Get started early

Every other Tuesday morning at Spicer’s Boat City, the service technicians clock in early to discuss the latest service bulletins and share their own best practices at the Team Tip Meeting.

Phillip Spicer, president and owner of the dealership in Houghton Lake, Mich., credits service manager Bill Kerns for the bi-weekly meeting, which started earlier this year. “We certainly have seen more bulletin awareness” as a result of the meetings, says Kerns, who has been with the company for nine years. “We had issues in the past with people not seeing them.”

Bulletins are passed on to the service techs as soon as they are issued, but those bulletins are reviewed in-depth at the meetings, which generally start at 7:30 or 8 a.m., before the store opens at 9. One of the service advisers also attends on a rotating basis to keep up to date on service issues that might affect customers.

During the Team Tip Meetings, service techs also discuss what repairs they are working on and share tips for completing repairs more quickly. If a technician has attended a training course, he will discuss what he learned with the others. “We’ve come a long way with the meetings,” Kerns says. “They serve as a great refresher for everyone.”

Spicer pays the techs for their attendance, billing their time as an administrative expense. “It’s another training issue that you have to invest in,” Spicer says, “but it obviously benefits the customer because we’re all on the same page.”

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