Improve—By the Numbers

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To improve your business, you first need to have a solid understanding of where it’s at. That means you need to have a handle on the metrics that drive your business—the key performance indicators (KPIs).  

And those numbers go well beyond sales. They include profit margins, average repair order, customer satisfaction percentages, technician efficiency and productivity, among many others. They are the numbers that, when tracked and evaluated properly, provide a snapshot of your operation’s performance and indicate where you can or need to improve.

That phrase “evaluated properly” is key, though. It’s not enough to simply track your numbers or give them a cursory glance. You need to be able to make business decisions based off those numbers—good or bad. Do you know what to do if technician productivity is low that month? What about if gross profit is suddenly high for a quarter?

Those questions are exactly what this month’s main feature, “Making the Grade,” aims to answer. Associate editor Tess Collins spoke with some of the industry’s top directors and consultants to determine what every fixed ops employee needs to know about tracking, calculating and evaluating KPIs for their departments.  

The reason this is so crucial is simple: Study after study has shown that there’s a clear correlation between KPI tracking and business success. Simply put, the dealerships that know their numbers tend to be more profitable.  

This should come as no surprise, but in an industry where fixed ops can still be seen as the red-headed stepchild, it’s an important message for all operators. As the work of repairing vehicles continues to grow more complex, as the cost of doing business increases, as customer expectations grow, the dealerships that do not understand the fundamental numbers that shape their businesses will fall behind.  


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