Continuous Improvement Team (CIT) - I have seen many dealerships in the United States with CIT teams and a lot of dealerships without CIT teams. I must admit there is dealerships that also have CIT teams and not utilized to the fullest potential.
Structure on building a CIT team:
It takes details and planning to build a successful CIT team. You must first start by picking your strongest employee from each one of your departments as one of your group members. Your leader of your CIT has to be the strongest leader in your dealership and strives on details.
Now, that you have decided on your team members. You need to decide on what day of the week you will hold your meetings and designate a time of the day. Make sure each meeting is not longer than one hour.
Your first meeting with your team should cover the areas that need immediate attention in each department. Next, you need to do as a team is to create an action plan for each department with a completion date. Make sure you have one member (recorder) designated to take notes. Walk your dealership with your CIT team and take pictures and write down notes during the tour. After your walk-around go back to your meeting room and create a list of your areas to be improved and save your pictures along with your notes. Remember, A CIT team is not for just fixing the appearance in your dealership, it's purpose is to have a team to reassure policy and procedures are set in each department. After one month it's fun to look back and compare to see your biggest improvements and how your team has accomplished them. A waiting room is not just a room to shove a customer into until you are ready for them. A waiting room is a great opportunity for service and sales to build rapport with their dealership customers. Always praise your support staff and make sure your dealership has a monthly newsletter and have a section just for your CIT team results. Your team members must take their role very seriously. A successful CIT team will create profits, organization within your dealership, and most of all departments learn to work together and the end results is; your customers will receive outstanding service that keeps your customers returning. Variables and Fixed Operations need to be as one. I don't know a better way to create outstanding CSI scores, develop to great environment to work at, and retention. You customers sure will notice the difference.
Does your dealership have a CIT team? Share your success stories. If not, share your opinions.