Maintenance – It’s Not Just for Vehicles

In the latest of our series, thanks to legendary service adviser trainer, Lloyd Schiller, of LloydSchiller.com and Brooke Samples of Profit Blueprints, Brooke stresses the importance of maintaining all aspects of your dealership.

As I was weeding my garden for the fourth time this year it occurred to me that there had to be a better way: once done, the garden should STAY in pristine shape! After all, just two weeks prior, I had done my best work and it had looked spectacular. But now, I was back weeding again. Not only that, but new gaps had appeared indicating I needed to add more plants, and there was one plant that just wasn’t growing as it should.

That got me to thinking…everything needs maintenance. Even the most beautiful gem looks better with a little polish. Bottom line: you can’t just devote a little, or a lot, of time to something once in a while, leave it alone, and hope it will stay that way forever.

Dealerships are just like my garden: you have to take care of the building, the equipment and the people—if you want your dealership to look and perform at its best. You have to continually add better processes, new equipment, more people when appropriate, and eliminate what doesn’t add value.

I have found checklists to be valuable tools for a smooth running dealership; and keeping on top of the maintenance of a dealership is the perfect scenario for the use of checklists.

The benefits of a clean facility will not only be appealing to potential customers, but clean, pleasant surroundings reduce stress, help create higher levels of job satisfaction and boost productivity of your staff. Plus you can reduce the likelihood of customer and employee accidents.

Once you’ve got your dealership in shape (and are able to host gatherings), how about an open house for your best customers? A luncheon is a great way to renew relationships with commercial or fleet customers or strengthen body shop relationships with insurance companies.

Checklist for outside of the building

  • Parking lot clearly marked and free of potholes (pay close attention to the customer parking)
  • Building exterior free of clutter (especially around the exits)
  • Exterior lights all working
  • Landscaping in tip-top shape
  • Rubbish bins and cigarette disposal bins clean and convenient
  • Safety markings & speed limit signs all look fresh
  • Signs and posters current and clean
  • Windows cleaned (set up a schedule)
  • Stickers & invoices on vehicles (checked weekly)
  • There should be no peeling paint, fading or scuff marks

Checklist for inside of the building

  • Signs and posters current, clean & with positive messages
  • Employees’ lunch room clean, including refrigerator
  • Customer lounge furniture cleaned
  • Any carpeted area cleaned
  • Supply & forms cabinets organised, outdated forms destroyed
  • Account for all equipment—compare to fixed asset schedule
  • Equipment maintenance (on a schedule)
  • Parts shelves free of empty packaging
  • Walls and doors free of scuff marks and hand prints.

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