Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F11

COVER STORY

Helping dealerships to build their own teams

D

ealers with express lanes have found
they can spend less time trying to
lure technicians from other stores
if they grow their own talent.
"We don't want the express team to just be
the express team. We want it to be a launching
point for their automotive career," says Mike
Lupoi, general manager at Button ChryslerDodge-Jeep-Ram in Kokomo, Ind. "We've had
express team members go to being service advisers, technicians, parts department personnel and salespeople."
Recruiting for the express lane can be difficult. Techs get dirty, and much of the work,
such as rotating tires, is physical. Working in
express is near the bottom rung on a long ladder of careers at a dealership.
Starting techs at more than minimum wage

or promising quick raises for new hires who
show promise are two ways to overcome some
of the negative aspects of the job.
When Button's fixed operations director, Joe
Ealy, is interviewing potential express lane
techs, he looks for candidates who want more
than a job.
"It's hard to describe the 'it' factor, but you
can feel it in the room if they are looking for a
job or if they are looking for a career," he says.
Mike Bowe, director of aftersales programs
for MSX International, says dealerships like
Button are doing exactly the right thing by
conveying to potential express techs that their
time there should be temporary.
"Dealers can start their own farm team,"
Bowe says. "Every time they need somebody,
they just go down to AAA and pull someone

gredients for successfully running an express
lane long term include constant training,
planning for and managing turnover and,
more importantly, ensuring that techs follow
the store's process on every job. Without
these, he says, express service breaks down.
MSX, which has installed its express service
system in about 4,000 U.S. new-vehicle dealerships, frequently returns to the stores to assist with training to combat what Bowe calls
"express service fatigue."

'Does this ever end?'

Mullinax Ford in Lake Park, Fla., opened its
Quick Lane, top, on Oct. 1. Daniel Andrade
hustles to rotate tires on a Super Duty pickup,
above. Strict adherence to the process is key
to completing an express job on time.

Dealers and automakers will say, "I spent all
this money to get my express service installed,
and it worked great, but then a year later, it isn't
working so great," Bowe says. "That's because
no one is left who was originally trained. Some
of the dealers wonder, 'Does this ever end?' "
Bowe advises dealers running express lanes
to constantly monitor how they are operating
and plan for turnover.
"That means either assigning someone
who's been with the store for 15 or 20 years in
the service department to be the mentor and
trainer for new techs," he says. "Dealerships
that do well with express, this is one of the
things they do. They know turnover is going to
happen."
Purtle, the Arizona service manager, follows
Bowe's advice. "I have one gentleman who
works in express who is in his 50s," Purtle says.
"That's what he wants to do. He's the leader, and
he makes good money. He takes control of the
kids; they respect him; they listen and learn."
Perhaps the key ingredient that makes an
express lane successful, experts say, is when

up to the big leagues."
Graduates from Button's express lane have
demonstrated they understand they are part
of a larger team; they put customers first; and
they rigidly follow the store's processes, Lupoi
says.
When you join the Button team, Lupoi says,
"You are not just getting a job, you are getting
a career in our organization.
"We are going to help you get to the next
level," he says. "I personally believe that it is
things like that, plus managers spending
time with all of the employees and staying
actively engaged, that creates a natural desire to do a great job, perform and provide a
great service to the customers, both internal
and external."
- Richard Truett

Rules to follow

Recommendations for express service
standards:
 Commit to a time goal. Under an
hour is recommended.
 Have the dealer principal review
express service regularly.
 Only offer services included in the
owner's manual recommended
maintenance.
 Accept appointments if the
customer would like one, but don't
require them.
 Have a service adviser dedicated to
express customers to ensure all
duties are handled expeditiously.
 Complete the inspection and
present it to the customer early in the
visit to allow more time for them to
purchase additional items.
 Have the service adviser walk every
customer to their vehicle, thank them
and remind them how long till their
next service visit.
 Store fast-moving parts in the
express bay so technicians don't wait
in the parts department line.
Source: MSX International

see EXPRESS, Page 12

OCTOBER 2020

PAGE 11



Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020

Contents
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - Intro
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F1
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F2
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - Contents
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F4
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F5
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F6
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F7
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F8
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F9
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F10
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F11
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F12
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F13
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F14
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F15
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F16
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F17
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F18
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F19
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F20
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F21
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F22
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F23
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F24
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F25
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F26
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F27
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F28
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