Showcase: Normandin Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Fiat
STATS: Normandin Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Fiat Location: San Jose, Calif. Service and Parts Director: Steve Rodgers Size: 26,000 square feet Staff Size: 44 Annual Revenue: $5 million
1. Deep Community Roots
Brothers Mark and Paul Normandin represent the fifth generation to run their family business, Normandin Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Fiat, in San Jose, Calif. The business opened its doors in 1875, as a buggy-making shop. To put that in historical perspective, California had only been a state for 25 years at that point.
All these years later, the Normandins’ dealership―which has changed locations a few times over the years―has an old horse and buggy on its rooftop that service and parts director Steve Rodgers says “everybody talks about” around San Jose.
2. On Top of Technology
Normandin features one of the few service departments in Northern California to utilize wiADVISOR tablet technology that allows customers to be checked in swiftly once they arrive at the dealership. The wiADVISOR platform―which mainly consists of a small wireless device that service advisors plug into a vehicle’s onboard diagnostic port―allows for a quick check of customer profiles, vehicle service history and required maintenance.
“We’re in the middle of Silicon Valley, so we’ve got a lot of technologically driven customers, and they really enjoy that,” says Rodgers, currently in his 14th year at the shop.
3. Efficient Layout
Nearly two years ago, the San Jose dealership’s service department was remodeled. The renovation, which included a facelift for Normandin’s service offices, left the shop floor laid out in a supremely efficient fashion. Technicians, advisors and the paint department all work in close proximity to each other on a shop floor that’s laid out in a manner that allows customers to see who’s working on their vehicle.
Rodgers succinctly describes the setup as “convenient; when you literally walk a few steps, you’re in the shop talking to a technician.”
4. Life in the Fast Lane
On a recent weekday morning, Normandin’s service center consistently had around 16 customers lined up for express lane maintenance. And that kind of business isn’t unusual, says Rodgers, who also notes that his staff openly embraces large car counts.
“In the midst of chaos, it’s a well oiled machine,” Rodgers says of the motivated service department staff at Normandin, which currently boasts a 93 percent employee retention rate. “I come in at 6:30 in the morning and everyone’s rocking and rolling, [like] ‘Let’s go!’”