Put it in writing

When it comes to the business world, talk is cheap.

That’s why, at Hall Marine Group (Ranked 4 in 2006), for almost every employee action, there is a document detailing the process through which it should be performed, from boat repair and customer follow-up to answering the phone. With more than 100 employees, that’s a lot of documentation.

“Staff always answers the phone per documented script with a smile,” states the dealership’s “Rules of Engagement.” “Customers can hear a smile over the phone.”

While some of the process details, like this example, are commonplace, some of these documents are ground-breaking, such as a trade-in sales process in which the salesmen and customer evaluate the pre-owned boat together. There’s also a CSI process in which the dealership manager reviews results and maps a new CSI action plan each quarter, and a boat show strategy that involves creating a list of reasons the consumer should buy at each show.

The future of the Sea Ray and Boston Whaler dealer, which boasts six dealership locations and two marinas, is equally well-planned-out, including detailed steps for overcoming obstacles to the achievement of improvement and growth that are updated each month.

This paper trail sounds like a lot of hard work. And for a secret to success, it seems … kind of boring. However, the results are anything but.

The Lake Wylie, S.C.-based dealership reported double-digit revenue growth in 2005. It owned six of the 16 Sea Ray Ambassador dealerships worldwide at the time it submitted its Top 100 Dealer application, making it a major participant in one of the most highly regarded manufacturer-run dealer programs in the industry. In addition, two of its locations have recently captured the No. 1 SSI ranking amongst Sea Ray dealers nationwide – one for sales, one for service. It’s also a Boston Whaler Master Dealer at the four locations that meet the program’s volume requirements and has been named a Mercruiser Platinum Service Dealer and a member of Mercury’s President’s Club for the past 10 years.

“What is written is done 90 percent of the time more than what is just thought or talked about,” said Jeff Hall in the company application.

  • To explore more Internal Operations Best Practices, click here.
  • To return to the best practices home page, click here.
  • To return to the Boating Industry home page, click here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *