Plans Lead To Quality

We have spent the last several posts learning about creating a plan and taking action. As you can see, it is a process that takes thought, time, effort, commitment and passion. The better plan you make and the closer attention you pay to the results of your actions, the more precise you adjustments will be and the better your results.

How does this plan making process work for us in the automotive industry? Is this something you can use as you build your career? The answer is… most definitely. In fact, I believe the elite in our industry (as well as any industry) are those men and women who put in the thought, time, effort, commitment and passion to build a plan and work their plan.

Most people will not go through this process. Most people want their job to just happen. They just want to show up and do. Those who Pursue Great!, understand that this kind of activity – making a plan, requires spending off-the-job time, away from distractions, to think and create. They review the day’s activities at night and examine what happened throughout the day so they can make the necessary adjustments and reinforce the successes.

Maybe thinking about it this way will help. Hundreds of thousands of people attend colleges and universities while holding down jobs. Some even take a full load of classes and work full time jobs. They are learning and studying for their career. They are learning the institution’s “plan” for how they should do their job. They invest many hours building the plan they are going to implement. Often this learning continues after they begin their career. They attend continuing education.

Let’s look at some job positions at a dealership. What areas are there that we could apply this plan making process to?

Here are a few suggestions:
Cashier – Interaction with customer, accuracy of paperwork, coordination of paperwork-keys-parts
Wash attendant – cleaning – interior, exterior, wheels, quality check, parking
Technician – Interaction with consultants, organization of tools, how repair information is obtained, test drive route(s), paperwork preparation
Consultant – Preparation for appointments, customer check-in , sales presentation, quality check of repair
Parts consultant – Accuracy of ordering, sales presentation, inventory control, interaction with customers – internal and external
Receptionist – Answering the phone, ring-backs, messaging, face-to-face assistance
Sales – Sales presentation, delivery, road test, negotiation, follow-up

There are many more areas of our daily responsibilities for which plans should be made. We all do many, many things. Remember, without planning what we do is simply haphazard a “fly by the seat of our pants” type work.

This all ties back to our fifth pillar. The fifth pillar is Attention To The Details. Without good, solid plans it is difficult if not impossible to pay attention to details. This is because there are too many details to our jobs to be able to keep track of them haphazardly.

There is no way to produce a consistent product, (your product is what you produce, what role you play and what you contribute to the overall organization), without a plan. Without a plan, you have nothing as a standard for which you can evaluate your own work. You really have no way of knowing whether you succeeded or failed. The plan you created becomes your roadmap, but also your standard of performance.

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