Regal & Nautique of Orlando
Though often tucked in the back or corners of a dealership, a healthy, well-staffed and efficient service department remains a crucial piece to any successful boat dealership.
With the hire of a new, highly experienced operations manager in 2017, the service department became a key focus area for Regal & Nautique of Orlando. The new manager took Regal & Nautique’s already growing service department and added a variety of new processes and protocols to continue upward movement in the department.
Regal & Nautique’s list for 2017 included 13 new processes and protocols from a new scheduling and tracking process to implementing a new departmental efficiency bonus program, and everything in between.
“We established a departmental efficiency bonus program to encourage teamwork and departmental cohesiveness, while simultaneously improving customer experience and service,” says General Manager and owner Jeff Husby.
The new bonus system is based on the total departmental efficiency percentages, giving technicians the opportunity to earn up to $2,500 in bonus pay annually.
Technicians are also incentivized with various other employee recognition programs, including a new technician of the month program.
Also redesigned for 2017, Regal & Nautique implemented a brand new scheduling system to further increase efficiency in its service department.
“Scheduling is reviewed daily and completely remastered every Saturday for the beginning of the next work week,” Husby says.
The new scheduling system went as far as to set up new protocols for both work scheduled in-store and work scheduled for mobile or dockside service, after Regal & Nautique noticed both require different approaches to scheduling and processes.
The dealership uses a white board method to keep the entire department on the same page and though considered an “old school” practice to Husby, the dealership has seen much success in efficiency with the process in place.
“In one glance, they know exactly what is expected for the week, which motivates them to work efficiently,” Husby says.
On the mobile and dockside service side, Regal & Nautique has maximized driver efficiency by working to group similar jobs together as much as possible according to proximity and technician workload, using a zip code map to determine the rate and coordinate assignments.
“Demand for this service has grown considerably, resulting in our hiring of a second technician and the purchase of a second mobile van,” Husby says.
Husby said the addition of the increased resources have provided an additional net revenue of more than 20 percent in 2017, over 2016. “We project continued growth and increased revenues for this expanded service, as 75 percent of new boat sales today are sold without trailers,” he adds.
As opposed to the in-store service white board method, when it comes to dockside and mobile service, Regal & Nautique takes a more digital approach to maximize efficiency while remaining mobile.
Mobile tech work is scheduled through an online calendar system visible to all dockside technicians. Mobile technicians are also supplied with smart phones in order to ensure both technicians have access to all of the information they need while completing a job.
Despite the differences in processes, both in-store and mobile service technicians are required to work together to ensure both sides remain as efficient as possible.
To increase understanding of the departmental roles, Regal & Nautique developed a new service department flow chart to establish a consistent process for all service work.
The dealership also moved to daily tracking of technician efficiencies, which Husby said has improved turnaround times, as well as helping identify technician strengths and weaknesses, helping the service advisor choose which jobs are assigned to which technicians.
All of Regal & Nautique’s efforts in its service department, helped lead the dealership to a 4 percent increase in CSI net promoter score for service over 2016, and a total service CSI rating of 97 percent.