When a Tucson car dealership was looking to improve its productivity, M5 Management Services was able to increase its productivity hours by more than 30 percent.
David Dietrich, the vice president of M5 Management, said productivity at Tucson Subaru went from 780 hours a month to 1,200 hours per month.
"What that means is we’re able to satisfy a lot more clients and be able to get the work in and out a lot more quickly," Dietrich said in an interview with Mega Dealer News. "As a company, what we do is we look for any way that we can improve the number of guests that we can take care of and how quickly we can get the vehicles back to them."
As they prepare to embartk on a national project with Subaru, Dietrich said M5's average store improves its customer satisfaction and total production by more than 30 percent.
"That’s a big thing in this day when you’re selling a lot more cars and we have a lot more guests," Dietrich said. "There is a relative shortage of technicians, so it’s a matter of getting as much from a technician as you possibly can by improving your efficiencies and giving them training, the way the shop is organized and how it’s managed. That’s what we do."
Lee Harkins, president and CEO of M5 Management, said the company does fixed operations and consulting.
"Basically what we do is help dealerships improve customer retention and net profit," Harkins said in an interview with Mega Dealer News. "The only product we sell is their improvement. We help in all aspects of fixed operations shy of technical training. That includes sales, production, quality control and customer relations."
Harkins said a lot of dealerships have absolutely zero plan for growth.
"What they do every day is show up and run around like cockroaches," Harkins said. "They hit the door and just start running. What we do is we organize for them. We help them develop a growth plan — how to grow their business. Most of them don’t have a plan; the plan is just to survive the day. Ours is to help them grow their business."
M5 works for several car manufacturers, including General Motors, Chrysler, Ford, Subaru, Volvo and Toyota.
"We will go and do a workshop and there will be 50 people in the workshop," Harkins said. "Of those 50 people in the workshop, they may represent 65 stores. They pay to come to the training, but they’re not paying us. They’re paying the manufacturer."
Harkins said because of that, it's hard to say how many clients M5 actually has.
"If I had to guess I’d say about 4,000 that we have touched," Harkins said. "The bulk of our business is done in dealerships. We will go in and recognized areas of opportunity and design a customized plan to improve those areas and then we help them get there."
Harkins said the average return on investment within the first 12 months working with M5 is somewhere between 6.5 to 8.5 times the return on investment.