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Interview With Randy Fluharty: Why "Fundamentals" Are the Key to Success

Written By: Lindsey Quinn
Posted on March 10, 2016

We asked Randy Fluharty, an NCM performance partner and OEM lead, to take a few minutes out of his schedule to talk to us about the new Fundamentals whitepaper series. He shared with us insights on their creation and explained why, no matter how experienced you are, going “back to the basics” is an important management skill.

NCM: Hi, Randy. Thanks for joining us. You’re a fairly new member to the NCM team, so can you tell us a little about yourself?

Randy Fluharty: Sure. I’ve spent almost 30 years in the automotive business, doing everything from aftermarket to working with OEMs in numerous divisions and positions. And I have retail GM/Executive Manager experience. I draw on this broad experience while helping my clients identify areas of improvement and formulate a plan to correct issues.

NCM: Are you going to NADA this year?

RF: Yes! I’m looking forward to spending time in the NCM booth. We’re offering mini-workshops—really, a sampling of what the NCM experience is like—and I’ll be hosting several of those. Attendees will get a free 3D-printed gift and their selection of the new Fundamentals volumes. They are hot off the presses and we’re having to keep a close eye on them—all the moderators and other consultants are stealing copies for their clients!

NCM: We better be sure to lock those down! Now, the Fundamentals series was a massive project and clearly an internal success. What makes the Fundamentals guides so important?

RF: They remind us to not forget the fundamentals of the business, which are tried and true practices.  Compare it to practicing scales in music or practicing blocking or tackling in football … no different.

NCM: How were the books written?

RF: We took best practices that had been verified by our best performing dealers and industry experts and compiled them into this easy reference series.

NCM: Are these books for newbies? What value does Fundamentals bring to the experienced automotive professional?

RF: Right. That’s the question I get, “Don’t we already know this?” Here’s the thing, though, without the fundamentals, nothing else works quite right. And surely not consistently!

It’s that lack of consistency that really gets experienced managers and dealers in trouble. When stability is lacking, we lose the ability to accurately determine that nature of the problem. It can result in the wrong fix being applied.

NCM: Who in the dealership should read the Fundamentals series?

RF: Every GM and department manager—NCM client or not. Really, every automotive professional should have a set of these on their shelves.

NCM: What’s the most important thing a dealership can do with these books?

RF: Use the 800# to call me! Seriously, though, it’s very helpful to get an unfiltered, outside prospective on your department or business. I’ve found that most businesses think all is well until another set of eyes starts looking at things and comparing them to known best practices. An outsider’s view creates the context and perspective that causes businesses to find all kinds of opportunities. Translation? That means dealers are losing dollars due to inefficient and inconsistent practices.

NCM: What’s the number one takeaway you get from each guide?

RF: Let’s see … okay, for the Used Vehicle guide, you should ask yourself: What do you own your inventory for and is it the right inventory? On the Service side, I think the book comes down to the concern that, if we sell the work, too many advisors are discounting the profit away. And, when it comes to Parts, the biggest take away is process. Process, process, process. You can’t avoid it!

NCM: So, what’s next? Any more books coming?

RF: Sure. F&I is in its final edit stage, and we’re thinking about a volume for New and CSI fundamentals. We’re open to suggestions, though, so people should let us know what books they’d like to see.

Well, there you have it: The new NCM Fundamentals series gives a clear breakdown of each dealership department and the strategies you need for success. You can download the free digital ebook versions here.

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