How to Adopt Best Practices

How to Adopt Best Practices


Moderated by Bob Williams, Five Star Solutions, LLC

The dealers who are still standing after the recession weren’t the dealers who were afraid of change. They were the innovators, the entrepreneurs, who were willing to try new ideas to improve their businesses. Appropriately, during the first of two strong dealer panels in the Powering Profits track of the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo (scheduled for Nov. 14-17 in Orlando, Fla.), attendees will learn from specific dealer examples of how to adopt best practices into dealerships.

The panel, led by moderator Bob Williams of Five Star Solutions, LLC, will provide specific step-by-step examples of how dealers adopt best practices into their operations — even how to organize a team to review, modify, and create new best practices, perfectly adapted uniquely to your own store.

“Frequently trying new best practices drives continuous improvement and energizes your store,” Williams explains. “With so many options at the MDCE for learning new ideas, it’s critically important that dealers take the time to learn how these new initiatives can be successfully integrated into the flow of their individual businesses.”

The panel discussion, which will feature Frank Farnsworth of Skyline Marina, Chuck Thompson of South Shore Marine, Nancy Smith of Colorado Boat Center, and Mike Hoffman of Marine Center of Indiana, will reveal how continuously adapting best practices drives loyalty and higher gross profits from customers by building quality, speed and coordinated action. Williams says this is what the customers are willing to pay for, and it’s all based on two keys to success as a marine retailer: process control and leadership. He goes on to say that adopting best practices is also frequently about doing more with less.

“Lean management and lean thinking frees up an organization to perform better, without adding cost,” according to Williams. “This session will outline how that can happen at your dealership.”

Dealers will explain how this methodology brings powerful results with specific examples from sales, service, and parts, as well as in boat show support.

“Becoming an organization dedicated to ‘being the best you can be’ every day will grow your store,” Williams says. “Adopting new best practices, and driving continuous improvement based upon customer feedback can get you there.”

To learn more about “How To Adopt Best Practices,” make plans to attend the 2010 Marine Dealer Conference & Expo, to be held in Orlando, Fla., Nov. 14-17. With three concurrent educational tracks and more than 20 individual educational sessions, this event has been designed to help dealers return to the growth phase they knew prior to the economic downturn.

The “How to Adopt Best Practices” is part of the Powering Profits track, is the newest track at MDCE, and is geared specifically toward dealer principals. It’s preceded by a panel on how dealers could have been better prepared for the economic recession. Afterwards, the track continues with presentations on (re)building your dealership’s culture, the best new ideas from marine dealers, fact-driven dealer management and 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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