Net/Gross went from 35.6% to 51%
Effective Labor Rate (ELR) increase of $8
My Chris Collins journey started January of 2019. I can be honest now and tell you I was not sure what I was even looking for. I had briefly heard about the program and figured it could not hurt at this point to try.
I had been managing a large Ford Store for four years at that point and was starting to feel like anything I tried was unsuccessful. With a large service department I always had volume; although, I felt like I had volume without purpose.
I was having a hard time with turnover, CSI, consistency, processes and holding the gross. I was sinking fast and running out of options!
It got to the point that the Automotive President of our Group called me to his office and emphatically told me I was screwing up my opportunity. He was not wrong. I had to search hard to find some clarity and direction.
I was sitting in my first day of Boot Camp with two other Service Managers from my group of Dealerships, all our General Managers and one of our Fixed Operations Specialists. I remember thinking I really hope this is productive and is not another waste of my General Manager’s time; and more importantly, a waste of his money.
In comes Chris Collins!
I hope he doesn’t not take offense to this, but my first impression was, finally a dude from the shop! I’m sure the General Managers were hesitant although when Chris started to talk and call each group out for their excuses to not succeed, i was hooked! His success story from detailer to Dealer Principal was just the beginning for me.
While I admired his success through the ranks of the dealership, I truly loved his approach and demeanor towards the process. No excuses just get to work! He was a Fixed minded guy who had made all his success from my end of the dealership, and I was proud!
I could not wait to get home and get to work. I am confident in saying my General Manager was annoyed with my eagerness. I was not going to stop until I had destroyed everyone in my path.
I wasted no time when I made it back to the store.
Within the first week back I had ordered my check in shack, colored tags, matching hats and finished my menu. I took the menu a step further and created a tri-fold point-of-sale for my Drive that had all my new menu sales and pricing built in.
I also had speed bumps installed to mask the conduit for my check in shack. I wanted to guarantee the shack would last forever, so I had air conditioning, heat and power installed.
I realized why I was failing. Why I had volume without purpose. I finally answered the question of, what was I looking for? With the help of Chris Collins and my coach, Little Hoagie, I figured out a few things. My average tech cost was too high, my net profit was too low, and I was missing all the tools to rectify both.
By utilizing Service Drive Judo, Pet the Dog, and the menu sales process I was ambitious to fix the problems. It was going to be a lot of work. I felt like I was starting all over once again, but this time I was energized to start.
The numbers and people were not as eager to improve as quickly as I wanted them to. January 2020, we did $800,902 in Service Gross and 1,129 wild cards. I was excited until I saw the Financial Statement and realized I only had $286,168 in Net Profit, 35% net to gross. I was discouraged but not defeated.
My team and I continued to believe in our new process and kept applying everything we were learning. It wasn’t until March that we finally moved the needle and got to 38% net to gross. When my team and I saw the number move, we were like sharks smelling blood!
We never looked back. April 45% net to gross. June 49.3% net to gross. Then finally July 50% net to gross!
We consistently maintained that 50% net to gross average through October 2020, and then November happened. November of 2020, I did almost the same gross as January 2020.
November’s gross came in at $780,000. The key difference between January and November is that we were holding 61.9% net to gross in November. Nearly a 27% increase over January of that same year. To put those numbers into perspective, before we joined the Chris Collins program our net to gross was consistently at 12%.
My Net Profit came in at $481,913! December was a repeat of November combining in at 57.1% net to gross. We were a Service Department that had zero vision, zero processes, high turnover and low CSI at the start of 2020. We transformed into a Service Department that is now doing over 50% net to gross, with amazing CSI, in one years’ time!
I owe a lot of credit to Chris and his team. They have taught my team and myself so much. I am the largest Service Department within my group of 65 stores, and now the most profitable.
My department went from constantly having red CSI, inconsistent gross and net numbers, to the most consistent department within the group.
We have done so well and it was an honor to be accepted into the Chris Collins Elite Group. We have held the number one spot for Net to Gross consistently as part of that Group. I started this essay with a lot of uncertainty, chaos, and underperformance.
My department has survived plenty of fluctuations, struggles, and failures. While there is always more work to do and more to learn, we are no longer in the spotlight of failure. I have found a great new peace at the level of performance accomplished by my Service Department. We have finally earned the right to be left alone!