What would you think if your service manager walked up to a newly hired technician who had never worked on equipment of any kind, and gave them a toolkit, and sent them on a service call? You would probably be appalled and question their judgment.
No doubt you would tell the service manager that technicians need the training to learn how to use the tools, and how to service different brands of equipment. Then you would spend a significant amount of money to make sure the technician has the skills they need to do their job.
Why then do dealers often walk up to their best technician and promote to a management position, and then just turn around and leave them on their own. I have seen this happen over and over again. In the service management classes I teach, often there are managers with decades of experience that are just now receiving training on how to be effective as a manager.
The service manager in most dealerships is responsible for the...
Early on in my career as a district service manager visiting dealers, I made a scheduled visit to see a service manager. When I walked into the dealership, the service manager told me that he did not have time to meet—he had to go run service calls. I have seen this misuse of time, in various forms, over and over in my career.
Value Categories of Labor
In each dealership, there are different levels of talent and responsibility, and I categorize them by assigning a numerical value to each one. The numbers are not necessarily what a person at that level earns. Instead, the number represents the relative value of his or her time.
The highest value labor in each department or company is the most senior management. They need to focus their time and energy on tasks that only they can solve.
The next highest value of labor is that of service supervisors. They need to focus their time on the teams they lead. They spend their time in the field solving customer and...
I am sure that you have heard the adage; Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail. Yet too many businesses don't have practical working business plans. Most have a fanciful fairy tale they use for the bank, filled with rosy projections.
The plans businesses need will guide their response to the ever-changing business environment. These are real plans with actions to take for the entire company. These plans will serve as a real roadmap to the success you want to achieve for your company.
There are seven subjects we will discuss in this series. This article gives a brief description of each, and we will take a deep dive into each in later chapters.
The disaster plan is the one you hope you never need, but I am placing it first on the list because your company's survival will probably be at risk if you need it. Failure to have a good plan, when something happens, can...
Once upon a time, there was a young woodcutter, and he was sure he could cut more wood than any other woodcutter. He came into a logging camp and asked, "who is the best woodcutter here?" Everyone agreed that a particular older gentleman was the best.
The young woodcutter said, "I can cut more wood than he can; I want his job." The foreman said, "Sure if, you can cut more than he does, you deserve the job."
So the older gentleman agreed to the challenge, and they decided they would each go into the forest and cut down trees, and when the day ended, everyone could see who cut the most.
They both went out into the woods, and you could hear the saws cutting. But pretty soon, the older woodcutter stopped for a while, and when the younger one noticed that, he thought, "I have this won. I don't need a break." That pattern repeated several times during the day, and by the end of the day, the younger woodcutter was sure he won.
Yet, when they measured the...
When someone gets promoted to a supervisory or managerial role, they might think they automatically become a leader. Nothing could be further from the truth. They may have become the boss, but that doesn't make them a leader, and acting like a boss can damage team morale.
Leadership is a process of social influence, which maximizes the efforts of others towards the achievement of a goal. We will consider three separate points in that statement.
First, leadership is a process of social influence. Leadership does not relate to a title or position. A leader can be anyone that can influence others.
Second, a leader maximizes the efforts of others. Because they have influence, other individuals are willing to be led by them, and they listen to them.
Third, a leader is heading toward some goal. People won't follow someone who is wandering around and not going to a specific place or goal.
If we're meeting for the first time, my name is Ken Edmonds. And on this blog, I share information to help managers get better at managing people, growing their profit, and achieving success in every area in their department.
In my experience working in the copier business, something I saw happens way too often was an owner would walk up to his best technician and tell him, “Congratulations! You're our new manager!” Then they turn around and walk away. And that was the end of their training.
Here is one experience where that happened. A technician who was probably one of the better technicians I met in my career was very good at fixing equipment. So the company wanted him to step up and be a supervisor and promoted him to the position of supervisor, but they didn't give him any training.
It was interesting because I got to see him struggle and try to succeed in leading his team. But he failed at that. The result was he quit working for the dealer and went to work...