“If the problem we need to solve is the customer getting to work, out of the 85 people we employ, there’s got to be some way we can get them to work. That’s the easy bit, surely. Fixing it is the hard bit.
“We do have to be a little bit careful if someone wants a test drive and we’ve used all the cars to get people to work. But the sales guys will offer them up gladly, they’re a great bunch.
“Likewise, when the sales team need help, the aftersales department is there for them. I don’t think many businesses would do that, but the cars are there for the customer and they know that, too, so there has never been a problem.
“That helps our upsell opportunity and red work. We have a very low ratio of re-booked cars, because ideally we only want them coming in to us once.”
Rybrook Warwick’s two master technicians will walk out with every customer and listen to the problem with the car and then assign the problem to a technician based on the complexity of the job. Every customer is given five minutes to make sure the problem is fixed to their satisfaction.
To make sure everything gets done on the day, Rybrook Warwick has parts delivered from BMW three times a day.
Beating the average on overhead absorption
The motor retail industry has been struggling to hit a 60% overhead absorption rate in recent months, with the benchmark still set at 80%. Before the recession, dealerships aimed for 100%.
BMW’s national overhead absorption average is 69%, which is much better than January’s UK average of 56.7%, according to the latest ASE dealer profitability figures.
Rybrook’s overhead absorption rate is 126% year-to-date. It’s an astonishing figure and it’s no wonder Birchall can demand cars from the sales team with that sort of performance.
“It’s massively dependent on location, premises and cost. We take advantage of every opportunity we get. It’s not just about selling labour, it’s about upselling too, but it’s really a focus of everyone knowing where they are daily and heading to that target.