Thursday, March 6, 2014

"Who's YOUR Performance Coach?"

If I were to think of one common thread that I believe runs through the veins of most Parts Managers, or any other dealership manager for that matter is the fact that they all have to "wear many hats".

Think about your day for example...replay all the different duties and responsibilities throughout any given day and ask yourself if "training" was on that list. I know when I was a dealer manager, in most cases I didn't have time to train or teach my staff.

Some of my Parts Manager duties, responsibilities and actions were spent on items such as managing inventory, parts ordering & receiving, pricing policies, wholesale accounts, staff issues, profitability, customer issues, etc.

If we do find time to train/coach our staff or even ourselves, it usually is short lived and is hardly ever consistent. Often times, we only tend to train when we are required to by the manufacturer through certifications or attending a seminar from time to time.

So why is training usually the least important job responsibility for dealer principle and managers? Two most common reasons are training expense and the time needed for training.

Many dealers feel that their training expense is already too high due to "required" training by the manufacturer resulting in fewer "coaching" opportunities.

If we all look back in our careers, most of us have had the training required to be where we are today, but the most important part of training comes after....and that's called coaching.

If you really think about it, teaching and training an individual just means that they are now qualified to learn. It's the on going coaching that makes us the best we can be. 

In all of professional sports, I can't think of one athlete that does not have at least one coach. The coach focuses on fundamentals as well as how a particular performer applies his/her training and teachings. They didn't just receive their training and put into a position...they are "coached" to maximum performance.

I read an interesting definition recently on Wikipedia about coaching in general and it goes like this....

"Coaching is a training or development process via which an individual is supported while achieving a specific personal or professional competence result or goal. Occasionally, the term "coaching" may be applied to an informal relationship between two individuals where one has greater experience and expertise than the other and offers advice and guidance as the other goes through a specific learning process."

Wikipedia definition goes on further....

"Some coaches use a style in which they ask questions and offer opportunities that will challenge the person being coached to find answers from within themselves. This facilitates the "learner" to discover answers and new ways based on their values, preferences and unique perspective"

So how does "coaching" come into play for Parts Managers? Just take a moment to answer the following questions and you just might think about getting a coach.

  • Are you achieving your target sales and gross numbers?
  • Are you carrying more obsolescence year after year?
  • Are your True and Gross Turns at or better than Guide?
  • Are your parts staffing requirements within Guide?
  • Is your Parts Department's "Fixed Coverage" or "Service Absorption" at Guide or better?
  • Is your Special Order Parts Aging over (30) days?
  • Are your employees trained and coached to optimum performance?
If you answered "no" to any of these questions, you are not alone. As I mentioned earlier, most managers find it difficult to "coach" along with their many other duties and responsibilities. Most of us have all had proper's the "coaching" we lack with our staff and with ourselves.

The above Wikipedia definition really hit home for me, especially the second part of this definition as it is our "coaching model" in all of our ACG "Smart Parts" and "Smart Service" Programs.

So!...."Who's YOUR Performance Coach?"

Dave Piecuch is the Vice President of Automotive Consultants Group Inc. and is the Head Coach for Smart PartsTMThe only "Results Based" High Return Training, Coaching, and Consulting company in the world!  Dave can be reached at Cell 786-521-1720 or E-mail at Vist our Website at