While many dealers rely on assistant management to support their business’s day-to-day operations, Lynn Pesson Jr. of Southland Engine based in Lafayette, LA, has found success in assigning coordinators. Hiring the right people from within and communicating that their role as coordinator is to assist can help the business to run smoothly without the added overhead of more management.
Manager vs. coordinator
Within his dealership of four locations throughout Louisiana, Pesson has implemented three “coordinators” to help employees in all departments to do their jobs properly. Pesson believes that the title of “coordinator” will influence a more active role than that of a traditional “manager”.
“We find that managers have a problem with a title that implies sitting behind a desk and pointing a finger,” says Pesson. “In outdoor power we need more assisting with customers and employees. We feel that coordinators will work with employees by helping make decisions with sales, checking on parts and working with shop jobs. Acting as a team player earns them the respect that coordinators need in the employees’ eyes.”
For the coordinators, it’s not simply opening up shop and policing staff, but rather working alongside employees to aid and assist. Together they troubleshoot and get the job done. “We felt we did not need someone to open up, turn the light on, turn the computers on and then open the doors for the customers to come in,” explains Pesson.
Pesson was looking for a more active role from his coordinators. There is also a sales coordinator on staff that travels between the stores checking on equipment and meeting with customers.
Hiring right and saving cost
When hiring someone to play the role of coordinator, it’s vital to hire the right person. Trusting the wrong person to do the job can leave it done improperly and below the standards set forth.
“Hiring the right person for the job can make or break you. That’s why we hire within,” says Pesson. “We already know this person, and if they can or can’t work as a team and communicate well with customers.”
Pesson suggests looking for a team player that leads and is good at communicating with staff and customers. Finding the right well-rounded individual to play the role of coordinator can in turn save the company additional overhead costs.
“We as dealers need to find ways to lower payroll, and we need more Indians and fewer chiefs. We found in the past that the managers came to the owners for the hard call anyway, so if the owner is involved then why do you need a manager?,” Pesson questions. “If employees are trained right, they can make the day-to-day calls without the manager, and a coordinator is always there for the assist.”