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In my opinion what separates the NCM Institute’s GMEP Program from other individual training options is the work done between sessions and the camaraderie you develop with other students going through the same year-long program.
Sure, you get a complete ‘total dealership’ education, and are set up to be an effective GM in your store. That’s a given. But for me, having a responsibility to immediately identify opportunities for improvement in YOUR store and make those improvements real-time is where the rubber meets the road.
Guarantee of Action Plans
GOAs, or Guarantee of Action plans, is a concept that is introduced to students in the very first session you attend. Throughout the year, NCMi instructors provide many examples of what a GOA could be as you touch on new topics. The Institute provides a format for capturing GOAs, and you have a responsibility to complete four new GOAs at the close of each session. Additionally, upon return to the next session, you are asked to share the progress of those GOAs with the larger class. It’s through this exercise that you get some fantastic ideas of how to tweak or modify your individual GOA for even greater impact.
Let Me Give You an Example:
During our Service Department session, we covered several topics at a high and detailed level. One of those topics was the concept of wasted time by technicians in retrieving parts. The idea of installing an express parts cabinet in closer proximity to the bay performing express service was discussed in class.
If I decided to make this my GOA, I would put this to practice upon returning to the dealership. Additionally, the GOA would force me to quantify it to prove the impact it would have on the business. Here’s what that would look like:
GOA: Implement an Express Service Parts Cabinet in the shop to add significant Fixed Gross Profit opportunity. This very achievable goal would locate and organize all the fast-moving express parts in the shop to free an additional 15 minutes per technician in a workday.
16 techs x 15 min. = 240 min (4 hrs).
ELR = 114.41 (blended ELR).
4 x $144.41 = $457.64.
$457.64 x $1.25 (ttl gross profit) = $572.05 fixed gross per day.
$572.05 x 300 days = $171,615.00 additional fixed gross profit opportunity by finding 15 additional minutes per day, per tech.
Putting Plans Into Action
The next step in successfully completing your GOA is to identify how you’ll execute the project, and who would be responsible for putting it into practice. Based on the example above, here is what this would look like:
Responsible parties: Parts Manager, Service Manager, Back Counterperson, and Technicians
Express Parts Stocking: On a daily basis, Back Counter Person will take an inventory of Express Parts Cabinet (in the shop) and reconcile against inventory reflected in the DMS. Back Counter Person will re-stock the cabinet on a daily basis based on pre-determined stocking levels (oil filters, air filters, etc.)
Process Change: Service Manager or Shop Foreman will work to verify that technicians are not going to the Parts Counter to get express parts that are usually stocked in the Express Service Parts Cabinet. He/she will oversee technicians to ensure techs are being more efficient with their time.
Feedback on Your GOA
While it may seem like a lot of work to put these GOAs together, the reality is you’re given a lot of time after class each day to work on them. Better yet, I found the real value of my GOA was from talking with 24 other aspiring or current GMs during that time. There wasn’t a single person in my class that wouldn’t have lent me support if I asked, and many were enthusiastic about helping others create achievable GOAs.
As far as putting them to practice back at the store in-between sessions, things don’t always go as intended and obstacles sometimes arise. That’s the brilliance of coming back between sessions and reporting on your progress to the group. It allows you to get feedback from other professionals to overcome the challenges you are facing with peers who are invested in seeing you succeed.
- Joel Zimmerman, 2019 GMEP Graduate
Visit our course page for GMEP to learn more about the program.