Welcome to The Information Exchange, a place you will find insight on everything that is happening at United Access.
Staying Focused on What Matters
We are living in unprecedented times, and nearly every day we are faced with new challenges. Despite the uncertainty around us, United Access continues to focus on our mission, to give people the power of freedom and independence by providing the safest and most trusted accessible driving solutions in the country.
United Access is rising to these challenges. We are working hard to provide you and our customers new tools and new ways of connecting.
- Ally has announced a new program to help our customers and communities during the COVID-19 crisis. To aid with the financial pressures triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, Ally has launched a financial relief program that applies to both existing and new BraunAbility customers who finance their mobility products through Ally. Both offers will be available for the foreseeable future. Learn more.
- There is a virtual showroom for VMI vehicles. When your customers aren’t able to come in to see you, you will still be able to give them a virtual tour of a VMI product right here on our website.
- Soon you will see training materials to help get you up to speed on all the new technology that’s out there to help keep you connected to our customers and to each other.
United Access has succeeded for nearly 30 years because we are strong, resilient and forward-thinking. Together we will continue to move forward and be the leaders in our industry.
Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay connected.
Sales and Operations Updates
Sales and Operations
The new digital world is having as profound an impact on our industry, as in every other industry. It seems like the changes to our industry are coming faster than ever, but one fact hasn’t changed: the service department should be one of the best revenue generators in a dealership.
An important part of growing this part of the business is being able to track our performance. With the evolution of the DMS and Salesforce, you will start to see a few changes. Right now, we are working on adding a new Lead Status to Salesforce. Today, most of the Service leads that come in and immediately marked as Lost, because we don’t have an effective way to track them. That is changing. Soon you will see a new option in the pick list. Going forward, when a Service lead comes in, we are going to mark it as Closed – Service. That will do two things for us, it will allow us better reporting on true Service activity, it will also help clean up the true value of Lost leads in Salesforce.
This is in the works, so expect to see more on this during the next few days. Thanks for all of your hard work during this unprecedented time.
The Commercial team wants to thank Mary Lieb and the Denver West team for a referral that resulted in the sale of five vans to a new customer that has potential for substantial future business. We also appreciate Brett Vena and the Lenexa team that also provided leads and assisted with two sales from the KC market. Several branches have received a used/new Dodge Grand Caravan with an ADA rear entry conversion on their lot this past month. Much like retail customers, we feel having physical inventory on hand will allow our commercial customers an opportunity to experience these vehicles firsthand and help speed up the buying process. This is one of many opportunities we are currently pursuing to grow sales. Remember, we do not need the “slam dunk” leads, but will gladly call any business , organization, or even startup that you may come across. Let us know how we can help.
Customer Care Center
The CCC is continuing to work hard to make sure that all of our customers are taken care of with the same exceptional standard of service they have become accustomed to. Please help us to keep those customer experiences amazing by ensuring you continue to be available for both our team and customers via phone and email no matter where you happen to be working. Our customers and their experiences during their interactions with us will continue to be the CCC’s top priority.
Internet leads have definitely slowed down but they ARE still coming in and that’s wonderful with everything going on right now! For the month of March we have worked close to 1000 leads just for UA, have also been entering Kersey leads for them, and have now taken on entering ADA leads as well! We are still working diligently to try and connect as quickly as possible so we can get our customers over to the mobility specialists and rental coordinators right away! Happy selling!
A few weeks ago the Project Thunderbolt Team performed a series of DealerStar Debriefs with our Users and Management Team. The goal of this exercise was to gain insight from of our users to determine how well our Go Live was executed, if there were any outstanding training subjects that needed to be covered and if there were opportunities for continued system improvement. We have compiled this list of needs, and will be addressing them over the next few weeks.
Users can expect a series of optional virtual trainings which they can attend if they feel they need a refresher on the subject, in addition to written (One Point Lessons) and video instructions to go along. In addition, we will be taking the proposed system improvements to DealerStar to discuss the possibility and time frame for implementation. More information on this will be communicated as available.
As we prepare for Ability Center’s Training & Go Live over the next month we want to assure you we are taking the necessary steps so that there is little to no interruption or delay of support for our United Access Users.
We truly appreciate everyone’s feedback and look forward to the continuing improvement of DealerStar for our Users.
Finance and Accounting
We are operating in a very unique time. World events are forcing us to adapt to a new way of doing business. Thankfully, our technology is helping us to weather the storm. Kudos to Cutter Meyer for helping us to work effectively in remote locations.
Kudos also to our store personnel, demonstrating perseverance, adaptability, and commitment to our customers. Well done.
Last, kudos to everyone working diligently to help us through. We will come out on the other side better and stronger than before.
I remember the first time I picked up my son and he actually “weighed something.”
Let me see if I can explain.
From the day they’re born you find yourself constantly holding your children. The process graduates from the first day in the hospital when you feel like you’re handling a priceless fragile crystal vase, to the point where you just snatching them off the carpet as they waddle by and express your infinite love by pressing your lips tightly to their little round bellies and blowing out. My father used to call those “budda-budds and Chinnalings.” Kids love that…adults, not so much.
The exact timing is different for every child, but for a long long time when you pick your kids up they don’t feel like they weigh anything at all. They have mass. They have volume. They take up space, but they don’t seem to have any actual weight.
Then one day you go to pick them up and you hear someone make a groaning noise. Then you realize it’s you, and the reason you’re groaning is because suddenly out of nowhere their heavy. Yesterday they didn’t weigh anything, but today they do.
I have a distinct memory of that moment with my son Aidan. When Aidan was just a little guy I came home from work to find him making the most of an afternoon summer rain shower that had left a little puddle in front yard. Naked as a jay-bird, he was making the most of it by jumping, splashing, and running through our temporary wading pool as my wife Nancy watched from a few feet away.
Just before she turned to go in the house she kissed me and said, “My job was to keep him safe while he was in there. Your job is to get him out. Good luck tough guy”
In an attempt to spare my work shoes from getting soaking wet I waited on the edge of the puddle until he came racing by, and with the confidence of a “Jolly Green Giant” I snatched him up at the precise moment that both his feet were off the ground.
Apparently Aidan had not heard the announcement for last call, because he had no intention of leaving that puddle. He spun like cheesed off alligator in my arms and extended all four limbs toward the ground as if it would surely reach up and pull him back to Earth.
At that very moment it dawned on me for the very first time, “ This kid is getting heavy!”
And that was it.
For me, he was never a “baby” again after that moment. He was an absolute delight as a toddler, he was a joy as a little boy, and he is an extraordinary young man now……. but he was never a baby again. Just like that.
I kept thinking of that story as I arranged my computer and monitor on a pile of milk crates in my basement while Hoda Kotb and the people from the Today Show spoke in hushed tones of the rising number of covid 19 cases in the United States.
And just like that, our lives are not what our lives were yesterday.
How we do business now is not how we did business yesterday. How we communicate today is not how we communicated yesterday. That doesn’t mean it won’t be better, that doesn’t mean we are going to be left behind and it sure doesn’t mean we are not going to improve and grow and succeed as a team. But the way we were doing those things has changed, and it’s not coming back.
We want to make a concerted effort to ensure that our training within the company reflects these changes and does everything possible to help us all find the place where we begin our own, fresh, personal journey in developing the skills we will need to communicate in our changing world.
For the foreseeable future we will try to modify how we communicate information by switching from large conference calls that are anchored to a power point presentation, to small interactive groups led by both piers and industry experts that allow for more real-time questions, physical examples, and recorded material that can be used by the individual as needed.
We will be providing more step-by-step instructions to make sure each of us has the basic skills necessary to make use of all the communication technologies available including:
How to shoot video messages on your phone.
How to use FaceTime.
The basics of TEAMS.
How to schedule and host a Webex meeting.
How you can record your own training sessions and share them with others.
The art of writing a letter.
How to get the most from a text.
Good old fashion phone edict.
We will also be using the small classroom approach for the nuts and bolts processes you face every day including:
A much deeper dive into the Desking checklist.
Best practices for making sure your RO matches your deal.
A second round of training on Dealer Star and Sales Force.
The proper technique for sourcing a deal.
Second round of training on Braun extended service programs.
All manner of other subject as they are recommended by you, or discovered while training on the topics above.
With that said, I believe the most important topic we will train on in the next 30 days will be courage.
I know that sounds like a bad self-affirmation poster, but I don’t say that lightly. I don’t even say that with complete confidence that I can serve as a good example of it, but I do know that courage is likely to be the difference between who improves and grows as a result of this Twilight Zone episode we are living through, and who will fall dangerously behind.
The Courage to admit the world communicates in a new way and make an honest assessment of your own skill level.
The courage to put your hand up in the air and ask for help even when you think you’re the only one that doesn’t understand.
The courage to make your own day more difficult and slow your own progress, by offering to train other people a technology or a task that you do well.
The courage to say, “ I still don’t understand” when the speaker says “Ok, does everybody get it?”
The courage to hear “I still don’t understand” and keep searching for a solution instead of moving on.
The courage to stay in the fight in spite of the fact that it will be long, and messy and frustrating beyond anything we have experienced so far.
The courage to get out of bed tomorrow and find the strength to learn, or teach, one more new thing today.
The courage to try and be better than we were yesterday. The courage to embrace what we do best, be honest about where we need assistance, and help one another prepare for a future that is here now. We can do this.
Be safe. Love your kids. Care for each other.
I’ll talk to you in April.
(* If you have a work subject you need individual help with, no matter how basic or advanced, please contact me by email. If you have a particular skill or are highly proficient at Dealer Star, Sales Force, social media, TEAMS, navigation on IPS or any other work related task and would be willing to help train others, please contact me directly.)
Inventory Management Strategies
I hope that you are all safe and healthy. During these unprecedented times, I thought it would be a good idea to supply you with a few inventory management tips. Yes, it has slowed down a bit. However, folks are still going to need WAV’s. Our plan is to manage the fleet to make sure you have enough to keep going while slowing down our Day’s Supply a bit.
Here you go.
- Communicate, communicate, communicate!!! Please keep Michelle and I informed of your needs. There is no such thing as too much communication at this time.
- Adhere to the new “Direct Purchases” guidelines.
- Be extremely accurate on any/all trade in appraisals. We want to make sure that we are doing what is best for our customer and our store.
- Focus on reconditioning. It will be very important to get everything through the system quickly. This will all be over soon and we want to make sure we are ready for that day.
Stay safe out there!
Your Inventory Management Team!
In a world where we have so much uncertainty, please know the marketing department is working to ensure that we keep United Access top of mind with our customers and our partners.
- Leads are still coming in, they have slowed down due to our current climate, but they are still coming with interest
- We are posting as many updates as we can on our social media channels. If you aren’t already following United Access, now would be a good time to do so. This is one of your best ways to keep up to date on our news, our promotions, and any changes that are happening in the marketplace. You can also share all of our news and updates with your customers.
- Emails are going out on a consistent basis to our customers and our partners to keep them information of our sales and everything that we are going to keep you and them safe during this time.
- There will be a renewed focus on COI efforts with Laura Reed’s return from maternity leave. Look for exciting new things to happen on this front.
This is a time where we need to think out of the box. What we always did is no more. We need to explore new ways to stayed connected to our customers. The marketing department will continue to keep you informed as things change. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out.
Please join me in welcoming back Laura Reed.
We’ve all missed her energy with our referral partners and in her ability to generate referral leads. Now that Laura is back, she is going to be focusing 100% of her time and energy on our COI relationships and helping to generate those referrals back into your stores. I’d like to thank Laura for all of her hard work in helping to build the Customer Care Center. The CCC will certainly miss her efforts and her energy. In our current climate, there’s no one better to get out there, reconnect with our partners and to start filling your sales funnels at your respective stores with those good quality referral leads. This crisis won’t last forever and when it finally comes to an end, we need to be prepared to get back to business as usual. Reconnecting with our partners is one of the best ways to keep us on track.
Please continue to reach out to Andrea Davis or Tina Landeck with any questions that you may have regarding calls or internet leads. They have both done a fantastic job in managing the CCC while Laura was on maternity leave. Thank you both! They will continue to do a great job moving forward.
Make sure you check back for exciting updates from Laura next month.
-First batch of phones shipped out to call center agents for testing.
-Printer testing and setup completed. New printers currently being deployed. GMs – if Flex has not reached out yet to schedule your site, don’t worry you’ll be contacted soon!
-New EFAX solution setup in progress.
-Kersey AD/O365 migration has completed! Ability Center O365 go live on O365 starting 4/10/20.
-Continuing to work with Dealerstar to help identify performance bottlenecks when they arise. Performance should improve once Dealerstar moves their infrastructure to AWS. Relevant for end users, the URL for Dealerstar will change (the website link). Nothing else will change – just the link to access the site. We are performing testing of Dealerstar in AWS this February and March. The production move will not occur until mid April.
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Health Topics for April
Going a bit stir crazy?
How many days have you been home due to the COVID-19 epidemic? Are you playing various roles of employee, grade schoolteacher and household manager all in one? Practice a few things for your emotional health each and every day to manage your stress such as:
- Taking 3 minutes a day to practice a deep breathing technique.
- Use the zoom or facetime and have a virtual call with a loved one you cannot visit or a friend you miss.
- Try and get a full 7-8 hours of sleep, stop looking at screen or the news before you go to bed.
- Practice gratitude – write down three things you are thankful for each day.
- Don’t know what to do with the kids? For the little ones try some of these activities https://www.123homeschool4me.com/101-fun-things-to-do-in-covid-19-isolation/ For the teenager in your life have them help plan your next family trip. Plant a garden or learn life skills such as checking the air in your car and changing a tire, preparing for a job interview, balancing your bank account, planning and making a meal for the whole family and how to budget money.
April is National Donate Life Month
Have you ever known someone who needed a lifesaving transplant? Do you know that over 112,000 people are waiting for a transplant at this very moment? Another person is added to the waiting list every 10 minutes. Take a minute to research an opportunity to help someone else by going to Donate Life and find out how you can be an organ donor.
New monthly initiative for Wellness
How did your march Fitness Challenge go? Did you park as far away as possible for your job each day and eat three servings of fruit each and every day of March? If so, don’t forget to contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your fitness goal complete and you will be awarded 50 Kazoo points.
April is Daily 30 & Be a Master Chef
- Exercise for 30 minutes every day
- Prepare three healthy meals each week in April
April Recipe Corner
Cheesy Meatballs Casserole (Low Carb)
- 2 lbs of ground turkey
- 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
- ½ cup grated or shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon Italian Seasoning blend
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon Cayenne pepper (optional)
- ½ teaspoon crushed red chili pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 cup low carb marinara sauce
- 1 cup shredded cheese of your choice for a topping
- Fresh basil or parsley for topping
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and lightly spray a casserole dish with cooking spray
- Combine ground turkey, mozzarella, parmesan, egg, onion powder, garlic, Italian seasoning, Cayenne, crushed chili pepper flakes in a large bowl.
- Use a small cookie scoop to form the meatballs all the same size and arrange the meatballs in the casserole dish.
- Bake meatballs for 15 to 20 minutes or until fully cooked. Remove the meatballs from the oven and drain the grease.
- Top with low carb marinara sauce and shredded cheese and put meatballs back in the oven. Bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes until the cheese has fully melted.
- Serve the meatballs with a side salad or over zucchini noodles
Employee Rewards and Recognition Program
|JR Fields||April 3rd|
|Mike Bradshaw||April 8th|
|Tina Landeck||April 8th|
|Brittany Scott||April 11th|
|Aaron Chapman||April 14th|
|Carrie Chapman||April 14th|
|Gary Coen||April 17th|
|Michael Van Oordt||April 20th|
|Stephen Kinstler||April 22nd|
|Don Dohse||April 23rd|
|Terri Venhaus||April 23rd|
|Brittany Wiseman||April 27th|
|Jennifer Mann||April 30th|
|Steven Marsolek||April 30th|
|Max Mills||4/1||7 Years|
|Brady LaRose||4/11||3 Years|
|Jessica Hester||4/14||5 Years|
|Matt Kramer||4/14||17 Years|
|Dave Carnes||4/18||4 Years|
|Heather Curts||4/18||4 Years|
|Jeff Curts||4/18||4 Years|
|Rich Gerth||4/18||4 Years|
|Norberto Guadalupe||4/18||4 Years|
|Kirk Paddyfoote||4/18||4 Years|
|David Stacker||4/18||4 Years|
|Scott Walker||4/18||4 Years|
|Brett Vena||4/24||5 Years|
|Kelley Condray||4/25||12 Years|
|Rich Wadlow||4/27||5 Years|
|John Beering||4/29||1 Year|