It’s no secret that times have been tough in Florida. Many dealers throughout the state have been forced to close their doors and for those who remain, for the most part, it has been a process of hunkering down and riding out the storm.
Not at Liquid Sports, however. In the face of these challenging times, this four-location dealer has chosen to focus on the things it can control, and in doing so has made “some of the most dramatic improvements in processes and procedures that we have ever made,” explains owner Teressa Watts.
On top of adding a fourth location — a significant move in light of the local economy — the company focused in on a series of employee-oriented moves that have strengthened the overall company in numerous way.
The company says it made a significant investment in obtaining top talent by hiring the best three employees it has ever had in three key positions: master technician, service director and accountant. The tech makes more money for the company due to his knowledge and work ethic; the service director replaced three people and completes more work of a better quality than any service person the company has ever had — “the service department has never run so smoothly or been so organized, and the customers are noticing it daily,” says Watts — and the accountant has brought the company’s accounting to an even more granular level than ever before.
Liquid Sports also now uses two methods by which its employees help improve the overall processes and procedures. First, it launched employee focus groups whereby bonuses are given out based on new ideas that are generated that improve the company’s service, bottom line, customer satisfaction or other areas. And second, it launched a “fresh eyes review,” during which new employees, after about 30 days on the job, are requested to let management know what they see at the company that is good, bad or needs improvement.
“It is amazing what a different set of eyes can uncover about inefficiencies in your business that you never thought of previously,” Watts explains.
“The amazing thing with this past year is that while there are challenges and revenue is down, we have found so many bright areas to exploit which have even higher profit margins than new boats.”