In the best economy we’ve seen in a decade, why are rising core expense and lower profit becoming the new normal for so many contract furniture dealers? And how would an economic downturn impact the dealer who’s already experiencing these conditions?
More and more of the hundreds of dealerships we touch every year in the course of Solomon Coyle’s research and consulting work are trying to cope with this new normal. Some are digging their way out. Others are working smarter and harder to avoid it. It commands dealer principals’ attention and takes more and more of their time and energy.
Remaining Relevant as Customers Change
Complexity is the term we have come to attach to this situation. It’s verbal shorthand for the economic, technological, geopolitical and demographic shifts that are producing change at a blinding rate. For the disruption occurring virtually everywhere we look. For the dealer’s constant struggle to stay relevant to customers — organizations which themselves may be struggling to adapt to rapid-fire change on multiple fronts.
The situation demands a reliable coping mechanism because the crux of a dealer’s ability to survive and thrive is to stay relevant as customers change.
We believe a highly effective way to cope with this kind of complexity is to equip current and rising leaders with deep, cross-functional knowledge they can apply every day to promote high efficiency and help the dealership remain profitable and relevant. They need to see how the dealer business functions and makes money. They have to understand the process from end to end, inside and out.
For Today’s and Tomorrow’s Leaders
Instilling that end-to-end understanding of the dealer business process is the focus of Solomon Coyle’s Dealer Management Development Program, a targeted learning experience for management-level individuals who are leading — or preparing to lead — critical elements of their company. Through a series of 25 live, biweekly webinars, Dealer Management Development (DMD) equips them to understand the evolving complexity of the dealer business and to position the company for sustained success amidst change and disruption.
Current and rising leaders in the Steelcase dealer network can experience DMD starting September 19. That’s the kick-off date for a year-long offering of the DMD program exclusively for Steelcase dealers. You can read more about it on the registration page and in the Introductory Briefing, which is available to principals and staff upon request.
Targeted Learning Grounded in Proven Dealer Success
If you follow Solomon Coyle’s work for the industry, you probably know that our research and consulting activity continues to support the finding that highly successful dealers have five key factors in common. Those factors are:
- Competence in strategic planning and execution
- Realistic, well-defined business model
- Strong financial position
- Superb selling organization
- Operational excellence
DMD brings the five success factors to life for program participants through interactive online classes covering eight areas of concentration in which a dealer must show competence, if not mastery, in order to achieve better-than-average results:
- Business strategy
- Financial performance
- Talent management
- Quote-to-invoice process
- Sales and marketing
- Project management
- Warehouse, delivery and installation
Individuals who successfully complete the DMD program will be equipped with knowledge, tools and insights to drive the business forward toward sustainable efficiency, profitability, and market relevance.
We measure each participant’s progress and achievement by including in the program two personal assessments performed by Assessments Technology Group. The first assessment establishes a baseline at the outset of the course. The second one, at the end of the course, gauges key indicators of future success in applying important lessons and best practices taught through DMD.
Dealer Management Development for Steelcase Dealers
We encourage Steelcase dealers to read more about Solomon Coyle’s special edition of DMD for the Steelcase network and discover it’s potential as an antidote to dealer business complexity.