Creating a successful flowchart for RV dealerships

  • Make sure each role in your flowchart is clearly defined without overlaps with other departments
  • Allow leaders to exercise authority over employees with minimal interference 
  • Have staff acknowledge flowchart and hold each person accountable

A clear chain of command for RV dealerships is vital. It helps with organization, communication and staff morale. The key is not just defining authority and responsibility in your dealership but also ensuring each role is honored. 

In the Art of War, military philosopher Sun Tzu wrote an enlightened general will first define the chain of command under him and then harmonize his forces. You can easily apply this strategy to RV dealerships.

First, you need to create your flowchart. A flowchart is a diagram defining the different roles in your dealership. You can see an example of an RV dealership flowchart below.

 

At the top of the flowchart is the owner. If you are an owner/general manager, define yourself as the general. If you are an owner but not the general manager, define yourself as the sovereign and your general manager as your general.  

What’s the difference? In the military, the general is the person who is in the field commanding. The sovereign is responsible for making sure the general is dedicated to success and qualified to lead.  

It’s important to make a distinction between these two key leadership roles. A general manager that can act freely, without micromanagement, has a better chance of success. 

The general manager must be an experienced, selfless and skilled leader. The owner must fully trust the general manager with day-to-day operations. On the other hand, everyone at the dealership should respect the general manager’s authority.

Also, the general manager is responsible for making sure each department works efficiently. They should address issues between the departments if necessary. 

Below the general manager are the department heads including your sales manager, service manager and accounting manager. Think of them as subordinate officers to a general. 

A general manager should meet regularly with department heads about planning and any issues within the dealership. They should also listen to the advice of the department heads when making decisions.

The general manager and workers should also respect a department head’s authority. This will help to create a culture of trust and clarity. 

Below the department heads are the workers, the foot soldiers. Your non-leadership employees should be on board with your dealership’s vision and goals. They should understand their roles clearly and avoid crossing into other roles unless it is necessary. 

Here are a few other tips for creating and using your flowchart: 

  • Fill all leadership roles with name and title 
  • Fill non-leadership roles with just the title unless worker has unique responsibilities
  • Under each role, give 2-4 bullet-point responsibilities 
  • Post the chart in an area accessible to employees, not customers (i.e., GM’s office, break room) 
  • Have each employee sign an acknowledgment of the chart  
  • Have a copy of the flowchart at each meeting for accountability

Organization, communication and morale are all vitally important to the success of your dealership. Defining a clear chain of command is one way to increase your overall efficiency. Just as importantly, people’s roles should be understood and respected. That saves everyone time and energy that could be spent serving your customers.