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Career Story: Parts And Service Manager For A Large Car Dealership

Parts And Service Manager For A Large Car Dealership

Job Title: Automotive Management

Type of Company: My company is the 10th largest auto dealership in the country

Education: BA, History, Ithaca College

Previous Experience: I got into the business by accident, really, starting with a summer job.

Job Tasks: I manage the service and parts department for a new car dealership, a job that puts me in contact with service customers, new car buyers and our sales force. I also manage the mechanics and the parts people and take care of the buildings and grounds maintenance. In this respect, at least, I'm the "go-to" guy for the entire operation.

As parts manager, my duties involve the tracking of all inventory: not just the parts in the parts department, but all the new and used cars on the lot. I'm responsible for getting our mechanics properly certified and trained and, because the manufacturer rates the dealership on customer satisfaction, I have to make sure that customer satisfaction stays high. (We're rated on it monthly.)

There's so much more that goes into the job. More than anything, though, it requires you to be organized, to work at two or three things at a time. You've got to be resilient as well. Nothing's ever perfect. Systems and communications break down, and you do the best you can, dealing with every issue as it arises. You have to keep in mind that tomorrow is another day.

When it comes to managing people: remember, if you have to reprimand someone, to do it in private. Don't embarrass an employee in front of others. Be fair to them and take an interest in their lives outside of business.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: Stresses are numerous: there's snow removal; making your revenue goals and your monthly customer service objectives. Dealing with unruly customers is much more common than you'd think. Retail hours are long and working nights and Saturdays comes with the territory. Management can be unrealistic, setting revenue and satisfaction score goals much too high.

Job Tips:
1.) Get all the training you can. Knowledge is power!!!

2.) Dress for success.

3.) Take any position you're offered. Turn-over happens and promoting from within is commonplace.

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