A new Arnold Clark centre opening on the opposite side of the street would challenge any business, the AM Awards judges said, but the 90 staff at Peter Vardy CarStore Glasgow have put teamwork and innovative thinking together to meet the threat.
Despite having a traditional set-up on the face of it, the entire business is part of the sales team, according to franchise director Darren Cuthbertson, with no aftersales, parts sales, etc.
“As such, we have a large number of daily KPIs that we know contribute to our success,” he said. “All department heads work with a weekly planner that joins up key daily and weekly meetings in which we review the actual KPI performance versus our key targets independently.”
This detailed analysis of the business led to a ‘micro-focus’ on check-out staff to improve efficiency, and adding an in-house bodyshop for faster vehicle preparation.
Because of the team ethos, the business is able to move people into ‘seasonal roles’, motivating staff and supporting retention. An employee survey reported that all of the sales team were proud to work for the company and they all understood team and department objectives.
Innovations include the creation of ‘CarStore chameleons’, able to work in two different roles at the used car supermarket, together with ‘super Saturday’ when week-day roles are swapped. For example, the digital manager will manage guest satisfaction queries, the market executive helps with online stock sourcing and the prep manager will work in the handover team bays.
Sales advisers practice parts of the sales process each day to identify weaknesses, which are addressed with additional training, followed up with quarterly exams focusing on skills gaps.
At the end of Q3 2017, CarStore Glasgow made a net profit of £854,000 (against a forecast of £836,000) and contributed an additional £700,000 to group profit, with customer satisfaction levels at 98%.