What can manufacturers do?
Members of the AM Executive Breakfast Club were asked what manufacturers can do to make their business better and what they are already doing.
- “Understand what’s happening and act accordingly. They’re not controlling trading, affordability and investment like they should be.”
- “Those manufacturers that are really working in partnership create an environment and see the rewards. It’s a small proportion that do, however. Some manufacturers seem not to want dealers to make a lot of money from their brand, others like BMW and Jaguar Land Rover are happy to.”
- “Manufacturers need to take some of the pressure off. They don’t recognise the need to take special measures to support the dealers. They want to introduce so many processes, they’re committed to processes and some just add pressure and cost.”
- “I’m frustrated about how few manufacturers recognise the way the market is going. They chase business at the expense of profit.”
- “If they made good products at the right prices and we’re good retailers, can’t they just let us retail?”
Going for gold
Grout told an anecdote about 1980s champion swimmer Adrian Moorhouse MBE.
At the age of 12 Moorhouse set himself the target of winning a gold medal at 18.
He and his coach analysed what would be a winning time, then broke down into the weekly and yearly improvements required to achieve that outcome six years on, and set manageable interim targets.
Finally, both set a series of process goals – technique, training, fitness and psychological – which would be required to achieve the outcome.
In 1982, aged 18, Moorhouse won gold in the 100m at the Commonwealth Games, and five years later became the first person in the world to swim 100m breaststroke in less than one minute.
The same technique should be used by business leaders.
“In business we spend a disproportionate time focused on the outcome. If we spent more time on the process that will deliver the outcome,” said Grout.
A University of Cranfield study into sports teams found that only 20% achieve their outcome. The biggest reason for failure was getting distracted by trying to do too many things.
Those teams with three or four priorities had a 90% chance of success.
Join the AM Breakfast Club
The AM Executive Breakfast Club is free to join and exclusive to senior dealer group executives.
It meets every quarter at Simpson’s-in-the-Strand in London.
Delegates receive a full breakfast, presentation from a guest speaker, and a chance to network and share best practice with senior figures in the UK’s motor retail industry.
The next meeting is on May 25.