1) Cross train employees; it reduces the need for extra personal. – Mike Anthony
2) For dealers with an internal BDC, think about outsourcing it. There are several that do a great job, and once you factor in all of the costs associated with maintaining your own, outsourcing is far less expensive. – Bob Harwood
3) Review credit card processing cost reduction for service and parts. Make sure you have a proper check acceptance program in place to minimize risk. – Glynn Rodean
4) Never sign a contract that has an auto-renewal clause. – Tedd Potts
5) Review and sign every check that leaves your store. Stop unnecessary services. – Jeff Braatz
6) Review your entire operation. We started closing one hour earlier every day. We did this company wide. An hour doesn't seem like much, but spread it over several stores and you are saving on gas and electric to keep the place open and you are saving on the hourly employees as well. – Jake Lawson
7) Adopt customer-friendly procedures. Keeping customers happy can help avoid lawsuits because happy customers are less likely to call their attorney general, Better Business Bureau or consumer credit lawyer.
8) Never sign any long-term contracts, since there are usually competitors who believe in their product so much that they offer month-to-month agreements, albeit with some up-front costs to cover set-up. – Tedd Potts
9) Track advertising results. If the medium is producing (you have to track it to know), keep it; if not, eliminate it. Tracking is the key. – Kris Wright
10) Review credit bureau pricing; there are many competitive providers in the market. – Glynn Rodean
11) Put all of your vendor sourced services and items out for bid in writing. Get at least three bids per item and watch the prices drop in the face of competition. – Hal Scott
12) Require prospective vendors to e-mail their proposals. This will give you written proof of any agreement. It also saves you time. – Tedd Potts
13) Purchase oil and solvents in bulk; suppliers will often provide the smaller dispensers for free.
14) Pay every vendor you can by credit card, and use accumulated points to pay for travel expenses to train your staff.
15) Cut advertising! We are selling the same amount of cars without advertising by mining our database. – Jeff Braatz
16) Look for ad sources that guarantee results. – Raul Vazquez
17) Look for wholesale call tracking numbers and minutes. – Glynn Rodean
18) Eliminate any advertising that can’t be proven to pay for itself, including image advertising. – Tedd Potts
19) Switch to a low-priced DMS. It is easier to transition and digest a new system when business is slow. – Tedd Potts
20) If you want to keep good employees who really aren’t that busy, eliminate outside services. Review your outside services and see if your employees can fulfill those duties. If an employee isn’t as busy as he used to be, he is able to clean entryway mats, wash windows, shuttle customers, etc. – Tedd Potts
21) Call the other dealer’s floorplan lender on all dealer trades to makes sure the swap will be approved. – Tedd Potts.