As COVID19 continues to move across the country, our industry is going to be faced with some very unique challenges and opportunities. At NEXERA, our team has been focusing on ways our customers can maximize opportunities that exist in an effort to successfully navigate through the current crisis situation.
First and foremost, communication with your customer base will be critical. Every dealer is going to have different abilities based on the requirements of local government and the types of accounts you are working with. Dealers with a large base of hospital or medical field clients may find themselves deemed as essential services. This could allow your company to function close to normal even though your area may be under a shelter at home order. If you are unsure, check with your local officials and communicate your abilities to your customer base.
Needless to say, we are hearing from dealers across the country that call volume is dropping. The challenge is how to keep employees busy at times when the call load is low. Take advantage of this time to invest in the additional training for your Technicians. Review your technicians’ current certifications and make a list of who is eligible for training and what models they need training on, it is a great time to get everyone certified. Additionally, you can invest time in cross training technicians on problem models. A good resource for identifying cross training opportunities is the ‘Top Techs’ report in NEXERA.
Many dealers always have equipment in the warehouse that requires attention. These could be machines that are being cannibalized for usable parts, machines that need to be tagged and cataloged for return to leasing companies, or new machines that have had parts removed to take care of a customer that now need to be re-assembled. Take advantage of down time to address this equipment.
This is also a great time to go through your demo room(s) to ensure that everything is working correctly. Not only the hardware, but also the network functions. On the subject of I.T., have your team look at your internal network. Are there changes, enhancements, or updates that need to be completed?
For your admin team this would be a great opportunity to go through your ERP. Are there old equipment records that should be cleaned out? Review contracts to ensure everything is set up and billing correctly.
In the parts room utilize the AIM (Advanced Inventory Management) in NEXERA. Look at parts inventory aging. Organize old parts, catalog and sort out items no longer viable to your company. These are items that OEM Connect may have an interest in buying.
What to do if your company is essentially being shut down due to shelter at home mandates? Some of the previous suggestions are only viable if you can in fact have your staff continue to come in. If everyone is forced to work from home many of these same things can still be completed remotely. Ensure the necessary staff members are set up with remote access to your system and they can continue to evaluate and clean up your ERP.
The NEXERA website is also available to anyone that has a login at home. Your Service Manager and Parts room personnel can still evaluate the warehouse stock and formulate that list of old parts and supplies to purge when they get back into the office. This is an excellent time for Service Management to take a deep dive into NEXERA’s performance data.
Utilize Acuity to do a deep level analysis of each technician. What are they good at, where do they have struggles? Document these into the system through Acuity. We will store all of these notes and ideas for you.
Is it time to take a fresh look at territory assignments? Territory Integrity in Acuity will help you determine that. Get territories updated and again NEXERA will retain those changes until you can access your ERP to update.
What does your Hold for Part percentage look like? If too high, let’s take the time to revisit and adjust carstocks. It may be that only certain techs need reviewing or it could be the whole team. Assess each technician’s hold for part percentage to make that determination, then use AIM to adjust those carstock levels.
Finally, use the data in Dealer Stats to analyze equipment and accounts. Identify individual machines or customers that are having excessive service activity and service cost. These are devices you will want to target once things return to normal.
Please understand the entire support staff at NEXERA is working and available to help you with many of the things discussed. This can be a great opportunity to position your company for success once the work environment returns to normal operations.