July '18

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rv-pro.com July 2018 • RV PRO • 159 sidering for inclusion in your business operations, then perhaps these other best processes might also interest you. Management by Walking Around (MBWA) During my parts management career, this process was an integral aspect of my management routine. Each day, I would walk through my department while car- rying a clipboard on which was a copy of our parts department "to-do" list. MBWA enabled me to identify aspects of my parts operation that required repair or maintenance, and through the use of the parts department to-do list, provided assigned tasks for my parts associates. These daily to-do lists kept my associates busy with minimal oversight on my part. This improved my return on investment for my personnel expense by minimizing W-time; and, enhanced the customer ser- vice through the presentation of a clean, organized department. By assigning tasks to specific parts associates, I was able to evaluate their performance daily, which assisted me in identifying opportunities both for counseling and for complimenting those associates. In turn, this enhanced the morale by providing each parts asso- ciate with a performance status report so that each knew if they were contributing to the parts department operations or detracting from them. As necessary, I could provide training for any associate who I felt could benefit from it. Related to the daily to do-list were our … Weekly Department Staff Meetings These scheduled meetings provided each of the parts associates with the opportunity to suggest enhancements to our parts operations via modifications to existing DWP, via the development of new DWP; or, by suggesting new prod- ucts to include in our inventory mix. To ensure that our meetings were both efficient and effective, I made cer- tain that RAMONA was included in them. RAMONA is an acronym that represents six key elements that can con- tribute to effective, efficient staff meet- ings. These six elements are: • Regularly scheduled – usually starting at the same time on the same day of each week and sched- uled for the same duration. Via trial and error, we discovered that a half hour prior to the start of our business day was the most opportune time. • Agenda – a written agenda was distributed at least one day prior to the meeting date to enable each participant to develop input for any of the listed items on the agenda. Each topic of the agenda was assigned a specific time limit to ensure that the meeting was concluded within the half hour. • Minutes – one parts associate was assigned the responsibility for recording minutes of that week's meeting so that any associates absent for any reason could know what was discussed and decided. It also provided a record of the meeting for reference. • Old Business – was reviewed and a status report was presented for any existing projects. As neces- sary, any existing projects that required additional work were slated for reporting and review at the next meeting. • New Business – suggested mod- ifications to existing DWP, or suggested new DWP, might be included in this segment of the agenda. Presentations of new products being suggested for our inventory also might be included in this segment. As necessary, we would include a "what to say when …" item in the case that a customer interaction had not pro- ceeded smoothly and so that we could minimize the chance of a recurrence by discussing alternative actions that could have been taken. • Action plan – the meetings were focused on identifying projects and tasks necessary to improve our parts department operations and not on the details of how those projects and tasks would be accomplished. This action plan would include a list of each project/task with the name(s) of the responsible associate(s) and due dates for the project/task. This ensured that the staff meetings were productive uses of our time. Occasionally, one of the topics under new business in our meeting agenda would be evaluation of a recent … Field Trip From conversations with other parts managers, I would learn of a best process in place at one of their dealerships. If the other parts manager was agreeable, I would schedule a field trip to that deal- ership. This provided my parts associ- ates the opportunity to interact with the parts associates at that dealership to ask questions about the best process and to record notes of their conversations and observations. This best process was added as new business on the agenda for our next staff meeting so that we could discuss the pos- sible benefits to including this process in our repertoire. If we decided to add this best process to our routines, one of my parts associates might be assigned to develop a DWP, which would be dis- cussed at a future staff meeting. Roundtable Discussion or Round File? As with each of my columns, you have a decision to make. Distribute the column to your parts associates so they could discuss the contents at your next staff meeting or deposit the column in the round file. Which process is best for you?

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