Ben Copper

SERVICE MANAGER SUCCESS STORIES: BEN COOPER

Congratulations to Ben Cooper of Hudson Gastonia Nissan for being a finalist in the 2017 Service Manager Challenge. He joined the Chris Collins Signature Coaching Program in March of 2016.  In the past year he’s seen significant improvements in business at the dealership.

Here are the results Ben’s seen while using the Chris Collins Signature Coaching Program:

  • Net/Gross went from -4% to 13%
  • Effective Labor Rate (ELR) increased $21
  • CSI rose from 93 to 94

It’s taken some work, but you can’t argue with these results.

Read Ben’s success story below…

BEN COOPER: A DIFFERENT BREED

I remember it like it was yesterday. It was during a corporate fixed operations meeting in Charleston, South Carolina a couple years ago, a room full of General Managers, Dealer Principals, Corporate Executives, Service Managers and Fixed Operations Directors going over store numbers, financial statements, company goals and the like. It was then that a “special guest speaker” was announced.

Into the room enters a gentleman who looked different that the normal guest speaker, dressed different and certainly carried himself differently than anyone we had seen or heard from that day.

I remember the tables were positioned in a horseshoe pattern with the speakers standing or sitting in the front of the room. Seeming uncomfortably positioned at the head of the room in a conventional manner, the bearded stranger worked his way into the empty space left inside the table arrangement and began to address the curious crowd. I’m not sure how many knew of him or had any idea what to expect but I certainly did not. Over the next hour or so, Chris touched on various topics regarding his past experiences and career in the car business. The two-day fixed operations summit covered many topics and included discussions led by some of the most experienced and intelligent individuals I have had the pleasure to work with over the past 20 years or so years in the industry. This being said, the hour or so that Chris spent talking with the group, I believe was the most memorable. Those of us that have been a part of his coaching groups know what I mean when I say, his manner of addressing a group and cutting through the bullshit leaves a lasting impression, to say the least.

Fast forward a year or so and the idea of joining the coaching group finally came to fruition. One year ago, we joined the group and attended boot camp in Los Angeles. I must admit that I was apprehensive and nervous not knowing what to expect that weekend. The coaching group had many highly successful attendees, coaches and speakers but somehow managed to appeal to all in some way or another. While I still feel as though I am living the journey, not at the “finish line” I feel much better equipped for success. Armed with knowledge regarding controlling effective labor rates, calculating net to gross figures, how to better motivate service advisors and technicians and many more skills that my previous 20 years in fixed operations barely touched on.

During boot camp, we set goals that at the time I had little confidence we would be able to achieve. It has certainly not been easy and we have not reached the finish line by any means but have been able to make significant improvements in many areas. Our team has experienced an effective labor rate increase of $15.25, a net to gross increase of 19.8%, a CSI increase of 21 points, and other remarkable increases in nearly all metrics. As satisfying as it is to see the metrics climb, it is not all about the financial gains. Every coaching group I have attended has been memorable and beneficial in some way or another. In some cases, it has been the exposure to ideas and concepts from Jair, Gary, Chris and team and in others it has been the round table discussions with the other members of the coaching group.

At the end of the day, at the age of 43, I am not a particularly young man in the business but feel like the training that I have been fortunate enough to be part of over the past 12 months has prepared me to be an effective leader more than the training received cumulatively over the past 20 years. I am looking forward to being part of a winning team making continuous strides to improve and grow along the way. Sounds cliche but the sky is the limit and all things feel possible.

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