Cost-containment can be the most difficult process for a dealership to undertake, especially given that a dealer’s No. 1 costs are personnel related. But the hardest decisions that JOA made were much easier because it was able to take the bias out of its employee-related cutbacks.
JOA employed the Omnia Profile, a personality-profiling tool, to help determine the strengths and weaknesses of each team member. Through the system, JOA has re-evaluated each key employee. And while the net result is that the company was able to methodically lower its payroll expenses by more than 40 percent — more than $1 million — it was also able to discover hidden talents in existing employees, giving it the opportunity to combine job responsibilities and in some cases, give key employees a raise in an otherwise economically difficult time.
“If we moved simply to cut payroll based on pay rate, or production, you can get so low on bodies that are not qualified that you miss any opportunity you may have had to do some much-needed business,” Matthews says. “In this environment, employees need to wear many hats. With this profiling method, we can find out who is capable of wearing what hats. I find it critical to test to find out who can achieve this multitasking while maintaining a work ethic that is critical to team morale and customer service at the highest level.”