Archive for November 11th, 2009

Dealer Lab: Step Into the Laboratory

November 11, 2009

JoeDelmontThis article is from the October 2009 issue of Dealernews. Note change in fourth paragraph to correct information that ran in the original story.

How would you like to sit in on a management meeting while the team battles to turn around a faltering dealership — one that lost close to $1 million from its two stores last year? Would you find it more interesting if the managers were part of a new ownership team — one that has a proven track record of improving dealer performance?

I thought you might. I recently had the opportunity to listen in on this very scenario in an hour-long session — the first of many. It was educational and filled with surprises.

It’s all part of a new, multimedia sponsor-supported dealer educational program called Dealer Lab, brought to you jointly by Dealernews (and its numerous digital outlets) and PowerHouse Dealer Services. PHD is run by Bill Shenk, and is a recognized dealer training organization and provider of powersports dealer 20 groups. EBay is a major sponsor of the project.

Here’s the situation: Shenk, a former dealer, has been helping dealers improve their operations for 10 years as a consultant and as head of PHD. In July, he had an opportunity to put his ideas into practice when he took over management of Florida Motorsports, which has stores in Naples and Punta Gorda, Fla. (He also has an agreement in principle to buy an ownership interest in the store.) The dealership wasn’t in good shape — in fact, it really did lose nearly $1 million on operations in 2008.

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