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How to make your dealership more profitable

Mike Jones ASE AMLive

Dealers attending this year’s Automotive Management Live one-day expo will learn how to boost their business’s earnings at a profit clinic run by automotive accountancy and management consultancy ASE Global.

Average dealership profitability took a large hit in April, dropping by 92% year-on-year, following an unusually strong end to quarter one. Some industry observers predict May’s profitability is likely to continue the trend.

ASE Global has been helping dealer groups to optimise performance and mitigate risk since Trevor Jones founded the company in 1975. It also provides industry insights and commentaries, including its monthly overview of market performance, providing an essential yardstick for dealers.

The profit clinic at AML on November 9 at Birmingham’s NEC will be led by ASE Global’s chairman Mike Jones, who joined the business in 2001, having gained his accountancy experience with PwC in the UK and Canada.

Jones will look at the top 10 elements the most profitable dealers have put in place that differentiate them from the rest. He will draw on data gathered by ASE on a monthly basis and the thousands of dealer performance improvement visits the consultancy performs every year.

Jones said: “We have a complete library of best practice and how to implement ideas from some of the UK’s top dealer groups. By analysing our data, we can identify the key characteristics of the most profitable dealerships, and they inevitably share commonality. There are several areas where dealers are missing a trick and often it’s the simple tweaks which make all the difference.

“We often find dealers only need to make minor adjustments to their activity in order to boost revenue. That can be anything from ensuring a process is in place and followed through to paying more attention to customer care, such as following up enquiries and calls within a few hours.”

ASE finds that dealers often have the right policies, processes and ideas in place to boost revenue, but fall down at the implementation phase, he said.

In some respects, Jones said, it’s quite straightforward to come up with a framework which, if put into practice, would effectively generate additional revenue. However,

sometimes it can be a question of additional training being required or simply a case of the message becoming ‘lost in translation’ –  the message and objective from management may not be communicated properly to those at the coalface, so good ideas that would produce the desired result are left floundering.

However, Jones believes there is no ‘one size fits all’ and solutions need to be geared to an individual dealership and its situation.

“Even within a dealer group itself, we see a variety of results, even though the dealerships are implementing the same strategy. This can be due to anything from the individual location of the dealership, where local factors have an adverse influence, or there could be issues with leadership which need to be addressed,” he said.

“Our approach is wide and varied. Some ideas produce quick wins, with dealers able to see an immediate impact on their business, while others are long-term and much more strategic in nature.”

The profit clinic sessions form part of a series of industry insights  available to dealers throughout the event.

For more information contact: Nicola Baxter Tel: +44 (0)1733 468289
Email: nicola.baxter@bauermedia.co.uk

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