Opinion – 23 March 2018
By Paul Cape, Director, Quazar Automotive
Quazar Automotive’s change management methodologies help car dealerships improve their businesses to deliver enhanced financial strength in the face of unprecedented challenges
Having spent over four months working with a leading original equipment manufacturer (OEM) in South Africa to run a proof of concept process for improving dealership profitability, we’re pleased to announce the Quazar Business Accelerator.
This programme has demonstrated its potential with profitability within these dealerships on the rise, individually and as a group, compared to dealerships outside of the focus group.
Our approach involves undertaking a change process employing what we call the ConCoMentoring principles of in-dealership engagement. Our long experience with dealership interventions was behind the development of a blend of consulting, coaching and mentoring to implement change and deliver the desired outcomes.
We believe that to be effective in improving dealership business models you need:
- Input from independent individuals with experience in the dealership industry to conduct analysis and direct (consult),
- To plan through a working group (coach) and,
- Mentor through the line management for implementation.
Quazar Automotive’s process is born of our experience in business strategy development and change management, applied to an industry that we have been engrossed in for decades. The process appears simple, but like any exercise in change management it requires engagement and implementation (the difficult bit).
We were able to distil this process into five steps taken over six days during a four-month period:
- Stage 1 – Research and audit – deep dive qualitative and quantitative (two days on-site)
- Stage 2 – Feedback and planning (one day)
- Stage 3 – Communication (one day)
- Stage 4 – In-dealership mentoring and coaching (one day)
- Stage 5 – Review and adaptation (one day)
So, what are the early results?
Success in any change programme comes over time, yet it is important to get some early wins which can be shared with the team. Stage five needs repeating on a regular basis to ensure long-term gains.
In this case 10 dealers were engaged in the programme. They were identified by the OEM, and the process started in September 2017 with the final review in January 2018. Measurement from OEM submissions allows for direct comparison based on dealer submissions. The base position, prior to implementation of the programme, measures performance from January to June 2017 compared to current measures in the July to December period.
Eight of the 10 dealers have moved forward, the top two now showing a positive profit before tax (PBT), with the others showing significant movement towards breakeven. While it is not unusual for those with strong leadership to set a pace, the others are all making changes and great steps towards a business model that works for them. Our reports are written in a way that can be easily understood by Automotive Retail Executives and give practical implementation ideas that the whole team can understand and action.
Using PBT as the measure, here are the results of our programme so far:
|Dealer||Change Group||Rest of the Network|
These are early days, but with the review process after three months to check progress and tweak activity, there is always a renewed focus on taking the business forward.
After 10 difficult years of economic stagnation 2018 promises to be the year that sees an upturn in economic growth. This is a time when we need to move our line managers away from just managing to truly leading their part of the business. The Quazar Business Accelerator starts that process in a way that makes sense for the Management of our dealerships.
To engage in the Quazar Business Accelerator programme: