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Showing 161–176 of 223 results

  • The “how to” of inventory management

    Winter 2012
    Newsletter: Auto Focus

    Price: $225.00, Subscriber Price: $157.50

    Word count: 721

    Abstract: Many dealerships order vehicles, parts and accessories using gut instinct. But more scientific techniques for managing inventory can minimize inventory carrying costs. Manufacturers have used cost accounting to improve operating efficiency for decades, but, as this article explains, only recently have dealerships begun to look at their businesses in other terms: product-by-product margins, product mix, turnover, and reorder points.

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  • Are you lost without a business plan? Create a “map” to navigate your way

    Winter 2012
    Newsletter: Auto Focus

    Price: $225.00, Subscriber Price: $157.50

    Word count: 895

    Abstract: Business plans serve a purpose beyond use at the dealership. Factory field representatives and lenders view auto dealers with formal plans as more organized, less risky business partners. With manufacturers looking to constrict their franchise networks and lending still tight, formal planning may offer a leg up on the competition. This article discusses the three financial statements and other elements that should be included in the plan, and notes the importance of testing business assumptions. A sidebar explains why it’s important to continually monitor and revise a business plan.

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  • Cure customer complaints with a dose of insight

    Winter 2008
    Newsletter: Auto Focus

    Price: $225.00, Subscriber Price: $157.50

    Word count: 536

    Abstract: Every dealer knows the value of a loyal customer. But, unfortunately, every dealership doesn’t view the complaint-handling process as the delicate operation it is. By responding to dissatisfied patrons in a healthy, informed manner, you and your staff can cure customer complaints without losing business. (Updated 11/30/12)

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  • How much should you be paid?

    Fall 2011
    Newsletter: Auto Focus

    Price: $225.00, Subscriber Price: $157.50

    Word count: 845

    Abstract: Among the tough decisions dealer-owners face at year end are how much money to take out of the business and how to split that amount between salaries, bonuses and dividends. Although owners’ compensation is somewhat discretionary, it needs to withstand IRS scrutiny. As this article explains, the IRS is looking for both over- and underpayments, depending on whether the subject company is a C corporation or a flow-through entity. A sidebar discusses other parties that have a vested interest in how much dealer-owners are getting paid.

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  • Buying fixed assets never looked so good

    Fall 2011
    Newsletter: Auto Focus

    Price: $225.00, Subscriber Price: $157.50

    Word count: 493

    Abstract: Dealerships that are considering purchasing equipment and other “fixed assets” should take a look at Section 179 and bonus depreciation deductions — they’re especially generous in 2011 but will diminish after the end of the year. This article offers details.

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  • Nip it in the bud – Background checks thwart fraud, but be careful

    Fall 2011
    Newsletter: Auto Focus

    Price: $225.00, Subscriber Price: $157.50

    Word count: 738

    Abstract: No matter how strong a dealer’s internal controls, it needs to “begin at the beginning” with complete employee background checks. It’s one of the best ways to protect one’s business and customers, although it’s still important to be careful with the final decision. This article explains how to conduct background checks without violating privacy rights and other laws, and why dealers that choose to hire an outside agency need to check its credentials.

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  • Your next warranty audit: Be prepared!

    Fall 2011
    Newsletter: Auto Focus

    Price: $225.00, Subscriber Price: $157.50

    Word count: 641

    Abstract: Manufacturers’ periodic warranty audits have become more frequent as they seek ways to compensate for more dealer-friendly warranty laws that some states have passed to increase warranty reimbursement rates and eliminate manufacturer surcharges. Every dealer gets audited at least once, so this article shows how they can prepare.

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  • Get gassed up to sell green cars

    Summer 2011
    Newsletter: Auto Focus

    Price: $225.00, Subscriber Price: $157.50

    Word count: 323

    Abstract: With gas prices what they are today, it can be tough for dealerships and their customers. But today’s record-high gas prices can be a selling tool. Appealing to buyers’ green sides may require salespeople to retool their sales tactics, however. This short article offers a few tips.

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  • How to create an honest budget

    Summer 2011
    Newsletter: Auto Focus

    Price: $225.00, Subscriber Price: $157.50

    Word count: 692

    Abstract: Analysts can conjecture how U.S. new- and used-car markets will perform in 2012, but no one knows for sure — particularly in local markets. So, with the future uncertain, the somewhat daunting challenge is to create a realistic annual budget that’s based on fact, not optimism. This article describes the steps involved.

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  • Can you expense your repairs? Your answer might be at odds with the IRS

    Summer 2011
    Newsletter: Auto Focus

    Price: $225.00, Subscriber Price: $157.50

    Word count: 1067

    Abstract: When fixed assets are repaired, how should this be accounted for? Most business owners prefer to expense repairs and maintenance in the current period, because it saves taxes and simplifies the accounting. But the IRS has another, more complicated plan for these costs: capitalizing them. This article explores the tax implications of this approach, and shows what kinds of repairs can still be expensed. A sidebar lists the factors that the Tax Court considers in determining whether a repair should be classified as a capital improvement or an expense.

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  • Japan earthquake aftershock – Weathering inventory challenges

    Summer 2011
    Newsletter: Auto Focus

    Price: $225.00, Subscriber Price: $157.50

    Word count: 684

    Abstract: Both import and domestic dealerships are suffering an inventory crunch following Japan’s March 11 earthquake, tsunami and subsequent nuclear crisis. The disaster highlights the downside to just-in-time inventory practices, but this article offers some proactive ways to combat a summertime drought in the automotive supply chain.

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  • What makes Gen Y tick?

    Spring 2011
    Newsletter: Auto Focus

    Price: $225.00, Subscriber Price: $157.50

    Word count: 365

    Abstract: Dealers who understand Generation Y and customize their marketing and sales strategies stand to profit. This brief article examines not only the kinds of cars Gen Yers want, but also the most effective ways to market to them.

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  • Staffing levels – Sizing up your sales team

    Spring 2011
    Newsletter: Auto Focus

    Price: $225.00, Subscriber Price: $157.50

    Word count: 634

    Abstract: NADA predicts double-digit percentage gains for new vehicle sales in the United States in 2011. But it’s important that dealerships be prepared to handle the 11% or more additional business that is expected to walk through their doors or make online inquiries. This article offers tips to help determine the appropriate size of staff, taking into account vacations or other absences and the inevitable peaks and valleys of floor traffic.

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  • Get control of internal controls

    Spring 2011
    Newsletter: Auto Focus

    Price: $225.00, Subscriber Price: $157.50

    Word count: 632

    Abstract: Internal controls are the policies and procedures dealers employ to protect assets, improve operating efficiency and ensure reliable financial reporting. They also are their first line of defense against theft and fraud — but only if the dealer doesn’t have a “not-in-my-backyard” attitude. This article explains how internal controls can protect inventory, customer lists and cash.

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  • Estate planning: How to make use of today’s window of opportunity

    Spring 2011
    Newsletter: Auto Focus

    Price: $225.00, Subscriber Price: $157.50

    Word count: 1104

    Abstract: For an auto dealer, estate planning is especially complicated, because it needs to be tied closely to both succession planning for the dealership and retirement planning for the dealer. Still, minimizing estate tax is an important objective. The good news is that recent tax law creates a significant but short-term window of opportunity to transfer a substantial portion of one’s estate to loved ones without incurring gift or estate taxes. This article shows how to maximize one’s gift tax exemption — or pursue other strategies as an alternative to outright gifts. A sidebar takes a closer look at one of these alternatives: the family limited partnership.

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  • CRM software – Cultivating customer relationships

    Winter 2011
    Newsletter: Auto Focus

    Price: $225.00, Subscriber Price: $157.50

    Word count: 484

    Abstract: Customer relationship management (CRM) software can help dealers improve sales closing ratios and build long-term customer relationships. But to maximize their return on this tool, they need to get all employees on board. This article shows how a properly implemented CRM system can dramatically improve sales, lower marketing costs and build customer loyalty.

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