Archive for November, 2012

Housekeeping: What It Means, and Why It Matters (Housekeeping Part 1)

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

Housekeeping is the management, care and servicing of a facility’s property and equipment. It is more than keeping the shop floor clean. It has an effect on:

  • Good habits of employees
  • Safety and productivity
  • Morale- Employees taking pride in their work and work spaces
  • Customer relations
  • Compliance with OSHA, EPA & DOT Regulations

Why does good housekeeping matter?

  • A clean environment reduces injuries, saving money that would otherwise spent on workplace compensation claims
  • Clutter slows down work; it takes more time to find tools if they are not in the right place, and untended messes get in the way of work areas.
  • What is your customer’s first impression? Of course the showroom is spotless, but what about other public areas of your dealership, and what if customers have a view of the service bay?
  • OSHA regulatory standard 29 CFR 1910.22 states that “all places of employment, passageways, storerooms, and service rooms shall be kept clean and orderly and in a sanitary condition (the catch-all read more).”

You may also like these resources:

2012-10-11 10.03 Yuck! Housekeeping Regulations for Dealers that You Just Have to Know [Webinar]

Spring Cleaning for Three Trouble Areas in the Service Bay

OSHA Fines Auto Parts and Used Car Dealer $49,000 for Safety and Health Violations: Conclusion

OSHA Top 10 Citations for Dealerships and Service Centers in 2012

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

Managers need fast, straightforward answers to their compliance concerns. To meet this need, KPA researched the Top 10 OSHA Citations for Dealerships and Service Centers by combining OSHA’s annual Most Frequently Cited Regulations for Dealerships, and OSHA’s annual Most Frequently Cited Regulations for Repair Shops. We pin-pointed specific machinery and processes at facilities that were frequently cited, and developed the Top 10 OSHA Citations for Dealerships and Service Centers.
The List
1. Hazard Communication
2. Respiratory Protection
3. Unguarded Machinery (Parts Grinder)
4. Electrical Safety Requirements
5. Powered Industrial Trucks
6. Exit Routes and Emergency Action Plans
7. Portable Fire Extinguishers
8. Spray Finishing Using Flammable Liquids (especially at collision centers)
9. General Duty Clause
10. Improperly Maintained Emergency Eyewash Stations

Learn More
KPA will host a free educational webinar on November 29th about OSHA’s Top 10 Most Cited Violations by Dealers. Register now at to attend or to receive a link to the recorded webinar.

How to Make a Social Hire [slideshow]

Monday, November 26th, 2012

Environmental Safety and Your Oil Water Separator

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

Oil/water separators used by automotive repair or fleet maintenance businesses to pre-treat waste water usually rely on flow-through, gravity fed systems.  Inside the separator, oil gets trapped in a layer over the top of the waste water. As dirt, sand and sweepings fall out of the waste water stream, they form a layer of thick sludge along the bottom of the separator. Once these layers reach sufficient amounts, they need to be removed by skimmers, pumps, or other methods.

Generally, separators should be monitored on a routine schedule and collected oil should be removed as appropriate, so that it operates properly. The required oil/water separator capacity should always be available (i.e., oil should not continually accumulate in the separator over a period of time that would compromise required storage capacity if an oil release were to occur within the drainage area).



Want to know more about OWS compliance? Checkout these resources:

Best Environmental Practices for Auto Repair and Fleet Maintenance

EPA Guidance Chapter 5: Oil/Water Separators

Internet Marketing 101: Facebook for Dealerships [video]

Monday, November 19th, 2012

This quick video covers the five basics about facebook:

1. Why your earlier efforts on facebook failed

2. How to build a social media strategy on facebook

3. How to actively engage the facebook community

4. How to really advertise on facebook

5. Build positive word of mouth (pwom).

More resources for using facebook as part of your internet marketing mix:


The biggest Facebook Marketing mistake: Not using Facebook Insights [webinar]

Marketing Alert: Don’t Post the Same Content as Other Dealers

Internet Marketing 101: Navigating New Media [video]

Friday, November 16th, 2012

Your internet marketing strategy should work across multiple platforms: Foursquare, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Google+. Your goal is to drive sales for your dealership on social media using geek credibility. Here are some basic internet marketing strategies for widening your sales funnel through engagement and geek credibility in internet communities of early adapters.


Internet Marketing 101: Your Website’s SEO [video]

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

How to optimize your dealership’s website for Organic SEO. This instructional video covers the basics:

1. What organic SEO means

2. Basics of ranking for high volume search terms and long tail search term

3. Difference in visitors from different search terms

4. What are back links

5. Use your fixed ops search words

6. Keywords

7. Getting specific about how you want to be found.

So I’ve Got a Social Media Policy. How Can It Help Me Sell Cars?

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012
Businesswoman with tablet

Your employees can use their personal social media efforts to help your dealership. Just make sure you’ve implemented an effective social media policy.

There’s been a lot of discussion lately about what employers can legally require of their employees in the social media space. Out of necessity, the conversations often focus on how to create effective employee guidelines, and what happens when you don’t.

Important stuff, but if all your dealership has is a well-written social media policy, and no business benefit coming from your employees’ personal activities on networks like Facebook, you’re missing out.

Your staff can use social media to:

  • Place your brand in front of local customers
  • Create goodwill for your store
  • Retain customers
  • Improve lead conversion
  • Increase service business

“Really?” you might say. “Then show me how.”

Glad you asked! In a recent blog post on Dealer Bar, JD Rucker (KPA’s Director of New Media) gave practical tips on how your employees can use their personal Facebook accounts to appropriately – and legally – boost your dealership’s visibility.

  1. Ask customers if they’d like be Facebook friends. Some folks will decline, and that’s OK. But others will agree, especially if your employee is the kind of likable rock star you should be hiring to represent your brand.
  2. Use humor and personal anecdotes to build a network. There’s no need to oversell here. Note the natural progression: “I like Service Mgr. Joe. He’s funny.” “Hey Joe, loved your joke. I hate beef jerky too.” “Joe, I need an oil change. I’ll be by tomorrow.”
  3. Occasionally put the word out on behalf of Sales. “It’s packed here! Our Sales people have a Thanksgiving special on used cars. We’ve got a few left though. Know anyone who needs a …”

Like these ideas? Take a deeper dive by reviewing “Should Dealership Employees Connect With Customers Through Social Media?” and let us know what you think.

Jon Stewart Exposes Veterans Hiring Mess

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

This excellent clip from the John Stewart show highlights a key issue employers face in making good hires. It is especially relevant for those employers who are committed to hiring veterans, but it also hits home for any employer who simply wants to hire the best person for the job.

A big disconnect comes into play when hiring mangers rely on route, standardized education and certification requirements in the selection process. Here’s something important to note about these requirements: When  these recruitment standards are set purposefully high to weed out the “unqualified,” they reject everyone in the process, including people who be a real asset to the company.

Having a baseline of education and experience is a good screening practice.  However, not having the ability to look at a candidate’s background and make informed decisions on equivalency will results in missing out on some great employees.

Related links:

Facebook Recruiting: How to Locate Hard-To-Find Dealership Talent [Webinar]

How online job searches worsen the job crisis

Can You Prove You’re Making Progress? (Safety Culture Tip #6)

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

Woman in office with binders and computer at leftWhen it comes to building a safety culture, here’s a piece of advice most dealers have heard many times: All your safety programs, processes and action items need to be written down.

“That’s obvious,” you might say, “But why do I have to invest so much time keeping records?”

Written records are necessary to follow up on minutes from safety meetings and prove due diligence during inspections. But there’s more to it than that. Written records prove to your most important constituents –your staff – that you:

  1. Really listen to employee feedback about safety risks
  2. Keep people accountable to address weaknesses they’ve reported
  3. Track progress being made on safety issues

Pay special attention to number 3. Employees who see management making consistent improvements to safety problems they’ve reported are less likely to take their concerns to OSHA. (KPA’s observed an increase in the number of employee complaints to OSHA in recent years.)

Don’t give your employees reason to pick up the phone and tell OSHA, “They’re not doing anything about XYZ…” Show them you’re making progress.

If you’re doing that already, what’s working for your dealership? How do you measure and report progress?

Resources related to this blog post:
Webinar: “How to Develop a Positive Safety Culture” by Nick Hardesty
Blog posts on safety culture: Defining a Safety CultureTip #1 –Senior ManagementTip #2 –Safety CoordinatorsTip #3 – Accident Follow-upTip #4 – Return-to-Work PoliciesTip #5 – Employee Feedback