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Cutting costs and raising profits

AM Conference: Financial control in motor retail

The AM Autumn Conference this year is focused on a range of business development and financial management issues that have a significant impact on overall dealer profitability. The conference is designed for professionals working in the retail automotive industry who want to make themselves and their companies more successful.

The aim is to cover a range of subjects that address the skills and knowledge that delegates need to take their businesses to the next level. Sales pitches for products or services disguised as proposals are automatically rejected by the organizers.

Instead, recognized industry experts will give clear and impartial best practice guidelines, with an emphasis on practical solutions that don’t cost a fortune to implement. They will also be on hand to answer specific enquiries about the topics they cover in our dedicated Q&A sessions.

The conference is sponsored by Grant Thornton Motor Retail and will include a presentation from the experts at Grant Thornton Motor Retail on cashflow, profit and manufacturer relationships. They will offer some thoughts and strategies to help dealerships and groups prosper in what might be a difficult winter.

Other topics on the agenda include:

  • Block Exemption. What has actually changed so far, in practice? Plus, opportunities and threats in a world with no Location Clause.
  • Where are future retail profits going to come from?
  • How to save costs in your business today, without harming your ability to satisfy and retain your customers. Increasingly important as manufacturers are now looking to maintain their networks on quality standards.
  • Pay plans. Examples of some innovative pay plans that are helping dealerships to attract, motivate and retain the best staff in a time of falling sales margins.
  • FSA regulations. Simplifying and streamlining the process to make it less time-consuming for you, and incorporating it into your sales process.
  • Property. How effective property management can boost your bottom line, and free up funds for expansion.
  • Pensions. Summary of next April’s changes, the opportunities/threats, what you should be doing now and a timetable/action plan. Avoid potentially huge tax bills!
  • A senior representative of the new HM Revenue & Customs will be present to explain how the organization is approaching the motor trade, and to summarize some of the key tax issues facing the industry now. The conference takes place in Oxford on Thursday November 17, at the Quadrangle Conference Centre within the Kassam Stadium. Located on the outskirts of the city, the venue is easy to get to and also has plenty of parking.

    Who should attend this conference

  • Dealer principals, managing directors, chairmen and chief executives from all dealerships and groups
  • Finance directors, financial controllers and dealership accountants
  • Manufacturer executives, especially those in dealer development
  • Everyone with an interest in or responsibility for running a successful motor retail business

    Why you must not miss out

  • Broaden your understanding of major trends in the industry and your ability to develop the right future strategies for your business
  • Get the inside track on key issues affecting your profitability now and in the future
  • Find out what’s working in the marketplace today – and why
  • Pick up some practical, new best practice ideas for the problems you face every day
  • Debate the hot topics with like-minded professionals from other dealerships and groups

    Pay plans the key to employee retention

    The industry’s high level of staff turnover has become a serious concern, and more often than not it’s pay that causes employees to leave. Richard Wells, the MD of RTS consultants, will explain at the AM Conference why and will give examples of some of the more innovative pay plans currently in use within the industry.

    RTS recently published the results of a survey, conducted in conjunction with the Institute of the Motor Industry, of some of the UK’s leading motor groups.

    The survey found the cost of replacing an employee ranges between £5,000-15,000 with sales executives and vehicle technicians at the top of this range. In addition to the impact on profitability, there is the hidden strain on team morale and, in customer-facing roles, a negative affect on customer loyalty.

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