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  • Lee Harkins
  • Lee, Rick and Dave
  • Lee, Rick and Dave Talking

Our Mission:

We strive to revolutionize the Fixed Operations industry through our passion and enthusiasm, and help our clients prosper through strategic innovation and custom solutions for their improvement.


M5™ is a performance improvement coaching firm that specializes in advancing fixed operations of auto dealerships around the world. Our website is a great venue to view our company’s goals, objectives, and philosophy in serving our clients.One of our main goals is providing state-of-the-industry ideas and techniques enabling our clients to advance their level of performance in fixed operations. Be sure to visit "Meet Our Staff" to view our greatest asset: our people! Our professional team knows how to effect positive change and they do it with a high level of passion and enthusiasm.

Conducting a Fixed Operations Expense Review - Part 2

David Dietrich NewsletterThis is Part 2 in a three-part article. If you missed Part 1 you can read it here: Part 1. Be sure to check back next week for Part 3.

 Development of a "Supplies Purchased Listing"

 Remember to maintain this listing.  As new products or services are used, add them to the listing in the appropriate place.

 Development of a Vendor Pricing Review Procedure and Vendor Bid Specifications

Shopping for the Right Price - make it a rule to never pay retail price for anything and realize that you can save 1/3 to 1/2 of the normal price on most items.  Like our vendors, we are in the retail sales business—how often do our customers ask, “Is that the best you can do?”  Ask your vendors the same question.


Conducting a Fixed Operations Expense Review - Part 1

David Dietrich NewsletterThis is Part 1 in a three-part article. Be sure to check back next week for Part 2.

 The end result of the “strongest month we have had in fixed operations” is often disappointing.  We just sold and grossed more than we ever have.  But the bottom line (or net profit) does not reflect our record-setting performance.

 Why?  The answer is usually that while sales were booming, expenses were zooming—unnoticed and uncontrolled.

 M5’s primary objective is to provide service, parts, and collision center managers in automobile dealerships with a proven process for management of the assets under their control.  The techniques discussed herein are designed to assist management in verifying the validity of departmental expenses and to determine if expense dollars are being spent wisely.  These techniques provide specific actions to be taken in order to accomplish these goals.


Why It Is Important To Conduct A Parts Physical Inventory At Least Once Per Year

Bruce NewsletterYearly physical accounting of the dealership parts assets is an important function in managing dealership capital investment and determining the salability of that investment.  Now there are some dealerships that don’t take an annual parts inventory.  They typically say it’s because their dealer wants to save the expense. But the real question is, “Does it really save the dealer an expense?"  Let me tell you a brief story...

 Recently I had a client whose former manager had been doing “the count” for the last several years. He always provided the “reconciled” numbers to the accounting office. This past year his parts manager refused to hand over the counter pad to support the inventory “numbers” he turned into accounting. The controller got very suspicious.


Communication is the Key to Success

joe-carroll-newsletterDuring my travels I have seen several stores that still only use “voice calls” as the primary way to communicate with their customers.  In this day and age I have found it harder and harder to answer my incoming phone calls.  If someone calls and I cannot answer the phone, they may or may not leave a message.  I wonder how much business or useful information I have lost because I was unable to answer a call.

 When booking travel I always use the internet.  I am no computer genius, but I do prefer to book all my travel online.  I avoid dealing with the airlines over the phone at all costs.  It is a waste of my time.  Here is an example.  A few weeks ago I was traveling from Baltimore to Birmingham.  I was scheduled for a four-hour layover in Atlanta.  The airline had an earlier flight that I could make but could not change online.  I called the carrier thirty minutes before taking off from Baltimore only to hear, “Your call is very important to us but due to the volume of calls your wait time will be approximately thirty five minutes.”  I was thinking to myself, "I paid way too much money to be put on hold; this is unacceptable."  I held for thirty minutes until the door was closed on the aircraft and was told to turn off my phone.


What is the True Value of a Sales-to-Service Handoff?

todd-grant-newsletterRetention is the true value. The Sales-to-Service Handoff is vital in this cycle and should be an important focus point in your sales process. Sales customers need to leave the dealership with the knowledge of where to go and who to see for their vehicle’s service. How many of these customers could be retained by simply adding a short service introduction to the delivery process? Did you know that typically 50% or more of your service customers go away after the warranty period has expired? How much time will it save the customer and advisor? I can tell you that a proper sales-to-service handoff process saves the advisor and customer time.  A customer that doesn’t know where to go generally leaves their vehicle outside, walks in the service department and wanders around until they find somebody.  Many times the advisor pulls the vehicle in and needs to look for the customer. This wastes both parties' time. Also, this causes the customer to be confused and frustrated.


When You Lose a Customer It Hurts More Than You Think

mike stallings newsletterThe gross from your Service Department is your bread and butter. While new and used vehicle sales have great times and down times, customers always need Service.

Our customers over their lifetime are worth tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars. In today’s world, customers are looking for convenience, competitive pricing and a good experience. Our customers are defecting from our dealers at a higher rate than ever. Have you ever calculated the time, effort and advertising dollars it takes to acquire a new customer?


Succeeding As a Service Advisor - Part 2

Paula-Bliss-NewsletterThis is Part 2 in a two-part article. If you missed Part 1 you can read it here: Part 1.

 Here are some ways to help you develop (and maintain) a positive attitude.  Some of them may sound cliché, but they are tried and true for a reason.

 Boost your self-esteem

 If there is one common denominator about positive people it is a sense of high self-esteem.  Appreciating yourself has to come first, and if you think about it, everyone has something they can feel good about.  There are many things you can do to work on boosting your self-esteem.  Make it a point to feel good about yourself first.  Realize that everyone has strengths and weaknesses - it's human nature.  Realize that it IS impossible to please everyone, and don’t take it personally!


Contact M5

M5 Management Services, Inc.
985 Yeager Parkway
Pelham, AL 35124

Office Phone:
(205) 358-8717

Fax Number:
(888) 416-3680

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