New handheld scanners limit the transaction time between the clerk and technician and the clerk and customer. A signature capture unit at the checkout saves them not only time, but also on the cost of paper.
It’s their increased net profit from these small changes that make a big difference and show them they are moving in the right direction. Improved efficiency has allowed them to be more profitable, and in the end, remain a servicing dealer.
“It has made us a more profitable dealer so we can continue to service our customers,” says Hampton. “We offered great service before, but this has allowed us to be able to continue to offer that great service.”
When doing the time and motion studies, they also include staff in the process. Their participation is not only valuable to get a good read on what systems are and aren’t working, but also encourages staff to embrace the change.
“We asked ourselves, ‘How do you get people committed to change?’” Hampton relates. “Staff has to be involved, so we have involved them from day one. We always ask for their suggestions.”
For example, one of their technicians suggested a designated work area for two-cycle equipment with a work bench and tool box just for those products. Now, the technician doesn’t have to hunt for tools or make room to work around the mowers when he has to service a piece of equipment.
In the year ahead, the Hamptons plan to look for more ways to improve efficiency throughout the dealership and specifically in the showroom. Sometimes change can be hard, but they strongly suggest dealers consider it. Making small changes to your business can lead to big improvements in profit later on.
“Look around at your competitors to see how they operate,” says Hampton. “Open your eyes and ears and learn from everybody everywhere. Without change, you are going to end up right where you are now. Change is cheap. Not changing will cost you more in the long run.”