Car Dealer Insider Dec 15, 2007
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Car Dealer Insider Dec 15, 2007

Management Matters - Innovative program proves to be a cost-effective way to develop dealership managers

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Management Matters - Innovative program proves to be a cost-effective way to develop dealership managers

Three years ago, Gail Faulkner, the owner of a group of dealerships in eastern and central Pennsylvania, was confronted with a problem that is common to large dealership groups these days. Her organization, which forms part of the larger Faulkner family of dealerships, is a buyer in today's buy-sell market. The business is well managed, has been very profitable over the years, and, therefore, has access to the capital needed to fund expansion.

But who would manage the new dealerships, new franchises, and other new business opportunities available in a buy-sell market that was shifting to favor the buyers? Gail needed to develop more "bench strength" in her mid-level management group.

The organization's director of operations, Bob Lewis, and chief financial officer, Bill Seybald, were given the responsibility for developing the managers.

When Bill and Bob looked at the available management development options for car dealers, the list was remarkably short. There is the excellent NADA Dealer Academy and there is the more organic do-it-yourself approach. Taking nine to twelve middle managers out of their dealerships to attend week-long Dealer Academy sessions was not going to be workable in an organization that runs lean to begin with. That left the D-I-Y option.

Bob Lewis contacted Mike Bowers at DealersEdge to test some ideas for the management development program. The ground rules were stringent. It was to be a rigorous, graduate-school-level program in dealership management. Over the course of a year, the participants were to get in-depth exposure to each dealership operating department as well as to the financial, legal, and human resources elements of dealership... (265 of 1058 words)

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