If fingers point to the top, the lack of focus on fixed operations is a burden shared between both dealer/principals and manufacturers. The amount of effort directed at parts and service from either party is underwhelming compared to that of new vehicle sales.
Gary Simmons provides consulting services for managers in fixed ops. He says about 93 percent of dealer/principals come through the sales department. The statistic is similar for general managers.
This lack of front-line experience from the very top often results in parts and service kept at an arms-length from the dealer/principal and GM. Leaders within parts and service have similarly skewed understanding of the dealership operations as they are often promoted from their respective department. In turn, there are typically deficiencies in formal management education, sophisticated target marketing, and business model innovation.
Google “silo effect.” Lack of breadth in expertise within leaders is not exclusive to automotive retail. Countless businesses are exploring how to break down communication barriers that make individual departments less advanced and less efficient than their counterparts.
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