Overview

Kia Motors America significantly improves field operations productivity by reducing time spent preparing for a dealer contact meeting by more than 60%.

Kia Motors America (KMA) is one of the leading automotive brands offering a wide range of vehicles sold through a network of nearly 800 dealers in the U.S. The company employs several District Managers (both in Sales and After-Sales operations) working with about 12-18 dealerships each to support dealer performance and the company performance. An in-person contact meeting held at a dealership is an integral part of this process along with effective documentation of the meeting.

Challenges

The previous system used for contact meetings at KMA was very limited and did not help the District Managers document meetings effectively. It also used to take a significant amount of time for DMs to prepare for their meetings – reviewing dealer performance, checking prior discussions and scheduling their calendar. Typically, it would take nearly 2 hours for a District Manager to prepare for each meeting.

Furthermore, documenting the meeting was also very cumbersome and consumed significant amount of time. It was also difficult for the regional management to review meetings and control the process.

Implementing a Solution

  • Expedites the execution of corporate and field initiatives
  • Significantly reduces the time field managers spend preparing for dealer visits
  • Helps field managers become a consultant / coach to their dealers
  • Enhances decision making and strategic planning to increase dealership profitability
  • KMA and Optimum Info teamed up to implement a one-stop and integrated system to help district managers prepare for their visits, schedule appointments, complete contact reports and generate and track very specific activities that need to be carried out.
  • KMA wanted a system which would provide accurate and defendable data on dealer performance. The tool would help their field staff be consultants to their dealers.
  • KMA implemented the full range of Optimum’s Dealer Contact System features; Contact Report Management, Action Items, Field Assignments, Dealer Assessments, Fixed Operations Business Planning, and Management Reports.
  • The collaborative nature between KMA and Optimum during development was key to both organizations’ success. Optimum was directly involved with the creation which expedited the implementation and resulted in a better application. The result was more than just a contact reporting system; it was a comprehensive management tool to drive dealer performance improvements.
  • The Contact System helped the field organization effectively manage the complete contact report process. Through the system, field managers planned their dealer visits. This involved reviewing dealership performance, defining agendas, scheduling meetings, and sending meeting invitations to dealer personnel.
  • The system created a structure to facilitate meeting discussions around specific topics which were aligned with KMA strategic objectives. Field managers analyzed dealership performance, reviewed company initiatives, and created plans for improvement.
  • Meeting details were recorded in an easy and organized manner. The system notified all concerned (internal KMA and dealer personnel) with the key results of the contact meeting along with the contact report itself.
  • Action Items were part of the contact reports. They were used to help dealers set goals and track their performance. Field Assignments were used to communicate tasks, corporate initiatives, and network programs. Dealer Assessments were used to survey dealership processes in specific operational areas.

Results & Benefits

Preparation for a contact meeting used to take 1.5 hours and now it is down to 30 minutes by using the system.
  • The system enables District Sales Managers and District Parts Sales Managers to be more efficient, and dealer meetings to be more productive and professional.
  • Field operations business planning use to take 1 to 2 hours and now takes less than 30 minutes.
  • Within two months of launch of system, KMA had 90% compliance; at least one contact report was written for every dealer. This level of activity has continued for over three years. The contact report documentation provides KMA an accurate picture of every dealer’s performance and helps dealers improve their performance, which assists KMA in strengthening its dealer body.

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