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Welcome to NCM's Up to Speed Blog

The Value of Visiting Another Dealer's Operation

Kevin Cunningham
Written By: Kevin Cunningham
Posted on November 08, 2018

Some of the basic tenets of being a leader is sharing your values and visions. Dealers attend 20 Group meetings to get insight on issues that will shape the industry, and how they can improve the profitability of their dealerships. Typically, doing so constructs positive change and creates a better environment for their team. Armed with multiple pages of NCM Benchmark® comparisons, relevant handouts, and Idea Time presentations, members organize meetings with their management teams to share their new-found knowledge.

Unfortunately, more often than not, managers nod their heads up and down to pacify their boss extolling the virtues of the ideas presented to them, before going back to what they were doing before. For years, we’ve heard dealers and key managers state “The business model is changing.” It is not changing: it has already changed, and we need to get onboard with adapting to our consumer behavior or go by the wayside.  

We see the innovative and progressive dealers who have changed their processes and procedures, and as a result found success. Many have been asked to present on how they did it, getting fellow 20 Group members excited, only to see those members fail to foster change when they go back to their store. Change is rarely easy, even when we know the outcome is going to be successful. 

How can we improve this issue? How can we affect change?

To improve the way we create positive outcomes, we see dealers taking their key managers to visit their 20 Group peers’ dealerships, so they can witness firsthand how their businesses differ and how positive change took place in another dealership. What a perfect way to smooth out learning curves and address the doubters in your team. 

This Practice in Action:

Recently, one of the members from a Honda 20 Group that I am fortunate to work with, made a presentation regarding one such trip. The owner took 5 key managers (COO, GM, GSM, a Desk Manager, and their e-Commerce Manager) on a cross-country trip to see a fellow group member’s store in Florida. Why did he make this type of investment? I’ll let him tell you.

“I wanted my team to witness the whole handling of their e-commerce process. Their team really have a dialed-in process loaded with expectations to succeed 100% of the time. They are not casual in anything they do. What we witnessed, provided us more value in understanding how expectations drive the performance.” 

I could not write anything more profound! They had a plan tailored to what they wanted and needed to see. While pages and pages of notes and countless ideas were written down, in the end, the owner said they are currently implementing around 30% of the ideas, mainly targeting the Variable Operations and Marketing. This time, he wanted his team to see what success looks and operates like.

We look forward to the group’s fall meeting, so we can learn more about the outcomes from the change they have implemented.

Learn more from Kevin and our other automotive consultant/moderators by joining a 20 Group, scheduling dealership consulting, or registering for automotive training in the NCM Institute. You'll be glad you did!

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