The CDK Global Hack: How a Cyberattack Brought Auto Dealerships to a Standstill!

In a stark reminder of our increasing reliance on digital systems, auto dealerships across the United States found themselves in an unprecedented crisis when CDK Global, a major provider of dealership management software, fell victim to a significant cyberattack. This incident has sent shockwaves through the automotive retail industry, disrupting operations and highlighting the vulnerabilities in our interconnected digital ecosystem. Impact on Dealerships The fallout from this cyberattack has been severe and wide-reaching: Operational Paralysis: Many dealerships have been unable to process sales, access customer information, or manage inventory. This has effectively brought their operations to a standstill. Financial Losses: With systems down, dealerships are losing potential sales and struggling to complete transactions that were already in progress. Customer Service Disruptions: Unable to access customer data, dealerships are finding it challenging to provide basic services or h

Hold On to Your All Star Service Team to Keep Customers Coming Back!

As anyone in the auto industry knows, having an excellent service department is key to driving customer retention and revenue for any dealership. But building the right service team is only half the battle the other crucial component is keeping those talented employees long term. High turnover rates among service technicians, service advisors, and service managers can be an absolute killer for customer loyalty. Think about it from the customer's perspective: you've been taking your vehicle to the same dealership for years, working with the same friendly faces who know you and your car's history. But then your go to service advisor or technician leaves, and you have to start from square one with someone new.  Beyond just the personal relationships, constantly having to train new staff means a steady churn of  new employees working on customer vehicles. Tenured technicians have seen it all and can correctly diagnose and fix even the most obscure issues quickly. A revolving do

Automotive Technician Shortage - How To Handle This Current Situation

The automotive repair industry is facing a severe shortage of qualified technicians. As vehicles become more complex and the demand for maintenance and repairs increases, dealerships and independent shops are struggling to find enough experienced technicians. Dealerships and independent auto repair shops need to get creative in how they recruit, attract, retain, and promote automotive technicians. Strategies to use include data and analytics, investing in continued training, pay increases, retention bonuses, tool allowance, footwear allowance, and team building events. Implementing even a few of these initiatives can help set your shop apart. Offering competitive compensation and benefits shows technicians they are valued. Ongoing training and growth opportunities demonstrate an investment in their careers. And regular team building promotes morale and collaboration. With thoughtful effort and some creativity, shops can deal with the technician shortage better prepared. Taking a data d

Investing in Technicians Fuels Dealership Growth

As service managers, our mission is to cultivate an engaged, skilled team of automotive technicians who stay with us for the long haul. These techs drive productivity in the service department and help foster an exceptional repair experience for customers. But with the growing demand for auto techs nationwide, retaining these individuals takes a comprehensive strategy.  It starts with recruitment - making sure we attract promising entry level techs who we can then teach, mentor, and elevate within the company over time through an internal pipeline. Apprentice programs do just that, offering training and growth opportunities for new techs to progress their skills on the job. By demonstrating internal mobility and helping techs near their ASE certifications, we show technicians they can thrive here long term. This allows us to construct a service department interwoven with tenured technicians alongside newly onboarded talent, supporting continuity and knowledge transfer while driving pro

Retention, Are You Taking Care Of Your Team!

Employee retention is critical in any industry, but especially so in the fast-paced and competitive automotive repair and maintenance field. Highly skilled technicians are in high demand, and shops that fail to retain their best employees risk losing business to competitors with more stability in their workforce. As an automotive service manager, what can you do to improve technician retention? Here are some key strategies: Offer Competitive Compensation and Benefits One of the top reasons technicians leave a shop is to take a job that pays more. Do some research on pay rates in your area to ensure you are compensating technicians fairly based on experience and certifications. Regular pay raises and performance bonuses can also boost retention. Offering benefits like health insurance, retirement plans, and paid vacation time makes compensation even more attractive. Invest in Training and Development Technicians want to continuously expand their skills in order to take on more complex r

Do you work for a Reactive Company? If you do it may be time for a change!

I received a phone call from an employee who works for a company that does not have solid processes in place which creates the staff to be reactive in their decision making and the management team is worried about protecting their own ass and less worried about the long term effects this type of behavior will have on their employees and business.  As our conversation continued he expressed his concern about staying with the company because he felt his voice was not being heard and he felt in his capacity he could not effect change and felt as though his days are filled with feelings of working in a tornado and burning fire which changes by the hour.  Here is the conversation that took place: I've been working at my current company for about a year now, and I've noticed that the company is very reactive in its decision making. This means that they often make decisions based on what is happening in the moment, rather than planning ahead. This reactive approach to decision making

When Young Leaders Can't Lead, It Hurts The Flow Of The Team

Have you ever had a manager or leader that is younger than you and does not have a clue what they are doing but they use their "manager" title like a badge? One of the biggest challenges younger, less experienced managers face is not having the correct training to be in a leadership position. Most inexperienced leaders believe if they lead with a heavy hand that will scare employees into listening and resecting them, actually it is quite the contrary.   There are a number of reasons why younger inexperienced managers may not learn from experienced managers or feel management training is what they need to grow. Some of these reasons include: Pride: Younger managers may feel that they don't need to learn from more experienced managers because they think they already know everything. Fear of failure: Younger managers may be afraid to ask for help or advice from more experienced managers because they're afraid of being seen as incompetent. Lack of confidence: Younger mana