Do it family style

The 15 employees at Crews N II Outboard’s locations in Jacksonville and Yulee, Fla., are like family, says Bill Allen, general manager. And when good fortune strikes, such as when the company receives bonus money for a good CSI score from Grady-White Boats, the company believes in sharing the bounty equally among its “family.”

“It’s kinda a no-brainer,” Allen says. “They’re rewarding the company; they’re not rewarding you.”

The company was founded in the 1940s as Outboard Inc. and was purchased by Jim Crews in 1998, who renamed the company after one of his boats. Allen, formerly a mortgage broker, is Crews’ son-in-law and has been with the company for seven years. Many employees have been with the company for decades. The service manager’s dad used to hold that position, and he still works at the company part time in the parts department.

“We spend more time here than at home,” Allen explains. “Most of these people talk among themselves more than to their spouses. We have different temperaments and know how to treat each other and our customers.”

Allen, ever the numbers guy, says Crews N II could have recorded the CSI windfall as miscellaneous revenue but firmly believes spreading the wealth makes a much greater impact to the company’s bottom line. “It’s not a lot of money, but it’s a pat on the back,” Allen says. The company hands out the reward in cash, and Allen says it definitely impacts morale. “Everyone will come up and thank us, from the guy who washes the boats to the service manager.”

In the past three years, the dealership’s CSI score with Grady-White has been around 9.8, but Allen says the company is firmly focused on scoring that elusive 10. “When we talk about CSI, it’s a group effort,” Allen says. “We want to make people feel that they’re a responsible part of the team.”

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