More than 1,000 people are attending K&M Tire Inc.'s 2023 Dealer Conference and Trade Show this week in Las Vegas, Nev.
The two-day event, themed "All-In," kicked off the afternoon of Feb. 1 with two presentations - one that provided advice on acquiring, retaining and developing employees and another that shared best practices for boosting cash flow.
"It's been said that we're in a time like no other when it comes to acquiring talent," Sherri Miller, CEO and founder of the Center for Extraordinary Success, a consultancy based in Ft. Wayne, Ind., told attendees.
"Hiring has changed" in the wake of COVID-19.
"Hiring has become a very, very different game."
Retaining and developing employees also present new and unique challenges, according to Miller.
"The most profitable organizations spend more than 25% of their time investing in and engaging (with) their employees. If you don't have a development program today, I highly encourage you" to create one.
"It doesn't have to be a complex system. And there's no wrong answer. Just doing it is a major step forward."
Jon Zurcher, chief operating officer of Best-One Tire Group, shared proven tips for increasing cash flow, including raising service rates and other methods that will help dealers counter the escalating cost of doing business.
Even small increases in service rates can yield large, incremental gross profit gains, Zurcher told attendees.
"In our retail stores, we're targeting $125 an hour for mechanics' rates," he said.
"Another thing we're focused on is doing good vehicle inspections. We want to be the ones to point out an issue" on a vehicle that needs attention.
Charging for shop supplies is another way to boost a dealership's bottom line, he advised.
And some dealers are even applying a processing fee to all credit card charges - with positive results, said Zurcher.
"The best way to protect your business is to protect its ability to generate cash."
The K&M Tire conference and trade show also will include seminars covering enhancements to the company's Mr. Tire program, how to generate new profit opportunities in the agricultural industry, trends in both consumer tires and commercial tires and more.
Racing legend Derek Daly will deliver a keynote address on Feb. 2.
And there will be a drawing for two new vehicles during the second day of the meeting's trade show.