Case Study

GMD Car Sales

The Problem

Although selling itself as a 'family friendly' local car sales business, it had been grown by their entrepreneurial Chairman around his commercial acumen and the strength of his sales force. From a single car sales outlet he grew the company to three sales outlets, a successful workshop, a small car hire business and an internet car trading company. The fairly rapid growth and significant diversification had stretched the company's managerial capabilities and resources, so when there was a serious downturn in the 'new' and 'used' car sales sector, the company no longer could rely on its steady profit stream. In addition, as he became more involved in day-to-day managerial issues during this downturn period, the Chairman was beginning not to enjoy his role as much as he had done in the past when he was growing and developing the business.

The Approach

Because the Chairman realised that there would be 'no quick fix' to the issues that were facing the company, VtP entered into a partnership with him to identify and work through the issues over the medium term . A senior VtP consultant became a non-executive director of the business. Working through a newly-established Management Board comprising of a newly-recruited Operations Director , who was vastly experienced in the new and used car sector, the Finance Director and the HR Director, the VtP consultant began to encourage a different approach to managing the people and the business. A senior team of managers covering all the aspects of the company's business was developed in team work, motivation of people and maximising the contribution of all employees . Action plans were developed to cover all these aspects. The talents of young potential leaders were identified and subsequently developed by VtP. Employees responded well to this attention, the culture began to change and the confidence of key people in the future of the business grew. Business management procedures appropriate for a SME were introduced which streamlined the management of the company and allowed a tight control of the finances and the performance of the individual units. Consequently, the Management Board and the team of senior managers were able to address any new issues at an early stage but, also, the existing problems the company had faced were resolved over a period of 12 months.

The Outcome

A change in culture resulted from a 'sales-oriented' culture to a 'people-oriented' culture. The business is now performing well, even when the car sales sector is experiencing a downturn.

The Chairman is enjoying his role much more and has the time to explore other business opportunities, such as, developing his property interests that play to his natural talents.