Systematic problem-solving pays off for Ind. dealership group

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Taken together, here’s how the team-driven process can work: An employee might submit a form that says customers wait too long to get into the finance and insurance office to complete paperwork and that they’ll know the problem is solved when customers don’t have to wait 10 minutes to get into F&I.

The quality improvement team then asks that employee to form a corrective action team, which could include an F&I manager, a sales manager, a salesperson and a service department employee. They will meet to find a solution.

In this real instance from the Romain group, the corrective action team recommended an additional finance manager, fax machines and scanners in the offices and an online schedule that all salespeople could access to schedule their appointments. After those recommendations were implemented, customer feedback improved markedly, Mintline said.

“And we don’t have anybody waiting for F&I around here,” he said.


There also are permanent teams, such as a facilities team that may make suggestions for how a store is decorated and a safety one that monitors potential hazards on dealership grounds.

Along with the ruling- by-committee setup, Romain has awards programs for employees. And it has adopted Six Sigma process improvement tools traditionally aimed at eliminating waste in manufacturing. Mintline said it has improved the sales process, leading to more sales per employee and a drastically higher retention rate for the group.

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