If you and your dealership are serious about controlling your pre-owned margins then having workflow meetings are critical.
We have participated in a variety of workflow meetings. Over the years, we have witnessed many different styles and agendas. Some work better than others, so we compiled a list of the best practices to incorporate into your dealership’s leadership. Below are 5 keys to effective workflow meetings to get you and your team working toward a common goal: increased profitability.
1. Have Workflow Meetings and Have Them Daily
We’re sure there are stats about how many dealerships have daily workflow meetings, but we’d be willing to guess that there is a quarter of the industry that still does not have daily meetings. Set a time in the day and make attendance mandatory for those that need to be there.
2. Keep Your Agenda Simple
If you are striving for an efficient make-ready department you should only discuss strategies that focus on making the process more efficient. When it is time to get down to business focus the discussion on process improvement. Meetings should be held standing up and kept within 5-10 minutes to ensure everyone is paying attention and involved. Allow your team members to contribute. Communication is paramount in any make-ready department.
3. Have the Necessary Information and Metrics Readily Available
Speed-to-market is a term that is picking up steam in the pre-owned automotive retail world. To us, it means staying competitive in a fast-paced industry such as ours. First, you need to know how quickly vehicles are moving in and out of your make-ready department if you are going to improve your processes. Managers also need to know if there are any trouble areas or hang-ups in the recon process. Otherwise, how will you help the process along? If there are roadblocks that you can help remove from the workflow, you should step in to assist.
4. Ask Questions So There Are No Discrepancies
Having the metrics and info available is a start, but now it’s time to dive into why things are the way they are. Ask questions to understand what is going on in your recon process. The General Manager responsible for your recon department should be able to identify exactly what needs to be done and where.
5. Assign Ownership To Tasks and Hold Your People Accountable
Seek first to understand, then be understood. After understanding the current workings of your recon department, it is time to get the kinks out of the hose and assign tasks. The key is to ask “how are you and your team going to tackle any challenges in your process and create solutions in order to streamline your recon services?”
Every day you should strive for at least one 15-minute workflow meeting with your recon team. Some of the more ardent believers in the importance of the process will establish a morning and afternoon meeting. How often you have the meeting is dependent on your team. But ensuring you run them effectively and have the right information readily available is critical to the success of you and your make-ready department.