Last week at the NCM Institute, we shared six of the “35 Responsibilities of the Service Manager”. Today, I would like to go over five more of the sales management responsibilities on this list. These processes are not in any particular order of importance, but realize that if you want to become a world class service organization, they will all be important.
Labor Pricing System
In continuation from our last six responsibilities, the next responsibility is the labor pricing system. Ensure that a proper grid labor system or precision labor rate for non-competitive repair work is in place and followed consistently to improve the effective labor rate. Also, verify your factory maintenance service and high visibility repair work is priced competitively. You can sum this up by having a well thought out method to your pricing, employing different target effective labor rates by category, and making sure your employees follow it.
Responsibility number eight for sales management in the service department is the A.S.R. process. A.S.R. stands for Additional Service Request. These are the needed items found by your technicians during the multi-point inspection process. Ensure you have a documented process for these requests, and that it is followed consistently by the technicians and advisors. This is a crucial process to maximize sales opportunities. As with any crucial process, this must be measured and inspected every day. You should track average requests per vehicle and the closing percentages on these requests as a department, along with an advisor and a technician.
Extended Service Hours
The ninth responsibility is extended service hours. Always have extended service hours with early bird and night owl services, along with Saturday hours that accommodate your customers. You don’t have to be open longer than your competitors, but you should be open the same. When a customer needs help and you aren't open and your competition is, you run a real risk of losing that customer. In conjunction with providing great customer service, the incremental gross profit that can be obtained in these additional hours can have a large positive effect on your net profit. Just be aware that if you aren't currently doing this, it will be a culture change and you must communicate well with your staff to make it succeed.
Internal Repair Orders
The tenth responsibility under sales management focuses on internal repair orders. You must ensure that you're retaining 100% of all available internal work. This should include all reconditioning, pre-loaded accessories, aftermarket items, and detailing. You must also make sure all reconditioning work is being completed within three business days. The quick turnaround on reconditioning helps to maximize the opportunity to turn the inventory for the pre-owned department. As a result of that, you have an increased opportunity to gain additional vehicles to recondition. This will make both the service and pre-owned departments more money.
Fleet and Commercial Accounts
The final responsibility we have under our sales management of the service department section is fleet and commercial accounts. In an effort to achieve incremental sales and gross profit, you should pursue these volume accounts. This is somewhat easier for certain brands, but if you look hard enough you can find fleet vehicles for every manufacturer in the market. Some places you might look into for this type of work include, local and state governments, rental facilities, construction companies, medical transportation companies, and the list can go on. That covers our 11 responsibilities that fall under the service sales management category, even though these are just the tip of the iceberg. Again, as you work towards taking your dealership to the next level, feel free to reach out to NCM, and all of its professionals, to see how we can help.