One of the biggest struggles many dealerships have is breaking the different departments out of their silos to work together towards dealership initiatives. Sales teams tend to focus on just increasing front-end margin. On the other side, F&I teams tend to focus on back-end margin, financing, and product sales. The service drive considers itself completely separate from sales and finance, working towards completely different goals.
While the individual goals of each department are important, if they aren’t aligned under a general strategy for the dealership, they can often create tension and even serve as a deterrent to achieving larger dealership initiatives. While this may seem odd, just go with me here. To keep everyone aligned, go back to the basics of marketing: Product, Place, Price and Promotion.
Product and Place
Does your inventory mix meet the needs of your target consumer demographic? To determine this, take a look at your sales numbers for 2017 and look at what type of vehicles were the biggest sellers, i.e. sedans, SUVs, Trucks, etc. Talk with your service department to get a better understanding of what type of vehicles are coming through the service drive and the costs associated with certain repairs. The service department can demonstrate where attention is needed relative to new technology and cost of repair as well as the costs of certain repairs for certain models.
For example, if you sell a large amount of diesel vehicles, your service department can provide you an overview of just how much more maintenance this vehicle requires, and the associated cost of that maintenance. This knowledge can then be applied in sales and F&I to better promote the benefits of a pre-paid maintenance plan for diesel vehicles.