Drive Results through the Alignment of Process & Strategy

Breakout Quote: [“If genuinely done right, meetings should not be annoying distractions; they should be where your work gets communicated, explained, targeted, fixed and done.”]

Breakout Quote: [“Some dealerships and management teams don’t really know how to meet productively and how to improve their business and people performance.

NADA and many other industry-supporting organizations constantly mention that profitable results are driven into a dealership by ensuring process and strategy are properly and timely aligned on a consistent basis by meeting, planning and executing accordingly. The proven management-driven results formula consists of five types of meetings that need to take place, each with a different purpose and length to match its objective.

  1. Annual Planning Session (at least 1 day at a minimum):

This meeting must include all departmental managers. No exceptions! During this meeting you should review CPIs (Critical Performance Indicators), RIs (Results Indicators) and overall performance relative to the previous year’s targets and results. You should also reassess long-term business assumptions, conduct a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis and set new priorities for the coming year.

  1. Quarterly Planning Session (1-half day at a minimum):

Review performance and CPIs relative to the previous quarter’s targets and set three to five new priorities for the coming quarter. The primary focus for this meeting should be: “Based on what we know currently, what CPIs are most important to achieve our quarterly goals that can lead us to reach our annual targets?”

  1. Monthly Team Meetings (2 hours):

Focusing exclusively on the current CPIs and quarterly priorities, ask your team the following questions:

  • What progress have we made toward accomplishing our monthly and quarterly priorities and goals?
  • How are we going to complete our monthly and quarterly priorities and goals?
  • What resources do we need to complete our monthly and quarterly priorities and goals?

You may want to include middle management in these meetings, both for current insight and future leadership development.

  1. Weekly Team Meetings (1 hour maximum):

Review the most current CPI performance data and discuss any outstanding issues raised at previous monthly or weekly meetings.

  1. Daily Operational Right-to-the-Point Huddles:

Hold these in the shop and other areas of the dealership (15 minutes long at maximum). In these meetings, each team member should answer three questions: “What are you working on today?” “Are you stuck in any way, shape or form?” and “What can we all do to help?” This is purely a positioning and check-in process. All subsequent problem-solving, especially in the service shop area, should happen under the vehicle and offline with no cell phones in hand.

At this point, you’re probably saying to yourself, “Damn! Just what we need more meetings!” I’m not advocating more meetings here. I’m recommending directive management-driven results meetings that will generate increased outcomes. Unfortunately, the lack of strategic focus in many dealerships and organizations today has given meetings a real bad name. If genuinely done right, meetings should not be annoying distractions; they should be where your work gets communicated, explained, targeted, fixed and done.

Following this structured management-driven results plan and conducting valuable regimented meetings will keep everyone focused on executing your processes and strategy on a daily basis until you reach or even exceed a predetermined result.

Other discussion topics could and should also include the following:

  1. Diagnosis:
  • How well are we doing?
  • How well am I doing now?
  • What are our strengths and weaknesses?
  • How well are we using our resources?
  1. Prognosis:
  • What are the daily, weekly and monthly sales requirements?
  • What are the daily, weekly and monthly gross requirements?
  • What is next month’s potential?
  • What is likely to happen if I don’t make any changes?
  1. Strategy:
  • What are our goals and objectives for each day, each month and each quarter?
  • What is a realistic goal to achieve?
  • In general, how do we expect to achieve next month’s goals?
  1. Tactic:

What specific action steps must be taken to reach and exceed next month’s goals?

What specific changes need to be made in our marketing strategies and resources?

  • People
  • Products
  • Services
  • Premises/Equipment
  • Promotion Activities
  • Pricing
  • Procedures
  1. “Go/No-Go ” DECISION:
  • What will these changes cost?
  • What benefits are involved?
  • Can we afford to make these changes?
  1. Controllables:
  • What is our expense budget?
  • What are the most important CPIs for each department manager to follow up on now?
  • Which expenses will increase/decrease?
  • What actions are needed to ensure proper implementation and expense control?

Some dealerships and management teams don’t really know how to meet productively and how to improve their business and people performance. They try to get employees to do better through informal pep talks, pleading and sometimes even threats. As a result, the problems rarely improve. Get in the know. If you need help, feel free to reach out. We’ll offer you some strategic information to get you headed in the right direction to make 2018 your best year ever!

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