The walls between sales and service at dealerships can be both physical and metaphorical. Brad Wise, general manager of Ferman Chevrolet and Ferman Mazda in Tampa, Fla., has recognized the divide.
A barrier between the people working in sales and service is common at a lot of dealerships, Wise said. He describes it thusly: Salespeople can sometimes be "all over the place," while the service department operates more "by the books."
Those two dynamics can "sometimes breed some tension," Wise said.
To help unify the departments, Wise about a year ago launched weekly fixed operations meetings that bring in personnel from other departments, namely sales and finance and insurance. Lessons have been learned.
"A lot of the sales guys didn't realize the amount of gross profits that's generated on the fixed side," Wise said.
Seeing that demonstrated in the meetings week to week got the attention of the people working on the other side of the business.
"Too many times, [sales] people just think, you know, what they do out there [in service] doesn't have an impact on their paycheck, which it does," Wise said. "Service advisers play a huge role in whether customers come back again for their next car."