Dealer Management Development for Contract Furniture Dealers

Program Description

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Dealer Management Development for Contract Furniture Dealers is a targeted learning experience for management-level individuals who are leading or preparing to lead critical aspects of their company. The program equips them to understand the evolving complexity of the dealer business and to position the company for sustained success amidst change and disruption.

Staying relevant to the customer is a daily challenge when customers themselves struggle to adapt to complexity resulting from economic, technological, geopolitical, or generational changes. By providing a deep, cross-functional look at how the dealer business really works—end to end—our program helps to reduce internal complexity, foster common understandings of quality and value, and promote commitment to high performance and customer satisfaction throughout the dealership. Managers who complete the program should be well-equipped with knowledge, tools, and insights to drive the business forward toward sustainable efficiency, profitability, and market relevance.

Delivery Methodology

This training is for people who are responsible for critical aspects of the business, including up-and-coming leaders and dealer principals. The program is delivered over a 3-month period. The topics are covered through instructor-led learning during webinars running 60–90 minutes.


The program covers eight areas of concentration in which—as demonstrated by Solomon Coyle’s annual operational and financial benchmarking research—a dealer must show competence, if not mastery, in order to achieve better-than-average results. The aim for these eight areas of concentration and the learning sessions they include is to positively impact five key dealer success factors:

  • Competence in strategic planning and execution
  • Realistic, well-defined business model
  • Strong financial position
  • Superb selling organization
  • Operational excellence

Business Strategy  The criticality of each area of concentration is outlined below. All the sessions are listed in the accompanying cross-reference between sessions and success factors. With a high degree of situational awareness, a keen grasp of dealer economics, knowledge of various business models, and competence in bringing good plans to fruition, a dealer can take pleasure in developing a high-performing, sustainable business.

Financial Performance  In a business as complex as a dealership, it’s easy for “financial success” to be illusive. Getting real about it means knowing your average hourly costs, protecting your margins, and keeping tabs on key performance indicators.

Talent Management  Compensation and other staff-related expenses are 70% of the cost of doing business. The dealer must have the means to be effective at defining the jobs, recruiting and retaining the best available talent, and keeping everyone at peak performance.

Quote-to-Invoice Process  High-performing dealers have a quote-to-invoice process that yields the lowest possible cost of a transaction. It’s a big challenge, with the sales order and work order processes having no central oversight yet representing 40% of the dealer’s core expense.

Sales & Marketing  The proper role of sales management is to plan effectively, develop sales talent, and build a brand presence in the marketplace. The entire organization must be aligned with the sales process and there must be accountability for assigned goals.

Project Management  Effective project management in today’s hyper-complex environment means balancing client satisfaction and dealer profitability. It takes a PM who can craft and enforce a solid scope of work, manage client expectations, and generate rave reviews.

Design  There is true competitive advantage in being able to develop the process and train the resources that will consistently produce effective workspace solutions using today’s complex product platforms and do it with speed and accuracy.

Warehouse, Delivery & Installation  Regardless of whether the final act of manufacturing is performed by dealer staff or by subs, the dealer must be able to efficiently manage the logistical and technical activities of WD&I. Those who excel at it tend to be more profitable.

View an in-depth look at the program curriculum.

Meet the Instructors

PAUL HOLLAND is a dealer development expert and business consultant with more than 34 years of office furniture industry experience. With a strong background that includes leadership roles with both a major office furniture manufacturer and a dealership, Paul specializes in sales, sales management, marketing, financial management, market share growth, operations management, strategic planning, and leadership development.

DAVID SOLOMON is a nationally known consultant to the contract furniture industry and has developed training programs and tools specifically for office furniture dealers. David specializes in the quote-to-invoice process, dealer financial models, dealer services, project management, and technology. He is active in industry technology initiatives and often speaks at industry events. David holds a B.S. in Business Administration and is a member of the Project Management Institute.

Contact us to learn more and to set up a program date for your organization.