Dealership Operations Reporting

As a retail automotive CFO I struggle with ways to get General Managers and Department Managers to take the time to read and digest important operating information. In the automobile dealership (as in most other businesses) it is not only what we report that is important, but how we report it. In the dealerships our management team needs to spend most of their time where the action is, not in their offices analyzing reports.

As retail automotive CFOs the end game is to influence our management team's performance through our strategic reporting of operating information.

Types of Operating Reports

Typically the operating reports we issue include the following types of information about an individual, team or store's performance:

Included in this list could be Accounting Related Reports but that is for another time. There are wonderful things we can do to make the review of accounting data (in the CDK dealership) more efficient (and more pleasant) which I will cover in subsequent blog posts.

Effective Reporting

In the past many of us have printed reports on paper and handed them out at meetings. Reports handed out at a meeting tend to have the same importance as the person calling the meeting (as long as they take ownership of the reports). Some meeting attendees will read the reports during the meeting, some will read them after the meeting and some won't read them at all. Currently, we seem to prepare the same reports but in order to save paper, we print them to PDF and email them around as attachments either before or after the meeting. In my experience, there are a few important points or "ifs" that drive whether or not a report will be reviewed and be effective:

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