Fixed Ops Journal - December 2020 - F4

FIXED OPS JOURNAL

CRISIS MANAGEMENT

Service leaders do whatever it takes to get staff through pandemic

DAN
SHINE

dan.shine@crain.com
Fixed Ops Journal
editor

I

n the early weeks of the pandemic,
Becca Kroeger was desperate to
instill some positive vibes in her
service department at Universal
Nissan in Orlando. Business was
down. Some of her colleagues took 12-week
leaves to care for loved ones. A few at the
dealership even tested positive for

COVID-19.
Kroeger, Universal's service manager, gathered her staff every
morning and had them bring up good things that happened the day
before. She also ordered lunch for everyone and treated them to baked
goods. When the mood dipped again, she resorted to something she
admits was silly.
" I went out and bought this huge amount of smiley face helium
balloons and placed one in every adviser's office, one at the parts
counter. We have a cafe here at our dealership, so we put them there, "

PAGE 4

DECEMBER 2020

Kroeger says. " I bought a helium replacement [tank], and for the month
and a half when things were really rough, we kept the smiley faces
going. It just reminded everybody to smile. "
Kroeger's efforts to support her staff were just some of many
examples I heard about when I moderated the Oct. 15 Fixed Ops
Journal Forum panel. Kroeger - along with Francisco Mora, service
manager at Esserman International VW; Danielle Rodriguez, service
manager at Audi Nashua; and Mark Williamson, service director at
Love Chevrolet - talked about operating a service department during
a pandemic. Much of
the discussion was
about new tactics and
processes to cope
with the drop in
business.
But what struck me
was the passion and
dedication they had
for their staff and the
lengths they would go
to keep the service
lane open and
operating. They all
wore multiple hats -
cashier, porter, parts runner.
Mora saw a nice plastic protective barrier at a fast-food restaurant,
asked the manager about the design and had similar ones made for his
staff. Before his store had a sanitizing fogger, Williamson made one out
of spare parts to clean vehicles, offices and service bays. And Rodriguez
helped create a new " touchless " digital environment in the service
department to make customers feel comfortable.
Their hard work and determination paid off. Despite some tough
times early on, business has been steadily increasing.
Kroeger - after tending to food and balloons during the day -
finished up each night by sanitizing the service department.
" I went in and I just disinfected every adviser's office. I went to the
back and disinfected the technicians' workstations. I sprayed
everything, and I just did it myself because then I knew it was done, " she
says. " I felt safe. Because again, my focus day in and day out was to keep
people safe so that we can stay open. "
Just one of many examples of service managers showing leadership
during a crisis.



Fixed Ops Journal - December 2020

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

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