An outstanding workshop program of Australian and international speakers ensured delegates to the 2018 AADA National Dealer Convention and Expo left armed with more tools and greater knowledge regarding all aspects of dealership operations.

In Track 1: Organisational Disruption, experts from Macquarie Leasing, BDO and Deloitte Motor Industry Services took delegates through a variety of issues pertaining to finance and insurance, data and security, and how to best manage your people for profit.

Russell Bryant

In his workshop, ‘Drive Sustainable F&I Growth in a Regulated Dynamic Market’, Russell Bryant, National Manager Strategy & Transformation, Macquarie Leasing, addressed the challenges posed by the changing regulatory environment in the retail automotive F&I industry.

This area of operations has been the subject of much regulatory scrutiny in the past year or so, and Russell walked participants through the changes in detail, sharing valuable insight into the auto market and what the research is saying about evolving customer needs.

Russell provided insight into the regulatory changes and gave delegates action items to implement in order to future-proof their dealerships.

Randall Bryson and Matthew Cutt

In ‘Your People, Your Profit’, BDO partners, Randall Bryson and Matthew Cutt, shared insights they gained from the 2018 BDO Automotive Dealership Executive Salary Survey and their attendance at the 2018 NADA Convention.

They helped attendees understand the main drivers, including regulations, manufacturer influence and market pressure, to motivate their people to achieve outstanding results.

Grant Cameron, Lead Partner, Deloitte Motor Industry Services, conducted a workshop titled ‘Fraud In and Outside of Your Dealership’. In it he explained that data security is set to be one of the biggest issues facing businesses over the coming years and outlined how cyber technologies can reach into businesses and create the risk of fraud. He shared effective strategies to combat these attacks and ensure dealership and customer data are safe.

Evan Stents’ and Christian Teese’s workshop provided valuable information on the Takata airbags recall, including all the obligations on Dealers and the processes they are required to follow.

In Track 2: Business Disruption, the focus turned to sales and warranties, customer experience, digital strategies and the use of data.

Craig Rowney and Ian McLean

In ‘Turning Disruption into Opportunity’, Craig Rowney and Ian McLean, from Op2ma Australia, blended current market intelligence with practical actions to show delegates how to view disruption as an opportunity to reimagine key business processes and identify simple strategies to turn disruption into profit.

They focused on the real reasons dealerships fail to convert enquiries into sales and challenged participants to find out why customers don’t buy. Attendees learned to identify areas of opportunity and to see disruption as a catalyst for positive change.

In ‘Transforming Automotive Retail – The Future is Now’, Deloitte explored the latest insights on the future of mobility, addressing the dual challenges of remaining competitive today while preparing for an uncertain future, by focusing on the customer experience, digital and data.

Participants came away with a better understanding of the changing behaviours of customers, the future of automotive retail and the importance of delivering an engaging customer experience in the dealership.

Alan Bergman

In one of the most important workshops of the Convention, Alan Bergman, CEO, Star Automotive Consulting, helped delegates in ‘Navigating Tricks and Traps of Warranty Reimbursement’.

According to Alan, warranty reimbursement is full of potential tricks and traps that will cost Dealers money if they are not on top of them. This workshop helped Dealers avoid the threat of manufacturer warranty reimbursement underpayments; unconscionable and unfair chargebacks, warranty audits and manufacturer imposed penalty imposts, passing on processes to reduce State Consumer Tribunal and Fair Trading hearings and disputed warranty claim lawsuits.

Lisa Fogarty

Track 3: Managing Prosperity, concentrated on the importance of people. Lisa Fogarty, Founder and Director, Performance Circle, told those who attended her workshop that ‘Listening is the Key to True Connection’.

In a world where everybody is talking, texting or tweeting, and virtually nobody is listening, Lisa explained how to empower salespeople to become better listeners and make real connections so as to boost leads, traffic and profits while decreasing turnover. She shared the mindset and simple secret to connection to unleash this competitive advantage.

Sharon Pask

In her workshop titled ‘How Your Dealership CFO Can Reduce Your HR Costs’, Sharon Pask, Director, RemiPeople, argued that dealerships and OEMs struggle to measure the costs of turnover due to lack of transparency. As a result, the expense of high turnover is often dismissed and put into the ‘too hard’ basket.

Sharon broke down recruitment and turnover cost through an easy step-by-step guide that demonstrated the actual cost to dealerships and showed Dealers how they can make big savings.

Ian Parker

Ian Parker, CEO, IPMG, shared straightforward strategies and proven systems to help those who attended his workshop make their used car departments their most profitable sector.

Ian’s systems have increased used car department profits by up to 40% in many dealerships around the country. Those who attended his session left able to clearly define what areas of their used car department are failing and took away strategies to get back on track.

Track 4: Marketing Prosperity, turned attention towards the customer and how to better understand and serve the modern consumer.

Alex Heat

In ‘The Autonomous Customer’, Alex Heat, Industry Manager Automotive, Google, explained the needs, desires and habits of the modern consumer, and told participants how they can position their business to tap into today’s customer research and buying behaviours.

Kane Hocking, General Manager Commercial, carsales, tackled the issue of how to sell to the ‘Informed and Impatient’ modern consumer, who often knows more about the product than salespeople do.

Today’s consumers do more homework than ever before and this has tipped retail selling on its head. In this workshop Kane examined the trends that have led to this shift, what the consumer expects and the part Dealers play.

Joe Perkins

Joe Perkins and Gemma Faye Hernandez, from Facebook, explained how to drive dealership success using Facebook, Instagram and Messenger, in their workshop ‘Winning Your PMA on Mobile’.

In “Shifting Gears: How to grow and adapt your dealership in the age of disruption”, Michael Cirillo, on behalf of Gumtree, explained why remaining local and relevant in your community is essential in building repeat purchase and spreading positive word of mouth for your dealership.

It was one of the best workshop programs AADA has ever put on. For those who missed it or would like to refresh their memories, audio recordings of most sessions are available for purchase from the AADA Convention website.

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