Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Driving to Work

It occurred to me that my current blog may be out in left field and too far from the current tasks we have each day at the dealership.

So today I wanted to clarify my intentions.

In every position at the dealership, whether it is your first day on the job as a porter, parts guy, service advisor, technician or manager, we are just expected to fulfill the position that we are assigned. Rarely is anyone providing training or guidance to us. We are just expected to follow the lead of someone. Who takes the porters thru the ropes? Who introduces the new people to everyone in the organization?

Most positions are filled due to a necessity. And it is usually a crisis more than a need. Imagine how we treat this entry-level position. What is the difference between this position and any other in the store? How much times do you as managers spend with the new guy? How much time did the dealer or GM spend with you when you were hired as the service or parts manager?

So who trains us? Who gives us the background on the organization? Who actually took the time to tell the manager what effective labor rate is? Do you think that every dealer owner knows how to calculate this? I submit to you that the answer is NO. I submit that many of us learn by trial and error. The automotive dealership world is the most lucrative business that I have ever heard of. The business has the most talented people in sales and service. We are expected to make fix cars, sell service, wash, wax, review repair orders, understand the product and still make a profit doing all of this. And to top it off, rarely are we given a direction, a guide or even a hint of what is expected. We are just told to do it!

And I am here to tell you that we are a driven group of people. We are looking for the answers to all of those things in the shop. How do I increase production, sales, rate, gross and so on….

We typically pick up things as we go. And we do make mistakes. We do not know everything and we can certainly learn from one another. And we can ASK questions as well. Each day I am reminded that the dumbest question is the one we did not ask. I fancy myself as a smart guy, however EVERY time I assume something. I can be proven wrong. So whether it is about numbers, people or any issue that you are having, please ask. Ask us here at Ask someone for help in the challenges you are having. Because there is no shame, there should not be any fear in improving yourself and your store. I am sure your dealer will be happy you did!
So as we move forward in the blog and on my website; I will fire off stories about my work, my challenges and occasionally I will go to left field and write about crazy self-improvement methods I am working on. I like being the guinea pig. And I like being the one walking the path that only a few care to walk. As I learn on my path of self-discovery, I will share and learn with everyone. I want others to come along. I want feedback and comments and questions to help guide my thinking and writing as well. The more questions I receive the more influence you will have on my journey…

Steve Shaw,

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