Archive for August, 2012

How SEO and Social Will Be One in 2013 – JD Rucker’s Interesting Topic for AutoCon 2012

Thursday, August 30th, 2012
JD Rucker

JD Rucker will present at AutoCon 2012. His topic – consolidating SEO and social strategies.

Every day, search engine optimization (SEO) and social grow closer to each other. Savvy dealers will be able to save time and improve their digital marketing results by consolidating their search engine marketing and social strategies into one cohesive, lead-generating presence on the Web.

JD Rucker, TK Carsites’ Director of New Media, will show dealers an effective approach that pulls search and social together, including how to build a “daily roadmap” and evolve toward an annual strategy. He’ll make his presentation on September 7, at AutoCon 2012.

If you’d like to learn more from JD, he blogs on automotive communities such as DrivingSales.com, AutomotiveDigitalMarketing.com and others. You can also follow him on Twitter (@0boy) and LinkedIn.

Confront the Killer – Could Distracted Driving Unintentionally Hurt Your Dealership?

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Car with front end damage due to accident, air bag deployedIf you ask your employees whether they’re safe drivers, they’ll generally answer, “Yes.” Truth is, most of us really try to be safe drivers.

Your dealership has many employees who drive as a part of their jobs and may be unaware of how distracted they are. According to OSHA, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of worker fatalities.

There are steps you can take as an employer to reduce risks related to distracted driving. For example:

  1. Training. Driving’s gotten a lot more complicated since most of us climbed behind the wheel for the first time. KPA’s Safe Driver training includes information on preventing distractions, defensive driving and evasive maneuvers.
  2. Awareness campaigns. You can hold a “Drive Safely” campaign at your dealership. Trafficsafety.org offers videos, fliers and other items you can use at your work sites to make employees more aware of the risks.

Awareness and training are important because we get so used to distractions when we drive, we don’t realize we’re at risk. (You can test your own risk for distracted driving on KPA’s site.)

To find out more about your responsibilities as an employer, visit the Department of Transportation website Distraction.gov. Pages with good information for employers include Regulations and State Laws. KPA clients can also contact their safety engineer or HR consultant for help with training programs.

Get a Practical Perspective on Social Media for Car Dealers – Jeff Cryder to Speak at DSES

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012
Jeff Cryder Lebanon Ford

KPA client Jeff Cryder from Lebanon Ford will present on social media at DSES 2012.

We’re excited to announce that KPA client Jeff Cryder, the Marketing and Communications Director at Lebanon Ford, will discuss social media at the Driving Sales Executive Summit (DSES) in October.

Jeff is an automotive social media expert who developed his experience in the real world, building the digital marketing program for Lebanon Ford. He’s calling his presentation “Confessions of a Young Social Media Manager.” Jeff will cover practical topics such as:

  • Social media workflows
  • Typical challenges
  • Success stories
  • Professional development for digital marketers

Jeff has a vision to increase the mentoring and education available to Internet marketers in the auto industry. To learn more about Jeff and his presentation, read his recent interview with DrivingSales.com. Also, you can follow Jeff (@cryderja) and Lebanon Ford (@lebanonford) on Twitter.

Are These 4 Dangerous Chemicals Lurking in Your Dealership?

Monday, August 20th, 2012

chemicals of concern for auto dealer safetyEfficiency is critical in a service bay. Mechanics and body shop specialists have to clean breaks, paint fenders and complete many other similar tasks as quickly and thoroughly as possible. This makes it tempting for them to resort to chemicals that product results – but post an unacceptable health risk.

Eric Schmitz, our VP of Environment and Safety Products, has been researching the proposed new legislation on “chemicals of concern,” studying what it will mean for auto dealers. He put together a list of four dangerous chemicals often used in vehicles, or products related to auto repairs.

These chemicals seriously increase your liability as an employer. Here’s Eric’s list, with examples of where they may show up:

  1. Isocyanates – undercoating products
  2. Hydrofluoric Acid – detailing products
  3. Methylene Chloride – stripping products
  4. N-Hexane – solvents

You can’t get rid of Isocyanates completely, but KPA recommends protective gear. The other three should be removed from your dealership. To learn more, read Eric’s instructions on “Chemicals of Concern.” Or call Eric at (303) 228-8766.

HR Managers- Get ready to be an HR Superstar

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

Sometimes Human Resources is seen as just another drag on a dealership’s bottom line. But what if your HR department could be actually be a profit driver for your dealership? You’d be the HR Superstar! 

It’s possible. When we talk to HR managers, we find you’re typically swamped by compliance requirements, personnel files and payroll duties. You know – all that transaction stuff that has to get done but tends to be reactive, not proactive. We can tell you want to focus on contributing strategically to your dealership’s financial growth. But if you’re like many of your colleagues, lack of staff or lack of time may be getting in the way.

KPA believes that HR managers build a dealership’s profits by devoting themselves to hiring great people, training them and retaining them. For example, here’s how you drive profits:

  • Spot the best local talent for sales and marketing.
  • Have a great orientation program that makes your employees as productive as possible, as quickly as possible.
  • Create a a great corporate culture, which increases productivity.
  • Boost sales by showing managers how to coach — and keep — their top performers.

So here’s our pitch. KPA wants to make sure that HR managers like you have time to do all that. Our new HR Management Consulting service can take care of projects such as:

  • Audit personal files
  • Find gaps in your compliance programs and show you how to plug them
  • Write job descriptions
  • Complete that compensation analysis you started last year …

Basically, our consulting service takes a load off you, so you go from frazzled to focused on what really matters.

Email me at kcarlson@kpaonline.com, so we can schedule a needs analysis regarding the projects we can take on for you. We’ll make you more than an HR Manager – you’ll be the HR Superstar at your dealership.

Patric Timmermans’ AutoCon 2012 Presentation Will Help Dealers Identify Marketing Metrics That Matter

Monday, August 13th, 2012
Patric Timmermans, VP of Marketing at KPA

Patric Timmermans, KPA’s VP of Marketing.

Most dealers are familiar with the saying, “In order to manage something, you must measure it.” That’s certainly true for digital marketing activities, where monitoring ROI is critical. But what numbers should you focus on?

Based on years of personal experience, Patric will show you how to track metrics without “getting lost in the weeds.” One of the biggest challenges in automotive Internet marketing is the overload of reports, signals and analytics, which often obscure the success or failure of your dealership’s marketing initiatives.

Patric will be presenting at AutoCon 2012 on September 8. His topic will be, “Focus on What Matters – How to Simplify Analytics to See the Numbers that Make a Difference.” In the meantime, you can learn more about Patric on LinkedIn.

Dealers United Selects KPA from 70 Website Vendors for August Member Deal

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

From today’s Dealers United press release:

Sarasota, FL – August 7, 2012 – Dealers United, the first service to truly leverage the buying power of individual dealerships, launched their August member deal today, website design services from KPA, through its TK Carsites acquisition. Based on the negotiated terms, members of Dealers United will save from 40% to 48% off website services depending on which package they choose. Available KPA packages include website only, website plus Premium SEO or Website plus Elite SEO.

Watch Dealer United’s video about this deal at http://www.dealersunited.com/kpa

Read more in KPA’s press release at http://www.prweb.com/releases/dealersunited/websites/prweb9774812.htm

How can you effectively use social media to hire and retain employees? Look for Kathryn Carlson’s presentation – AutoCon 2012

Monday, August 6th, 2012
Kathryn Carlson, Product Director for KPA's HR Management System

Kathryn Carlson, Product Director for KPA’s HR Management System will discuss social hiring at AutoCon 2012.

While auto dealerships know that social media is a powerful marketing tool, many don’t realize that it is equally powerful for hiring and retaining quality employees. To use social media effectively, however, employers must avoid many legal pitfalls.

Kathryn Carlson, Product Director for KPA’s HR Management System, will discuss this at AutoCon 2012. Kathryn will cover how you can remain legally compliant while leveraging social media for a better workplace. For example, she’ll discuss how to develop policies that align with National Labor Relations Board regulations.

Kathryn’s AutoCon presentation is on the 7th of September. The title of her presentation is “How to Use Social Media Compliantly and Effectively to Hire and Retain Employees.”

Kathryn’s a featured blogger on Dealer Communications. You can also learn more about her on LinkedIn.

August Tip of the Month: When It’s Really Hot, How Much Should You Drink?

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

 Compliance Tip of the MonthWe all know that drinking enough fluids is an essential part of staying safe during the summer. But exactly how much water is enough, especially when it’s really hot? And does it really matter what you drink, or when?

For employees who are physically active in extreme heat, KPA’s safety team recommends the following:

  • Drink about 4 oz. of water every 15 minutes.
  • Make it a priority to take quick breaks to drink – consuming small, frequent amounts of water is particularly important in extreme heat.
  • Drink even when you don’t feel thirsty.
  • Avoid drinks with sugar, caffeine and alcohol, because they can dehydrate your body. (Sorry, folks, but iced coffee lovers are out of luck.)

Basically, keeping yourself and your staff hydrated in the heat takes effort and planning. If you’d like to learn more, read these blog posts: How to Keep Cool, Heat Illness Prevention Programs and How to Manage Heat Exhaustion at Work.

Vane Clayton, CEO at KPA, will present at AutoCon2012 – How to Increase Revenue and Margins Through Outsourcing

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012
Vane Clayton, CEO of KPA

Vane Clayton, KPA’s CEO, will speak at AutoCon 2012.

Are you going to AutoCon 2012? Our CEO, Vane Clayton, will be there. He’ll deliver a presentation about how to increase revenue and margins through outsourcing.

Here are key ideas in his presentation: Dealerships that focus on their core business and outsource other processes have higher revenues and profits. Done correctly, process outsourcing will allow your dealership to access expertise that would be impossible to hire internally at an affordable price. Vane will cover what should be outsourced and how to develop effective relationships with your business partners.

Vane will be speaking on September 7. You can learn more about Vane on LinkedIn.