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Key Idea: Teach and Preach Service

Gerald Mroz is the service manager at Rodgers Chevrolet and we learn that profits in a car dealership are driven by service.   More...

Key Question:


Pam has made every employee aware that the profits generated at the dealership come from the service not the sales side. Of course, nothing happens until something is sold but the profits on that sale only show up when the car comes in for service.

The best way to teach and preach service is to share financial information with employees because we know that open book management is motivational for employees.

Q:  What financial information should be shared with employees?

All of it. You don't have to expose salaries earned by individuals but you can show the total dollars going out in salaries and benefits.

It is very common for employees to know what the sales are, but most employees don't know what it costs to run a business. Some owners assume that the employees won't understand the financials. In reality, when employees see how much it really costs to run a business, they are surprised and have greater respect for the owner.

For example, if an employee is earning $30,000 a year in salary, just the required employment taxes paid to the Federal Government for that employee will be an additional $10,000 or more. That employee only sees what is in the paycheck and forgets the employer must pay the additional $10,000. Employees are shocked to see the cost of a lease, insurance, utilities, advertising, telephones, etc.

To learn how to run your company with open-book management techniques, study Jack Stack's book, "The Great Game of Business."

Think about it

Do you need to deploy open book management?

Clip from: Rodgers Chevrolet - Meet Pamela Rodgers!

Woodhaven, Michigan:  In a quiet suburb just south of Detroit, we go inside an American icon -- the car dealership -- to witness a "can-do" attitude in action. We meet a woman whose love affair with the car is as real and palpable as any romance going. And at this place where GM is sold, driving people to act upon that passion is her business.

Pamela Rodgers is the owner of Rodgers Chevrolet.  We learn that key to her repeat business success is service. From her originally designed, colorful waiting area featuring a speedway theme to a team of highly skilled service advisers, Rodgers Chevrolet is a company that never misfires when it comes to building long-term relationships with customers. This is a team that's as well trained in the mechanics of human dynamics as they are the electronics of today's automobile engine. Keeping that relationship running smoothly is a matter of individualized communications where customer satisfaction is not an optional service.

Pamela's story is all the more unique in that she is one of the few women in the world to own a dealership in her own right. It wasn't passed on to her by her father or a husband, and she took a failing location and turned it around.

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Rodgers Chevrolet

Pamela Rodgers, CEO

23755 Allen Road
Woodhaven, MI 48183

Visit our web site:

Business Classification:

Year Founded: 1991

Teach and Preach Service

HATTIE: (In the Studio) Hi, I'm Hattie Bryant. Where do jobs come from? What fuels the economy? Why do some companies grow and others close their doors?
Each week we try to answer these questions and at the same time introduce you to founders of companies who have a dream. These are some of the most interesting people in America. Here you will always find men and women who bet on themselves and their ability to pull themselves up to new heights. Today, we take you just south of Detroit, Michigan to the quiet suburb of Woodhaven to meet Pamela Rodgers, owner of Rodgers Chevrolet. She's the car dealer that doesn't look like one. Let's go to Pamela Rodger's Neighborhood.

HATTIE: Where do the dollars come from in a dealership?

PAMELA RODGERS: Well, new car and used car sales actually represent maybe 75% of all revenue generated, and service will maybe represent the remainder. But, you need a good Service Department. We don't consider service our back-end; we consider service our backbone, because we know this is where our customer stability is going to be, by providing good service to our customers. That will keep customers coming back, and the referral business coming back.

HATTIE: Pamela is the right person in the right place at the right time. She is one of the few women in the world who owns a car dealership in her own right. It wasn't passed to her by her father or a husband. And, she took a failing location and turned it around. Today, with a team of 85 employees, her business, Rodgers Chevrolet, generates 73 million in revenues by selling nearly 200 cars per month and by servicing as many as 1200 a month.

HATTIE: So you all just make it happen.

GERALD MROZ: We make it happen. To make the customer happy is #1 in Pam's eyes.

HATTIE: Right.

GERRY: I mean she told me one thing: "Just take care of my customers. 'Cause if you don't take care of them and they get to me, I'm going to take care of them."


HATTIE: There's plenty of competition for Pam and her team. This is Detroit, Motor City, the psychic birthplace of the automobile.

HATTIE: And on a perfect August Saturday, car lovers come to see and be seen. The annual Dream Cruise down Woodward Ave. attracts hundreds of cars worthy of display. Americans and cars go together, like hotdogs and mustard, like summer and sun.

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