Well, it’s official. Next week (column written at the end of March), we will have our third store. It’s a Ford store, roughly a mile down the street from our Chevy Store in Oklahoma. For the foreseeable future, I will be travelling back and forth every other week to figure out what we have and set up our procedures and policies. Although I have been in the store several times, I have not been able to assess any of the employee’s abilities or the overall health of their equipment until we received the go ahead from Ford.
Fortunately, our new store is using the same DMS we use. However, they have not evolved to the current version of the system. I just had to make a fast trip to our new store to complete the setup for the service manager and advisors because no one knew how I needed them to be set up. This is when I found out that they were not using the windows-based system like both of my other stores. Now, I am worried about having a smooth opening.
Since this is another Ford store, and the fact that it took several months to fix the Chevy stores accounting, labor types, and operation codes to mirror ours, we decided the best idea was to copy the main stores’ DMS accounting. I believed that it would be easier to teach them our systems and processes then trying to tailor theirs to fit what we want. This was before I realized they were not using the current version of the system.
Now, I have to rework my schedule to be at the new store a full day before we migrate their history and inventories into our DMS. Most of you are probably thinking that this should not be an issue. Unfortunately, for me it is Our go live date is April 4, which means I have a day and a half to complete all of the March end of month paperwork for the main store and the Chevy store before I head to Oklahoma. Normally, if I could just sit in my office and do paperwork, this would not be an issue. But, as with almost everything I try to plan, something always comes up.
This time, it is our construction. We finally got to the main building. Last weekend, we moved everyone out of the sales floor into temporary trailers so they could start demoing the main building. This created several challenges and decisions for me. With the remodel of the main building, we are losing our customer bathrooms, the parts counter and half of my parts storage space. And, with the addition of six mobile trailers on the lot, we lost about half of our customer parking area.
My parts department is in shambles. We had to move all of our inventory into half of the space and we still have not been able to put everything back on the shelves and into the cabinets. Right now, we are not even sure where we will be putting the cabinets or where we can create a temporary parts counter. The only thing I know for sure is that I am very lucky that I have the managers I do in Leavenworth. I know that in my absence, they will do everything it takes to help keep the store going in the right direction and help me with all the daily tasks that I will now not be able to address for weeks at a time.