Posted by Heather Brautman on Fri, Jun 21, 2013 @ 10:00 AM
Although it's holiday-worthy enough to show up on the calendar, there’s not a lot to celebrate when the summer solstice hits every June 21. For the next six months, you’ll be losing one minute of daylight a day. Like a single grain of sand, those 60 seconds don’t seem like much. Then again, those grains really add up when you add them together. Read on to find out how you can get back one minute more (or more) in your day.
In a single day, your part sellers probably have to search multiple websites to get their hands on:
- OEM parts
- Custom parts
- Rare or discontinued parts
- Brand-specific materials
With firing up an Internet browser, typing (and possibly retyping due to misspellings), then clicking around the actual website for the parts section, they’ve lost minutes of time, every time. Take advantage of bookmarking, which is where you save that exact website to your “favorites.” This is done through most browsers by clicking “Bookmarks,” “Favorites” or a small heart icon. Each time they follow this saved path, they'll gain at least a minute in their days.
There’s rarely time to take a breath during the day, as car buyers come and go, but if you can block out some time to think ahead, it’ll serve you well in the future. Whether you’ve been in the business your entire life or are new, you’ve seen the calendar come and go over the years. Think ahead:
- Just after New Years for the Presidents' Day bonanza
- Beginning of April for the Memorial Day blitz
- Mid-June for an Independence day blast
- Start of August for the Labor Day push
- Just after Turkey Day for the holidays
If you devote even five minutes a day to planning – increasing your parts inventory, straightening the inventory you have, educating personnel on what to upsell – you’ll be cool, calm, and collected day-of. It’s not a myth, it can happen.
Want to gain a minute more in your day without spending a dime or investing more time? Designate a parking place for your people, and stick to it. It might make you cringe to realize how much time is lost every day – and possibly twice a day, considering excursions for lunch and other errands – as your techs cruise around looking for a parking spot. Most dealerships or service bays have back lots. It’s where you keep the owner’s vehicles, long-term work cars, and cars that have been pre-ordered or reserved for buyers. Instead of watching as your employees circle fruitlessly for that “prime” spot directly outside the store (which can block customers’ ability to park easily and quickly), instruct everyone where they should park every single day. Your workers will save gas, wear and tear on the car, and of course, the time they spend on the hunt.
Consider a Concierge
Turn your software into a version of a concierge to give you a minute or more back in your day. You’re probably already familiar with your business’ email software, but chances are, the package can do a lot more. If you have Microsoft Outlook, for example, you can:
- Store phone numbers in an electronic address book, to be called up at any time you need them
- Set appointments (for yourself, as well as request meetings with your workers who also have the software)
- Work on tasks electronically
Your “concierge” will pop up to remind you of your upcoming schedule, so you’ll always be ahead of the game. Another way to put that "concierge" to work for you is with a check guarantee service. Scroll back through that calendar and see how many notes you have about trips to the bank, waiting for checks to clear, or even waiting for banks to open. You could save a lot more than 60 seconds when you scan checks right from your dealership desktop any time of day, any time of year.
As the days get shorter, how do you recoup your minutes? Every little bit helps, so please post a comment on what you do when your 60 seconds are gone in, well, 60 seconds! And while you're here, save yourself more time with a quick, free download of our new C.A.R.S. guide, which shows how you can save way more than 60 seconds using remote desktop capture of checks, as well as offering Multiple Check/Future Deposit for your customers!