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3 Things the NFL and Your Fixed Ops Department Have in Common

Article Highlights:

  • Your processes can only move forward smoothly with essential preparation.
  • Communication between teammates is crucial to a team’s success.

It’s a brisk Sunday evening. You’re gathered around the big screen in the living room, ready for the championship game.

Your family is placing bets on just about anything you can think of: the final score of the game, how many songs are going to be performed during the halftime show, and what color Gatorade will be poured on the coach of the winning team.  This isn’t just any Sunday: it’s the day that millions wait for all year.

As you revel in this excitement, a thought crosses your mind, “What if I could spark this level of enthusiasm in my customers?” Imagine your dealership buzzing with the same energy fans show their favorite NFL team every season. It’s not as far-fetched as it might seem.

There are striking similarities between the NFL and your fixed ops department, and understanding them can be key to unlocking long term success in your service drive.


Always Be Prepared

Preparation is paramount when ensuring a smooth process and your team’s success, whether you’re a head coach or a service manager.

In the NFL, there are standards a team must follow; daily practices, learning the playbook, workouts, and watching film. All to ready themselves for what’s to come –  hopefully a chance to compete in the big game.

Like a head coach, a service manager needs to standardize processes so team members know what routes to run. Advisors and technicians must stay equipped with the right tools to perform their job at an elite level. There may not be a playbook, but there is a service manual to reference, when tasked with an unfamiliar job.


Score on Your Drive

With adequate preparation, you can explore how to score a touchdown and get some points on the board. It all starts with your greeter, the center who tees up the play for your service advisor, or in this case, your quarterback. From there, they hand off the ball to the technician (running back), who completes a multi-point inspection. A thorough inspection reveals an opportunity to gain some additional yards by recommending additional work.

After a successful process and little-to-no interference – thanks to quick, digital approvals – the team successfully scores a touchdown, sending the customer out the door satisfied and ready to return for future visits.


Avoid Penalties

In both settings, communication between teammates is crucial to a team’s success. When this communication fails, you run the risk of fumbling a task or calling an unclear play.

Another common penalty is a delay of game, which costs the offense yardage. This happens when there’s a long line of techs waiting for parts, causing the job to get delayed.

An incomplete pass is another common issue that hurts your team’s chances of making any additional profit. This happens when your technician finds additional work during the multipoint inspection, but your service advisor fails to make the upsell.


Keep Moving Forward

These setbacks put your team at a disadvantage, leading to the possibility of losing out on returning customers or additional profit opportunities. When these things occur at a dealership, it makes the customer experience more strenuous than it needs to be.

These two professions aren’t so different after all. Both require preparation and consistent processes with the goal of making the most of every opportunity and creating loyal fans. Put your team in a position to win every step of your service process to avoid throwing a Hail Mary.

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Product Planning, Reynolds and Reynolds

Jeff Adams is a Product Planning manager for Service applications at Reynolds and Reynolds.

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