The Power of Goals And Managed Measurement

Want to Get Something Done? Measure It!

By: Michael Roppo

When goals are measured and managed, performance and profitability improve intentionally. Goal Setting, measuring and managing performance are always a difference maker for individuals or organizations. Often, however, failure comes because the measuring isn’t connected to a one-on-one reporting back on the performance initiative. This leads to having meetings for meeting’s sake where everyone’s eyes glaze over and heads shake back and forth all in dismay that the goal wasn’t met. But still, no one is taking ownership and responsibility or committing to a personal process improvement to deliver the desired results!

Set Goals, Don’t Spend Money

There is something powerful about setting goals, measuring, and managing Critical Performance Indicators and reporting back on performance. While there are huge benefits in performance coaching, this doesn’t mean you have to spend big money to hire a coach. The key is to get a coach and define a path that is right for you and your dealership’s specific profit centers. Almost anyone can serve as your accountability or report-back person.

Most people will be thrilled you thought of them enough to ask. Simply share with them:

  • Particular goals or areas of performance
  • Give them the time frame associated to generating a particular result
  • Ask if they would mind if you called them back (or if they would call you) for simple accounting or reporting back on daily, weekly and monthly dealer performances.
  • Be certain when you are working with employees or with members of your organization that you also create opportunities for specific reporting back on performance.

Without a reporting back process employees flounder and groups or teams get lost in activities instead of being focused on improvement and results. I love the proverb, “What gets measured gets managed” and “What gets managed gets done!”

Performances Change When Measured

With a simple mindset that influences what gets measured and managed gets done, reporting and accountability can create the difference in performance that, in some cases, can be profound. If you truly want to accelerate the rate of your performance improvement initiative in your dealership and business – measure and report your performance on a regular basis with the people that you know can make shift happen!

This principle often gets applied to all dealership business situations. It can mean that by forcing you to pay attention to an activity and best practice that you can seriously impact and change the activity in an instant. Remember our CPI conversation and publications?

Changing Performance

It can also mean that producing measurements about the best practice or activity gives you a handle on it, and a way to improve it. If you start adding up your service and sales volume daily weekly and monthly, it gives you a basis for saying and thinking things like:

  • Our gross profit percentage on customer pay labor can be improved by 7% on average
  • We can be picking up another 14K in additional gross profit
  • We’re not generating enough revenue on parts sales
  • We need to do more selling in the service drive with the customer at the vehicle
  • Let’s set some SMART Goals that will influence performance in every profit center of the dealership.

Call it what you will, what interests me the most is getting into the trenches that drive performance and profitability by knowing the source of that quotation. Chances are you have already considered many of the statements, processes when referencing information concerning setting goals, measuring and managing critical performance indictors and created a new set of goals to achieve for 2016.

Among your goals may be to increase customer retention, the amount of service appointments per day, the dollars per repair order, reconnect with orphan customers and/or increase your business outlook,  all of which through a defined process can influence a real sales to service and back-to-sales again initiative. The bottom line is that we all could benefit from some simple goal-setting that involves measuring what needs to be managed in order to generate intentional results.

I am thoroughly convinced that setting goals, measuring and managing those goals, and learning how to master the techniques of striving to reach those goals are a big part in maximizing all dealership profit center performance on a regular basis!

Take the First Step and Be SMART

When one learns to master the principles of setting and managing those goals until they become a reality, then, and only then, will they be able to make a great difference in the results they attain in business.

Ok, so maybe you haven’t even set any goals yet. No worries, all is not lost! Consider taking the time to sit down and think of what you’d like to accomplish this year in your business. Perhaps you have some long term goals. What can you do this year to lead to greater performance profitability and or sustaining a good business in the future? Just the simple act of having a goal is the first step in having a means to managing what you need to measure and generate what I like to refer to as intentional results.

When setting goals, it’s important to make sure that they are SMART. This is an acronym you can use to measure and manage the strength of your goals. While goals are fueled by many best practices, operational inventories and actionable intentions, there is still more we can do to make it productive and personally unique. SMART goals are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

So, let’s go ahead and set some goals as well as put a timeline on them. It could look something like the following:

  • “I want to increase the amount of customers coming into our service drive on a daily basis consistently, and I want to do this by October 1, 2016.”
  • “I want to increase my customer pay effective labor rate from 106.00 per hour to 116.00 per hour by days end tomorrow.”

With this structure we have an attainable, definite timeline of when we can accomplish our goals. We are not left to gauge our success based on a vague or immeasurable statement. We could even gauge how well we’ve been doing on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.

Don’t Keep It A Secret

Another tip to help you achieve your goals is to share them with others. By informing colleagues and other employees responsible for generating those goals about what you wish to accomplish and by when, you become more invested in reaching your goal. These people can help encourage performance. They can routinely check up on you to see how you are progressing. When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported back, the rate of improvement accelerates. 

Your goals can take on many different forms. Goals reflect the desires of our hearts and our vision of what we can accomplish. Through goals setting planning and measurement our hopes are transformed into actionable intentional performance and profitability results. While keeping in mind that one of the greatest enemies to the completion of our goals is procrastination, lack of measurement and management.

We have all felt the effects of this time thief in one form or another. The best way to fight against procrastination is by identifying when you are procrastinating and acting quickly to accomplish something related to managing your goals.