Farm Equipment asked consultant Floyd Jerkins what specific advice he’d give a dealer on what to do in his first 100 days after inking a deal. To Jerkins, it’s about stabilization, integrating controls and processes, and addressing financial shortcomings.
- Ensure you get in front of their key people. “Generally, you start to lose people because of new owners and the fear over whether they’ll have a job. Ongoing communications can remove this concern,” he says. He advises putting your very best communicator on the leadership team in charge of communication, pointing out that competitors will recruit actively when they sense employees are scared.
- Keep the people you want. “It’s not about the role or job title as much as it is the people. It’s not always the store manager who gets it all done or keeps everything together. You might find that it’s someone else.”
- Deploy your way of doing business. “Acknowledge what the store may have been strong at, but then go into your business planning approach and processes.” He says it should include an explanation for how often numbers are reported, the how’s and why’s behind the process, the one chart of accounts and the organizational structure.
- Socialize the organization. “Get the camaraderie going. Remember, everyone was competing against each other before.” You want managers all in the same room and on the same page. Be prepared to spend time and money to integrate them into the process, he says.
- Get back to profitability. “If used equipment inventory was high and you had to buy it as part of the deal, what’s the plan for that inventory? You’ve got to get the new organization positioned for profitability right away. The old idea was to hold on and let problems work their way out. Spend a week analyzing and determine who needs to go and who needs to be replaced. They’re hard decisions, but you can’t wait to get back to profitability.”