Net/Gross went from 16% to 31%
Effective Labor Rate (ELR) increase of $10
CSI rise from 67.6 to 76.3
My name is Casey, I started into the car industry over 20 years ago as a Porter for a Chrysler Jeep Dealership. When I was 16, I had a job working for a retail store, but it wasn’t my passion. My dad knew my love for cars, so he told me to get a job washing cars.
As I was driving that day, I happened to drive by John Mecham Chrysler Jeep. I quickly made a u-turn and walked right into their service department and asked for the Service Manager. I didn’t even fill out a job application or have an interview scheduled, but was hired on the spot by Troy Francis.
“Little did I know at the time, I would work for him for the next 18 years of my life until I finally had the opportunity to take over his position.”
I worked my way through the service department from porter to lube tech and then an apprentice tech. I was feeling very confident that I would become a technician for the rest of my life making really good money. All of the sudden, 9/11 happened and things got really slow.
Management had to unfortunately cut all the tech apprentices and I was offered to move back to lube bay. Not much longer after that, my boss Troy left to move to a Chevrolet dealer. He soon called me after a few months to work with him again on the lube bay. Of course I took the job but with a different path in mind. I was going to be a service advisor.
Over time, things started picking up and I noticed the service drive needed more help. I presented Troy with my idea to create a position as an assistant service advisor. I knew this would be a great opportunity to learn the skills of being a great service advisor and I would be ready once the opportunity came along.
It only took a couple years of learning until an advisor would leave, giving me the opportunity I so badly wanted. I was excited once I got my opportunity and started writing service. I really enjoyed meeting people and making friends; “customer collecting”, not knowing at the time it was what I was doing. My customers would continue to ask for me and would also send in their referrals.
After many years of being a successful service advisor, I became the assistant service manager. I really enjoyed training and coaching new advisors and showing them a path to success at their job. We then built a new store to grow into and
“the pressure was on to really grow the business.”
After two years, the pressure seemed to be too much for Troy. He would come in day after day thinking that he would be fired, you could read it on him everyday. Eventually he quit. I was then asked to think about the idea of being the next service manager.
It was several sleepless nights. I knew that the job would not be easy and there would be a lot of work to do. One day I received a call from the manager of After Sales for Chevrolet. I was surprised by the call because I didn’t know him very well other than speaking with him a couple times at the service club meetings.
I work mostly with the district manager, so I was a little nervous. I hesitantly answered the phone and he said, “Casey what are you doing? Wait, don’t answer that question because I know you are sitting at your desk scared, confused and not sure what to do. Right?”. I only answered back simply with, “yes, I am”. He immediately responded back, “Get off your a**! March yourself into Bryans office (my gm) and tell him you want the job!”
Of course I didn’t because I still was not sure, but felt better he was convinced that I was “the guy”. A few more days passed and I decided, yes, I am the guy for the job. My deciding factor was that my team deserved to have me as a manager, not some stranger who they don’t know or feel comfortable with.
I knew I had the proper training and the best team to support, so I would be able to grow this business.
“A couple months into my Service Manager position, I sat down with Bryan and we discussed signing back up with Chris Collins.”
We had been with them before, but canceled after a year or so. At the time we were not really getting the support or training we expected to come from it. It’s possible that we didn’t really give it our best either.
The coach at the time never really called for monthly meetings or really pushed us. I remember a few calls and it was pretty dull, so I was hesitant to sign up, but we decided to go for it. I met my coach, the all mighty VICKY.
I remember how nice she was when we had our first opening call. Then the next call… wow, I had no idea how hard she would be on me and she kept pushing and pushing and pushing, to where I was dreading the monthly call. I really just knew she would call me out on my sh*t for not pushing my team to get where they needed to be.
At the time I’ll admit I hated it, but she could see the big picture. She knew she could get us to where we are today. Of course during all this we had the year 2020 COVID-19. Even with it being a different year and different way of running a business, the numbers show we made money every month, except one.
These weren’t numbers to brag about, but we survived and in the positive.I could go forever never talking about 2020 or living it, but I am proud of what my team was able to accomplish.
“This year has been great so far. In February, March, and April we have broken all time records in gross, Csi, Elr hours per ro.”
My team is beyond amazing and have stuck with us the whole time, as well as the dealership I work for.
During Covid they made sure not one single employee made less money than they did the prior year on average. I can’t be more thankful to have the team I have. Every one of them are amazing and being able to have Vicki there with us, sharing ideas, and giving us the support we needed was the best (Even if we don’t follow the Chris Collins idea to the tee).
We continue to share ideas back and forth and have developed a system that works for all. I can’t wait to see what the future will bring to us as a team.