This series of articles recaps a portion of the opportunities that were uncovered by Gart Sutton and Associates’ powersports specialists during consulting visits.
These opportunities are followed by recommended actions that address the issues.
The goal of this series is to provide you with ideas to help you improve your dealership.
The first of this three-part series looks at a dealership from a consumer viewpoint.
This multi-line dealership is located in a rural area that draws from surrounding communities and an established rural market. They recently moved into a new, highly visible facility, resulting in rapid growth. They have nearly doubled sales to more than 1,200 units per year. Their existing systems and procedures are not capable of supporting this volume. The focus of this report was the needs assessment of their parts and accessories departments. The goal for the recommended actions was to (a) improve displays, inventory levels, tracking systems and efficiency in the P&A department; and (b) install the processes necessary to make these departments into more profitable contributors to the dealership’s bottom line.
Accessory displays are grouped in front of the parts counter area, blocking the view of the counter from the main showroom. Merchandise on display is dusty and disorganized. Some displays contain open spots with empty display hooks in place. The free-standing displays are old and in poor condition. Helmet and accessory boxes are visible in several areas.
There is no defined path through the clothing or accessories displays, nor any logic in the location of the displays. Customers were observed wandering through the displays, but no one was available to assist them. No clothing or accessories items are displayed on the showroom floor with the units. No units have accessories installed.
The counter top is covered with parts books, computer terminals, counter displays and a cash register. Much of the glass-front counters are covered with posters, some outdated, obscuring the shelves inside. This is just as well, as the shelf displays are disorganized and contain old parts in beat-up boxes. The walls behind the parts counter have posters, but little merchandise. Customers were backed-up waiting to have the staff look up or pay for parts or accessories. The phone was seldom answered in less than six rings. When it was answered, the greeting was often unprofessional and gruff.
The parts storage area is dirty, disorganized and has boxes piled up in the aisles. There are boxes with parts that have not been received into their system for more than three days. The parts manager said, “They will get checked-in when someone has time to do it.”
Author, speaker and educator, Gart Sutton has been retained by every major powersport manufacturer/distributor. He is a frequent keynote speaker for national motorcycle conventions and state motorcycle dealer association events. Visit www.gartsutton.com.