From Temporary Sales or Business Manager cover, the turnaround of an under-performing department or a full business turnaround. There are many reasons why you might need the services of an Automotive Interim.
The Gibson Interim Network is a group of performance improvement interims specifically focused upon dealership or department turnaround scenario's.
When a motor dealership or department fails, it will almost always lead to the manager departing the business or department. And then, all sorts of issues can then come to light and you realise the business might have been in decline for some time. Generally speaking there isn’t just one problem. Many things may require attention. These can range from poor sales performance, profitability and customer service standards.
We have experienced this time and time again and what these experiences have told us are that each scenario will be different, albeit subtly. Though not always the case, the likely causes usually stem from poor management systems and control. With that being said, you are probably wondering how you can raise your dealership so it’s back at the top of its game.
This brings about an important point – the skills required to fix a dealership in trouble are not the same skills that are needed to run a dealership under normal trading conditions. Getting any business back on track, let alone a business within the highly competitive automotive environment, requires a high degree of skill and expertise.
Many dealerships take the approach of fixing their business by bringing in a manager from another part of the company. This can sometimes work but isn’t the suggested route to take. The manager is usually expected to fix the business within a certain timeframe. The pressures placed on this manager can lead to unattainable expectations. If this person isn’t able to produce the necessary results in the specified timeframe then you will have lost more time and money. This may also have an impact on the employee’s confidence. In reality, they may be a good manager but do not have the skills required to fix what is broken.
Another approach businesses take in this scenario is to go to market and recruit externally. The same rule as above applies to this approach. However, this is potentially even riskier and certainly more costly. Recruiting an unfamiliar person is always a risk and with the added cost of recruitment it might all add up to a thicker red line on the dealership accounts.
So, what are we suggesting?
The best solution we have found is to appoint an interim manager with the necessary skills. This approach will give you the best of both worlds; the interim manager will fix the business and coach a new manager or hire a new person (without recruitment fees). This solution can save you time and money. An interim will fix the issues quickly and not spend time hiding behind the problems. A caretaker will put the business back on track rather than put another person in the firing line.
At Gibson we can supply you with an interim manager and give you the peace of mind that you desire to get your business to where you want it to be. Below are just some of the tasks we can carry out.
- Fix customer complaints
- Fix the sales process.
- Retrain the staff where necessary
- Conduct an audit of the stock
- Conduct an audit of the team
- Implement your dealer standards, or put in their own
- Fix the after-sales department(s)
- Make sure the phone gets answered promptly and correctly
- Make sure customers get called back
- Carry out performance action if required
- Fix the marketing if needed
- Make sure health and safety systems are in place and working
- Recruit good people into the business as necessary
- Recruit a new Dealer Principal/General Manager
An interim manager can be in place within days – sometimes hours – in comparison to the time it would take to recruit a permanent executive with the relevant skillset. Not only this, but interim managers can be flexible around their availability, location and working patterns. This gives your business peace of mind that you have a strong leader in position whilst you progress the permanent recruitment process.
An interim from the Gibson Automotive network will come with a track record of success, and so are focused on delivering measurable results. They are accustomed to working towards KPIs and goals, often within tight deadlines and so will be focused on achieving your business objectives. A successful interim manager takes responsibility and makes themselves accountable.
Interim managers are highly skilled and are often overqualified for the role, meaning that they can ‘hit the ground running’ – quickly understanding and adapting to the business situation. This means they are instantly a productive, positive driving force within your business, applying their vast experience, knowledge and skills within your wider team throughout their interim management position.
One of the major benefits of an interim is that they are able to look upon your business from an objective, impartial perspective. An interim will not be influenced by past issues, company politics, procedures or individual personalities. This leaves them free to focus on delivering what’s best for your business, whilst being able to confidently tackle challenging issues and speak openly to the board.