Winnipeg , ON
General manager: Shayne Rankin
Dealership group: Birchwood Automotive Group
Number of employees: 70
General Manager Shayne Rankin on lessons learned managing the dealership throughout the pandemic: The pandemic really brought a need to create a flexible work environment with our team members. This included time off for child care, increase in sick or personal leave and work-from-home procedures. Team members were cross-trained in other facets of the business, giving them increased knowledge, mastery and compensation. They were given an increase in autonomy and responsibility in overseeing their respective areas as well.
General Sales Manager Travis Bauman on long-term changes in employment and hiring practices that wouldn’t have happened without the pandemic: We recruit through virtual platforms, such as Zoom. Our centralized recruitment team began implementing video interviews for sales roles, allowing the dealership’s managers to be more efficient with who they meet for a second round of interviews. It also shows how the applicant performs in front of a camera, which is becoming a more important mode of communication with customers i.e.: virtual walkarounds.
Bauman on how the pandemic has changed the dealership’s approach to telecommuting: Most changes were made in the sales department and for the most part, have been maintained. The pandemic forced the long-overdue sales process to change. No longer do we need to have the customer present at the dealership to purchase the vehicle. This has allowed some salespeople to do most of their selling online or over the phone, of which they can do from anywhere.