Fact-Driven Dealer Management

Fact-Driven Dealer Management

By Hal Ethington, ADP Lightspeed

Hal Ethington uses 40 years of experience as owner, accountant, analyst and classroom instructor to show dealers how to identify areas in their dealership that will dramatically affect their bottom line. Now, Ethington brings his proven expertise to the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo (scheduled for Nov. 14-17 in Orlando, Fla.) and will be presenting Fact-Driven Dealer Management as part of the Powering Profits educational track.

Within every dealership there are results and influencers to those results, and Ethington explains that it’s important to understand the difference between the two. Results are not things you can influence — once they are results you’ve missed your opportunity. They are in the books and you have to live with them.

Too many times businesses spend all their time focusing on the results, things that cannot be changed. Things like bottom line, net profit or gross margin. To improve results you have to go upstream to identify the influencer and make effective changes. And that’s exactly what Ethington will show attendees how to accomplish.

“It is important to focus on what you can change,” Ethington says. “You need to reach deep down within your operations and find the tangible pieces that will make a difference. Can you get more lines on each invoice? Is there another quarter hour to add? Are you getting the most out of F&I? Once you find those areas, make the adjustments and monitor progress you’ll see the results flow through.”

During his presentation Ethington will be discussing how to identify, monitor and improve the key result influencers within your dealership. After this presentation attendees will walk away with clear action items to apply at their store along with a deeper understanding of how changes in daily operations can maximize their bottom line.

Ethington’s “Fact-Driven Dealer Management” is part of the Powering Profits track, the newest track at MDCE, geared specifically toward dealer principals. It’s preceded by a panel on how dealers could have been better prepared for the economic recession, a session on how to adopt best practices, a look at how to (re)build your dealership’s culture and a panel of “best ideas” from dealers. Afterward, the track continues with a presentation on pay plans that work.

Other MDCE offerings include the Sales & Marketing track, which is perfect for sales managers and marketing managers and includes topics such as how to make more money by discounting less and charging more, high-impact, low-cost marketing tactics, the keys to succeeding as a 24/7 marine dealer, converting online leads into sales profits, immediate results using search engine marketing, and closing sales in a difficult economy. The Service Department track will be held concurrently, with a focus on how to be a successful service advisor, solving your most troubling service problems, Web strategies for service profits, operational excellence and financial management for service managers and more. The event will also feature a general session and two keynote sessions, as well.

“We’ve covered all the bases with the education this year, making quality content, specific to service managers, sales managers, marketing managers and dealership principals alike, available in an unprecedented format,” explains Matt Gruhn, publisher of Boating Industry magazine, which partners with the Marine Retailers Association of America to produce the MDCE. “This will, without question, be the best line-up of education this event has ever produced.”

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