April '20

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22 • RV PRO • April 2020 rv-pro.com RV P R O LEG ACY S P EC IAL S ECTI O N By Duane & John Spader Duane Spader is the founder of Spader Business Management, a Sioux Falls, S.D.-based dealership management and consulting firm. John Spader is the president of Spader Business Management. For more information about the company, visit https://spader.com. Editor's note: This guest column from Duane Spader originally appeared in the very first issue of RV PRO, in April 2005. RV PRO is reprinting the column in its 15th anniversary issue in recognition of its timeless advice – along with a special addendum from John Spader, who succeeded his father as president of the company in 2003. A common mistake made in many industries where service skills are required is to take the business's best technician and promote that person to service manager. This was the case at one dealership we visited, where the owner, "Jack," was about to promote his best tech to service manager. We advised against it. As we walked into the dealership, a young woman with the name of "Ginny" on her employee badge was leaving Jack's office. She was carrying a stack of work orders and was headed for the service department. The look of uncertainty on Jack's face was unmistakable. After a few minutes of casual conversa- tion, Jack mentioned that he was unsure about employing Ginny as a service writer. He admitted that it was too soon to measure her effectiveness because she had just started. However, he already had some misgivings. Customers seemed hesitant to visit with Ginny about their service needs. The techs resisted supporting someone who assigned their work but had no technical or mechan- ical skills. The Chain of Command Jack also was unclear about who should be her boss – should she report to Bill the foreman? Certainly Jack wouldn't have time There's no one the service writer doesn't interact with, from accounting to sales to parts to retail customers; they are the hub of the dealership. At times, it can be one of the most thankless jobs, but it also can be one of the most critical jobs, allowing everyone else to excel and keeping the dealership running smoothly. The role of the service writer in particular is often not properly developed. Defining Job Roles Crucial for RV Dealership Success

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