This is our first Quazar Automotive Case Study – we’ll be sharing more throughout the year.

The Brief

In 2012, after discussions with the Franchise Executive of a leading automotive company, we embarked on a programme to find the opportunities that existed in the Service Department. The brand has 9 dealerships in South Africa and 1 in Botswana.

The brief was to increase the profitability of the Service Department and relieve some of the pressure on the existing staff.

Previous research revealed that there was potentially about R1.5m additional profit to be taken from the Service Department, with no additional personnel or marketing spend! This was an exciting prospect and we were eager to make a difference.

We’d essentially be crafting a new business strategy at a departmental level, and this was an opportunity for us to introduce the existing management to the idea of strategic leadership.

Same process = same outcomes

All (good!) business strategies begin with an audit and research phase. We spent 2 days analysing the service department and job cards, and observing processes and systems.

The audit provided valuable insight into where opportunities lay for building a competitive advantage. We found that the methodology for processing a vehicle through the service department was identical to any other service department in the industry, with the same outcomes: sporadic CSI scores, increasing ‘carry overs’ and productivity stuck in the 70% range!

Noticeably, team stress levels started to rise from 16:00, towards uncomfortable levels for both the customer and service advisor! Something had to change.

Small changes = major impact

A new process was devised to overcome these challenges, and build the Service Department’s capacity to get parts delivered at least twice a day.

The first step was ensuring workshop controller knew every day by 09:00 exactly what work was required to be done on every car in the workshop that day. They’d then be able to secure the parts and complete the work.

The new strategy was shared with everyone in the department prior to go-live day, and trained on new processes where necessary.

Quazar was on-hand on go-live day to coach on the new processes. The impact was immediate – hours sold on the day were up 15% and all cars handed back by 17:00 to happy customers!

Creating lasting change

Over the course of the next twelve months, the combined Service Departments for the Group increased profitability 53%. This increase was far beyond our expectation, and yet each department had a slightly different plan that reflected their own unique set of circumstances.

Over 15 years of consulting and coaching on the ground and with teams in-dealership have yielded great results for all concerned – no matter the challenge and individual dealership needs.

We are proud to have played a part in this successful programme and still count this project as one of our most satisfying!