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Why is Process Mapping an Important Part of the MICD Program?

Wednesday, August 26, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Lindsey Johnson
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All great businesses start with a plan. Plans help keep things running smoothly and ensure that proper procedures are followed and executed each and every time, so customers always have a repeatable, positive experience. It’s important for MICDs to not only create process maps, as is required for program participation, but also continuously refine them over time. Here’s a look at why sales, service and parts process mapping is necessary and how your dealership can easily implement them.

Sales Process Mapping: Every dealership customer wants to feel as though he or she is your one and only customer; and delivering on that desire means being able to provide each person with individualized attention that’s only possible through an organized, structured plan of attack.

Developing a mapped sales process ensures that every customer that walks through your dealership door has the same quality experience, each and every time. Having processes in place to greet customers as they enter the dealership, educate them on your products and services and show them the proper use, and inspect boats and engines prior to customers taking delivery all help leave the customer with a positive impression of your business.

If customers feel they are respected and well treated and that the products they purchase from your dealership are top-notch and easy to operate, then the chance of retaining this customer remains high. Satisfied customers mean repeat business and great word-of-mouth marketing to other potential customers — an unbeatable endorsement in today’s crowded retail marketplace.

Service Process Mapping: No boat or engine is going to remain problem-free forever. And when issues arise, it’s paramount that your dealership be able to respond to customer needs for repair in a timely, organized and professional manner. Often, a customer’s service department experience can make or break their opinion or your dealership and color their desire to do business with you in the future.

Developing a mapped service process ensures that customers get their boats fixed on time, every time. By establishing set procedures to conduct repair work, technicians know what they are supposed to be doing and when, and this helps customers get back on the water faster. The service process map ensures that there are enough factory-trained, qualified technicians on staff at the dealership, and that they have access to all the parts, tools and equipment they need to repair boas quickly and deliver and outstanding experience for the customer.

Parts Process Mapping: When a boat comes into the dealership for repair, you often don’t know what parts are necessary to fix the problem until diagnostic tests and checks are performed. Once you know what you need, however, the key to getting your customer’s boat fixed and back up and running again is the availability and accessibility of the appropriate parts to make the repairs.

Developing a mapped parts process helps your dealership keep track of all the parts it currently has in inventory, so technicians know what’s in stock at all times when customers come in for repairs. This keeps repair work moving at a steady pace, so you can get boats fixed quickly and get customer back on the water as soon as possible. Having a mapped parts process in place also helps you track and ultimately prevent parts obsolescence. It allows you to know what parts you need — and which you don’t — so you can save space and money for the most important parts on the shelf and refine your ordering process to avoid unnecessary items that sit around, unused, for months or years at a time.

This year’s MDCE will feature a Pre-Conference Workshop dedicated to teaching dealers the art of process mapping, which is highly recommended for Certified Dealers. Called "X Marks the Spot,” the session, hosted by MICD lead consultant Paul Weaver Nov. 16 from 9:45-11:15 a.m. ET, provides step-by-step instructions on how to create a custom process map to improve any department in your business. MICDs can register to attend MDCE 2015 (and the workshop) by clicking here.

To get started on the path to becoming Certified or to renew your Certified status, visit MRAATraining.com/Certifications, or contact MICD Program director Sonja Moseley at 763-333-2424 or sonja@mraa.com.