Process Manual

Jim Williamson

I find myself lately running into a number of process issues, just seems like the simple tasks are not being done correctly or we are skipping steps.  I quickly jump to the conclusion that I am most likely to be blame.... we have policies and procedures but feel they are very brief and only based on a "few" tasks we have at the dealership.   I have made a commitment to myself to produce/create a manual/processes that is very in-depth/step by step on how we for example: greet the customer, desk a deal, write up a service RO, go over a service invoice, etc.  the list is endless and will always change. 

What i am is does anyone have any tips how i should go about this, or maybe there is some resources online?  am i crazy?   any feedback or ideas how to begin would greatly help.  



Derrick Woolfson

@Jim - a lot of those processes are available with Driving Sales! We have had great success in using their sales process training. As far as a training manual goes - we took a lot of what the OEM offered, Driving Sales, and paired it with what the CRM has to offer (as far as desking deals, TO's, service write-ups goes). At first, it was just a bunch of random pages. But in time, we wrote out what each 'training' element offered, and what the expectations were - namely, how their "success" would be measured by using the process/training manual. The biggest piece of advice (having been in your shoes) is to first come up with a vision. Second - take 2/3 items to tackle knowing that once those items are corrected the results will be visible. When people see results they get excited. And when they get excited they become more passionate! 

Chris K Leslie

My buddy Steve offers a lot of stuff for free on his site.

Brendan Dolan

Shoot me an email Jim. 

I built a new hire packet at my old dealer group. It's geared for sales, but it'll give you a jumping off point. I modified an FAA Part 142 Instrument flight course that I wrote back when I was in aviation, and I pivoted it to the car biz. 

New hires in sales had to complete it, take the tests, and then do a final review with me before we signed them off to sell cars. You can easily modify the guts of it to fit any department by changing the content. 

Michael  Pokora

Jim, you are not crazy, shoot me an email if you need some informal guidance, I'd be happy to help you start or look at what you've done.  I helped CarMax and Carvana create many task-specific duties for consistent nationwide operations execution. 

These can be created for any area of the business and the best way to document the item of concerns depends on the scope of the job function.   The broadest jobs take "SOP's" the and most finite tasks are covered by "standard work" with "work routines" fitting in the middle and being most applicable to many automotive service/sales responsibilities.  The key is not to bury your teams in paperwork but provide the right tools to enable consistent execution.  Binders that sit on shelves to get covered in dust don't do anyone any good!

I did a short video for a training class on the different work buckets with examples that you can find on youtube if you are interested. 

Chris Murray

Over 15 years ago we piloted a program for BMW to develop a process description and a process map for every single function in the dealership. In fact I had to attend a course with TVG to become a Certified Process Auditor for both BMW and ISO which was a big help. ISO can and will lead you through this comprehensive, rewarding but expensive process which will NOT increase your sales or profitability for many years. Just an FYI

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