I am on a plane headed back to Phoenix after working with Darin Wade, John Fachko, Joe Watts and many other automotive professionals at the new Power Ford of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Words cannot describe the excitement of seeing a good friend and respected colleague like Darin Wade actually go from being one of the best General Managers in the business to an honest to goodness DEALER PRINCIPAL!
However, after just 48 hours at his new dealership, interviewing employees non stop, I can sincerely say that Darin and his crew have a lot of work to do… Of course, if the former Bob Turner Ford Country dealership had been kept up to date in process and tools, Darin probably would not have had the opportunity to buy it. The store is as if you took a time machine to 1999 and plucked a new Ford dealership and transported the facility and people to 2012… It looks brand new because the facility was taken care of, but one example of the store’s frozen in time status is that their limited internet access is of dial up bandwidth, unable to load images, video or animation. Sales peoe have no access to FMCdealer.com tools and apps because there are no PC’s for them and the phone system is a 1980’s style PBX with those quaint biz phones with lots of push buttons like you see in movies set in the 70s and 80’s.
The three best thing I found while assessing Power Ford’s situation from a BDC implementation perspective were:
1. PEOPLE – Power Ford has a surplus of friendly, eager to learn and committed to the team’s success people on board. Rather than the usual anxiety I see in a store shortly after a new owner buys it, these auto pros are looking forward to new and vibrant leadership and they WANT the dealership to succeed!
2. CRM System – the dealership has a Reynolds ERA system and installed Contact Management from Reynolds and Reynolds. Everybody has an opinion, an mine is that there is no better combination of DMS and CRM system for a dealership to use as a foundation for Digital Marketing and Business Development success than ERA and Contact Management. After more 11 years of being deployed to over 3,000 dealers, CM has a robust set of automation, configurable schedules and work flow process triggers, combined the most robust DMS integration in the industry to be so far ahead of anything else in the market as to represent a competitive advantage IF CONFIGURED AND USED PROPERLY.
3. FACILITY and LOCATION – a huge corner property at Montano and Renaissance just off the I25 Interstate in the affluent and fast growing north west part of ABQ, the facility is the larger version of the Ford 2000 design motif with plenty of display space and many thousands of square feet for operations. The meeting room looks like a Stanford University lecture hall for 120 people. I may try to convince Darin to let ADM hold dealer training seminars in his learning center, it is that nice! we even found an ideal location for the new BDC.
Visit Power Ford online at http://PowerFordNM.com.
[Sent from Ralph Paglia’s iPhone]