not the sexiest or most exciting function you will undertake. It is, however, critically important to improving how you conduct business. It is an ongoing process. Be diligent, be persistent and realize that, like other aspects of your business, the more you perform these operational reviews the easier they become and the better your dealership will function. Less waste equals Higher Net Profits and you, the dealer, set the standard for everyone in your dealership.