Friday, September 16, 2011

Has Your Service Department "Hit The Wall"?

What do I mean by "Hit the Wall"? Well, has your service department produced the same results, month after month, over and over again? Have you come up with all kinds of excuses why you are unable to grow over last year, same month? Here's a few I have heard:
  • It's the economy
  • My customers are just not spending right now
  • My traffic is down
If this is you and you know who you are, I have the secret on how to break through the wall. I went to the doctor to get a check up and he told me I have to lose some weight. So I asked how much and he said at least 20lbs. I went home and wrote down what I'm going to do to lose 20lbs and by when. Now at this point you are probably asking yourself what does going to the doctor and weight loss have to do with my service operation? Everything.... if you want to break down the wall. Nothing if you want to keep doing the same thing over and over again!

So here's my plan:
  1. I will ride a bike 3-days a week for 60 minutes at home or in the hotel if I'm traveling
  2. I will work out for 30 minutes 3 days a week with weight machine or resistance bands
  3. I will stop eating certain foods 
  4. I will lose 20lbs in 3 months
  5. I will record everyday what I did and each week how much weight I have lost
It's a very simple plan as you can see and here's how it went. I got in my car and drove in my neighborhood till I had a 2.5 mile course. I timed myself and roughly I could go 10 miles around this course in under 60 minutes. I didn't have a speedometer at this time.
I lost 10 lbs. in three months and now it has been 5 months months and I'm unable to lose anymore! I was really tired and hot after the 4th lap and just couldn't get myself to push anymore. I couldn't wait to get in the house and cool off and rest. I jump on the scale each morning and the same result everyday for the last 2 months.
Sound familiar? I bet it does! This is called hitting the wall because I'm telling myself (excuses) that I'm unable to do anymore when I know I can. It's been two months and the same results! What happens next is unreal but very true whether in business or losing weight. I sat down and did an evaluation on my action plan.
What could I do without spending more time and a lot of money to lose the 10 lbs more I need that the doctor said I need to lose? Remember he's the expert on my physical condition just like a business consultant or coach would be on the health of your service operation. I felt if I could measure my speed, average speed, distance I went and actual time spent ridding the bike I could get more efficient and productive in the same amount of time.
I went to the bicycle shop and purchased a speedometer for $69.95. I installed the speedometer and went out the next morning and rode like I do (same gear, same course) to see what I was averaging in speed, elapsed time, max speed, distance. It looked like this:
  • Average Speed-12.7 mph
  • Time-58 minutes
  • Max Speed-13.4
  • Miles-9.97 
I took the data and set some goals.
  • Average Speed-13.2 mph
  • Time-58 minutes
  • Max Speed-15
  • Miles-9.97 
The results are in and they are staggering! I found a way to measure my performance everyday and make adjustments the same day. How are you communicating with your service team every morning after reviewing the reports and what adjustments are being made daily?
I lost 12 lbs. more in two weeks and here's the readings from my speedometer today:
  • Average Speed-14.4 mph
  • Time-51 minutes
  • Max Speed-16.5 mph
  • Miles-12.36
Lets take a look a the measurements and do some math:
  • Average Speed is up by 2.6 mph
  • Time spent on the bike went down by 7 minutes
  • Max Speed- up by 3.1 mph
  • Miles rode on the bike went up 2.39 
My efficiency and productivity went up which gave me more time to do something else. These were small gains, however the 12 lb. loss was huge and beat my goal by 2 lbs.When I look at the return on investment I spent which was $69.95 on the speedometer so I could get an accurate measurement and inspect what I expect it looks like this: 
  • $69.95 divided by 12 lbs. =$5.82 per pound to beat my original goal of 10lbs.
  •  I feel great and each day I set a new goal for my average speed at .1 and my max speed at 17 mph.
So what should you be looking at consistently and drilling down to find out what to change? What's your average on these Items? Remember you must change yourself first to change anything!
Here's three Key indicators to look at:
  1. Customer Pay Labor Sales Per R.O. Should be at a minimum of $200.00 per R.O. 
  2. Customer Pay R.O. Count at a minimum of 10% over last year same month
  3. CSI above Region and National every month 
Questions to ask yourself:
  • Whats your speedometer telling you? 
  • What will you do to change it? 
  • Do you have what it takes to go beyond your fears?
  • What excuses have you been telling yourself why you can't?
 If you are not consistently working on new things everyday to achieve your goals you are going to "Hit the Wall" 
Remember Success is a moving target! It takes constant change to achieve!

Guy Salkeld is the President and Head Performance Coach of Automotive Consultants Group Inc. The only Low Risk High Return Training, Coaching, and Consulting company in the world! To learn more go to  Have a question? E-Mail Guy directly at or Call me direct at: 305-331-3373    

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