How Leckler’s Inc. Use Data to Grow Their Business Despite Being Tight on Staff
Being short on staff doesn’t mean your business growth needs to be stunted. If your dealership is operating efficiently, you can get by with a lean staff just fine.
The team at Leckler’s Inc., a power equipment dealership in La Salle, Michigan, are no strangers to working with what they’ve got. Leckler’s is a family-run business and has been in operation since 1949. They believe in honest work and making customer service their #1 priority.
But in recent years, Michigan’s labor market has become tight. That means that often, the staff at Leckler’s need to take on responsibilities beyond their job title. Yet, despite being a relatively small team, Leckler’s maintain their quality of service—and even continue to grow their business. They are able to do this by measuring key metrics within their dealership’s departments—from sales, to service, to parts. By delving into the data, they can make smart decisions that enable them to work efficiently.
We sat down with Adam Leckler, General Manager at Leckler’s Inc., to find out how they use data to grow their business while operating with a tight staff.
Can you talk a little bit about your role and key responsibilities?
Adam: “I wear a lot of different hats. I’m actually—by title—the General Manager, so I oversee all the departments and the department heads. We’ve run into a very, very tight labor market in Michigan. On top of my general management responsibilities, I also have to manage sales at times. I have to fill in at the Service department, as a Service Manager, at times. So, I kind of wear a lot of hats, but my true love and passion are sales and the management aspect of the business.”
How do you ensure your products and services meet customer needs?
Adam: “We ensure that our products meet our customers’ needs by harnessing a lot of input from our customers to be able to really see what we’re missing from the store. And that helps us identify and focus on key areas that we need to improve, whether it be service, parts, or in sales.”
When did you implement Ideal, and what was the initial reason for getting it?
Adam: “We implemented Ideal in January of 2011. So, we’ve been with Ideal for quite some time, and honestly, they have a great dealership management system. They seem to be head and shoulders above the competition as well, too, with a lot of the features and the integrations that they offer.”
How did you hear about Ideal?
Adam: “Through other dealers, going down to the GIE show in Louisville, and researching it. What I think really helped us with the decision in being able to go with Ideal was the fact that they weren’t pushy. You could log into a test system and be able to work through the system before you committed to the product. I mean, that was huge. We had probably two or three months to be able to really test the system and play with the software before we committed to it.”
What are some of the must-haves when it comes to a system like Ideal?
Adam: “I think the full integration amongst departments is probably the biggest thing. You can see everything through the system, whether you’re up in Parts, or Service, or Whole Goods. There’s a lot of uniformity across the screens, so it’s easier for you to move through the system.”
What’s the biggest reason to own a system like Ideal?
Adam: “It helps you make better decisions. To be able to, one; drive down cost, two; increase sales. Basically, to move toward the next level in the ever-changing retail environment. You know, without having a business system like Ideal, we can’t make good financial business decisions.
There’s a lot of tie-in with what Ideal offers us and being able to do better data analysis and better planning. That’s important because, honestly, there’s very little standardization within our industry. A lot of the manufacturers are kind of all over the place and there’s no one standardized solution. Ideal helps us harness a lot of that data, provide us with good output, and make good decisions.”
What Ideal functionality or module helps you with your job the most?
Adam: “I would say, the simplicity of being able to run sales reports, the simplicity of being able to look at your financial statements daily, and the ability to pull the data out. That’s huge because I have a gentleman that helps me in the business, who does data analysis, and he’s able to pull the data provide great reports, to be able to make decisions.”
How much has Ideal contributed to the overall success of your dealership?
Adam: “You know, I can’t stand here and put an exact percentage on it, but I would say it’s improved our bottom line by a minimum of 35%.