Teamwork pays off for Florida dealership


4 years in the past, Bozard Ford-Lincoln constructed what it calls the biggest Fast Lane constructing within the nation at 11,400 sq. toes. It was huge — and gradual. Its prospects usually waited two to a few hours for an oil change.

To repair the issue, Bozard reinvented the concept of teamwork in its mounted operations.

“Now, if it takes an hour to do an oil change, it is a failure,” mentioned Ed Roberts, Bozard’s components and repair director. “We want to have the ability to do it inside 45 minutes. With pace, you must have coordination.”

The St. Augustine, Fla., dealership began its Fast Service Groups program within the Fast Lane operation in 2014 and its offshoot, the Service Groups pro-gram, in the principle service store a yr later.

Since doing so, service enterprise has skyrocketed, buyer satisfaction and loyalty have risen, service tech manufacturing has soared and revenues have escalated. As well as, turnover in service jobs is simply three % a yr in contrast with 20 % earlier than the packages’ launch.

Most service technicians within the packages work in groups of two, sharing pay and producing higher work, quicker. At present, the common time to do an oil change and tire rotation, wash the automobile and money the client out is 48 minutes, Roberts mentioned.

“You will have twice the brainpower to diagnose the automobile, so you are able to do it quicker,” he mentioned. “One man can go get the components whereas the opposite begins the work.”

Provides Jeff King, Bozard’s basic supervisor, “When two individuals are working collectively and splitting pay, they’re obligated to not lay down as a result of they don’t seem to be solely affecting their pay, however they’re affecting another person’s.”

It is a win for the techs, too. They earn more money sharing pay as a result of their manufacturing rises as a group vs. working solo. Which means they’ll work on extra autos, incomes extra pay, King mentioned.

Bozard Ford-Lincoln sells about 5,000 new and used autos a yr, King mentioned. Its service enterprise does about 5,600 restore orders every month. But it surely wasn’t at all times that method.

“I obtained right here seven years in the past and we had been promoting 50 new and used automobiles a month,” mentioned King. “We’re promoting 400 now and we’ll do $200 million in income this yr. The difficulty is not if our buyer satisfaction index has improved, it is whether or not we will preserve wonderful CSI with an enormous improve in visitors.”

Earlier than Bozard constructed its big Fast Lane heart in 2013, it dealt with about 1,500 restore orders a month. As soon as Fast Lane opened, Bozard’s month-to-month restore orders doubled. To maintain up, King and Roberts knew service techs needed to work quicker with out sacrificing high quality. Ford Motor Co. had prompt sellers attempt two-member groups. King and Roberts embraced the concept, and had been testing the group idea with service advisers since late 2012.

“It helped with the move of the service division there as a result of if somebody goes to lunch, the group member is aware of about Mrs. Smith’s automobile and might go get it,” King mentioned. “And one would possibly know extra about tires than the opposite.”

Ed Roberts, components and repair director, and Normal Supervisor Jeff King stand in entrance of Workforce Energy Stroke.

So in 2014, they utilized the group idea to the Fast Lane operation, pairing 14 techs into seven groups. Every group works in a single bay on one automobile at a time. 5 extra techs work in Fast Lane independently.

Roberts tried to match techs with complementary talent units whereas taking note of group chemistry.

“There are guys who’re task-oriented who get the job accomplished. There are different guys who can practice and talk properly,” Roberts mentioned. “You have to pair reverse strengths with opposing weaknesses.”

The time to finish an oil change dropped dramatically and buyer returns for service elevated to 2.1 occasions per yr right this moment from a mean of 1.7 occasions a yr earlier than this system, King mentioned.

In 2015, Bozard’s primary service store’s enterprise was increasing so rapidly, “we would run out of room,” King mentioned. “To get extra enterprise out of the identical variety of stalls,” the dealership carried over the group idea that had labored so properly in Fast Lane.

In the principle store, techs selected their companions. Twenty-one techs are divided into eight groups of two or three. One other 12 techs work independently.

In each retailers, the groups adopted nicknames equivalent to Workforce Diesel Dawgs, Workforce GT, Workforce Cobra and Workforce Specific.

Productiveness improved 15 %, King mentioned.

“They encourage one another,” added Roberts.

The packages’ success is mirrored within the dealership’s buyer satisfaction scores, which have remained “constant” regardless of the shop dealing with 4 occasions the gross sales and repair enterprise it did in 2010.

“I credit score this program as being one of many issues we have been in a position to do to keep up that degree of service,” mentioned King.

Bozard additionally has lowered its service workers turnover price, King mentioned, as a result of the workers enjoys the group camaraderie. And by releasing up service bays, Bozard has employed extra techs. In 2012, Bozard had 14 techs working in 39 bays. At present, 33 techs work in the identical variety of bays in the principle store. These extra techs have helped drive up month-to-month gross earnings 30 % every year because the group packages began, Roberts mentioned.

About 18 months in the past, Bozard added an apprentice program. If a group in the principle store is productive, it will get an apprentice, often an entry-level Fast Lane tech or an area school pupil. Since beginning this system, Bozard has employed 4 apprentices into tech jobs.

Roberts cautioned that for a group system to work, “You must continuously handle it.”

He alters Fast Lane groups each 4 to 6 months to present individuals an opportunity to work with others. In the principle store, he alters groups provided that the association would not work.

“Typically you pair individuals with the incorrect particular person. They are not dangerous individuals however they’re paired incorrect and you must change them up,” he mentioned.

But it surely’s value it, King added: “You’ll be able to’t disappoint the client or they will go some other place. The groups, we predict, give us the flexibility to retain the client.”

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