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3 Companies That Excel at Efficiency: Does Your Dealership Compare?

Article Highlights:

  • Efficiency is finding ways to do things faster.
  • Dealerships are not your only competition now.

When dealers talk about their competition, they’re almost always referring to other dealerships in their area.

20 years ago, it was largely true.

Car buyers judged dealerships against each other. If one dealership was friendlier, or cleaner, or had better prices, that’s where they’d go.

Today, consumer expectations are being shaped by companies outside the dealership business.

Dealerships are not your only competition anymore. Now you must also compete against some of the best retail organizations in the world.

These are organizations that excel in three primary dimensions:

  • Efficiency
  • Effectiveness
  • Consumer Engagement

For today, let’s focus on the first one—efficiency—and the companies that have figured out how to do things significantly faster than their competition.

Efficient Company #1: FedEx

FedEx delivers packages all over the world—even overnight if that’s what you need.

How can it offer such speed combined with global reach? Through advanced technology.

At its global hub in Memphis, the company receives, sorts, and delivers 2.2 million packages every night, and almost all of the sorting is done automatically (You can see it in action in the company’s two-minute “Super Hub” video).

Efficient Company #2: National Car Rental

Renting a car used to be about as enjoyable as a trip to the DMV. Long lines, difficult to understand options, less-than-friendly customer service.

Now however, I breeze past the counter, walk straight to a row of cars with keys already inside, choose the one I want, and I’m on my way.

FedEx has invested heavily on internal efficiency, but National Car Rental’s efficiency improvements have centered around the consumer’s experience.

It’s a fantastic process and is usually quicker than if I had my own car parked at the airport waiting for me.

Efficient Company #3: McDonald’s

I know McDonald’s might not be the tastiest food you’ve ever eaten. But beyond the quality of the food, think for a moment about how McDonald’s actually works.

Anywhere in the world, you can walk into a McDonald’s and walk out in a matter of minutes with a Big Mac and fries. Whatever city you’re in, on whatever continent, it always tastes the same, and it will take about 60 seconds.

McDonalds achieves this level of consistency because they’ve spent years refining the exact movements that go into receiving, making, and delivering their food. Even the software they use to take your order is meticulously examined, tested, and adjusted.

If you were to change the ordering process at McDonalds to remove five keystrokes, you’d be a hero, because the company understands the value of time in motion, and the savings it can deliver.

How efficient is your dealership?

Efficiency is not a trivial matter. In a world where new cars are becoming a commodity, gross profits are vanishing, and scrutiny is increasing on your F&I department, you will have to find ways to become more efficient.

On a scale of 1 to 10, FedEx, National Car Rental, and McDonalds are in the 9s and 10s.

What about you? If we rated your dealership on a scale of 1 to 10, where would you fall?

If you’re planning to visit the NADA convention, I’d love to show you what Reynolds is doing to help dealers improve efficiency in ways you might never have thought were possible. Just stop by the Reynolds booth and ask for me, Keith Hill.

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Former Vice President of Sales, Reynolds and Reynolds

Keith Hill is the former vice president of Sales for Reynolds and Reynolds, leading the U.S. Systems Sales organization. During a 16-year career at Reynolds, Hill has gained a breadth of industry and dealership experience, having served in service, training, and sales leadership roles for Reynolds.

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