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What makes a dealership employee great? Is it talent? Expertise? Politeness? Punctuality? Or something else?
Based on what we’ve learned from Dianne Donato, the Controller at Scott Motor Coach RV Center, located in Lakewood, New Jersey, it’s dedication. If an employee actually wants to work at your dealership, then they will strive to deliver great performance in every area of their job – and in turn, help you retain them.
Scott Motor Coach consists entirely of dedicated employees, many of whom have been there for multiple decades – and Donato is no exception. What’s their secret? We decided to ask Donato in person. Her answers turned out to be very insightful!
Find out what she had to say in our latest interview.
Dianne: “Scott Motor Coach has been in business for more than 35 years, and it’s currently owned and operated by one of its founders, Brad Scott.
I started working here as a receptionist right out of high school – around the time when the dealership was founded. I eventually moved on to clerical duties, then bookkeeping, and after that, I became an office manager. My current position is Controller and has been for many years.”
Dianne: “As a financial controller, I am responsible for preparing the monthly and annual financial statements, which include general reporting for all departments and budgeting. I am also the Human Resources Director, and I manage all office and administration functions.
For the last two years, I have assisted in designing a brand-new dealership from the ground up. It’s an exciting challenge working directly with the attorneys, architects, engineers, building officials and the general contractor coordinating this venture.”
Dianne: “We are a ‘well-run ship.’ I believe our success stems from the owner, who is very hands-on. He works side by side with the managers and the employees, most of whom have been with the company for years. We do not have a high turnover.
This consistency, I believe, allows us to grow and run a more efficient dealership.”
Dianne: “We’ve had it at least since 1998, so we’ve been a client with IDS for over 20 years.”
Dianne: “I think finding one that is fully integratable, and fortunately for us, IDS is such a system. We can access our numbers at any minute of any given day. Having that live, real-time information is very important to us.”
Dianne: “I would definitely say the full integration of all our departments, and the ability to do custom reports. I know IDS offers the key performance indicators, or KPIs, that you can have on your desktop. The owner and all the managers use that – they turn on their desktop in the morning and see a quick snapshot of what’s going on in all the departments.
The mobile integration is another one. It’s obviously where the future’s headed.”
Dianne: “We’re just starting now to get our service technicians to use the iPads with the software on them. Every technician brings an iPad to their station, which allows them to enter service notes and vehicle pictures.
The mobile app eliminates handwritten notes along with the need to retype them into the system. What’s nice is that, if a technician is making notes or comments, the sales manager or general manager can view them on a work order immediately. So, these notes are not sitting on the desk for a couple days, waiting for a service writer to input them.
It saves a tremendous amount of time.”
Dianne: “It helps structure our day. We come in and we run our till. The reporting system helps us account for all the deposits received by the dealership that day.
IDS also offers several reports. We run certain reports every week. For instance, in the case of rentals, we can track the rentals that are returned but not completed. So, I’m able to run that report – and then if my rental personnel hasn’t given me a rental that came back yesterday, that report would indicate such.
It allows our managers to run their department more efficiently.”
Dianne: “Aside from how well-integrated the system is overall, we really love ChargeItPro. And once again, it all comes down to integration. If someone swipes their credit card, it goes right into the customer’s deposit in the IDS system. This saves our personnel time on double entry and avoids mistakes.
We’ve had several different credit card processing companies through the years, and ChargeItPro is definitely the best fit for us, and integration is a huge part of that.
Also, whenever anybody logs in, their activity is monitored. That way, the owner or manager, can see who made each entry, who closed the deal and so on. This makes all our employees accountable.”
Dianne: “When I call in and press one, two, three or four, most of the time, I get a live person right off the bat. When I don’t, they usually call me back quickly.
Whether they solve an issue during my call or afterwards, they always follow up with an email that includes the case number and the outcome of that case. It’s great because they can keep me informed even after the business hours.”
Dianne: “We use IDS’ online training videos. Every time we have a new hire start, one of the first things we do is set them up with a computer and have them watch the videos. IDS offers videos for each department – such as parts, service, accounting and so on.
I also see IDS starting to do more regional training, which is great. We had several folks attend the training seminars in Florida. And I see there’s another one coming up this summer in Arizona. I really think these are key because you can learn about the new features that are coming out and you can even start networking with other RV dealers.”
Dianne: “Well, we will continue to grow our dealership. In fact, we’re already expanding our rental department, and we just went live a few months ago with the rental module.
We also signed up for the storage management feature since we have a storage facility in our new dealership. It will be great to have that integrate with the IDS accounting module.”
Dianne: “It allowed me to be more efficient and learn more about each department. For instance, I’ve learned so much about the service department, even though I don’t physically work in service.
Also, because of the integration of the software and the details in the reports, I have managed to learn more about service and all departments, including sales. IDS gives me the ability to run several different reports, allowing me to oversee all departments more effectively.”
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