The automotive dealership Fixed Operations Director oversees not only the service department, but also the parts department and body shop. Fixed operations directors are responsible for the reputation, efficiency and profitability of these departments. The term “fixed” means these departments are independent of vehicle sales.
As with all positions within dealerships, fixed operations directors are expected to uphold the highest ethical standards.
The duties of the fixed operations director include:
- Preparing an annual operating budget, goals and objectives for each department and monitoring the departments’ performance.
- Directing the hiring and training of managers for the service, parts and body departments.
- Working with department managers to improve profitability and efficiency.
- Creating and maintaining a positive relationship with customers, ensuring that department staff is helpful, as well as making customer satisfaction a priority to ensure referral and repeat business.
- Working directly with customers and warranty clerks to administer warranty claims, as well as understanding and applying warranty guidelines.
- Creating dealership service and pricing policies for approval by the general manager.
- Ensuring that service repairs are performed efficiently and correctly by conducting spot checks on jobs.
Previous experience as a service advisor or service manager is recommended for the fixed operations director position. Most fixed operations directors are required to hold a National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Master Technician Certification.
Fixed operations directors must have strong leadership and organizational skills. Strong communication skills are required to work with customers, employees and vendors. Managers are also required to maintain the profitability of their department while controlling expenses and maintaining customer satisfaction.
Managers are required to not only understand and keep abreast of the federal, state, and local regulations that affect their operations, but also to comply with these regulations as well as hazardous waste disposal and OSHA Right-to-Know regulations. Managers provide necessary training on these regulations and ethical practices.
People working within the automotive retail industry often have to work extended hours, evenings and weekends to achieve their goals.
A four-year college degree in business administration or marketing is increasingly preferred for most managerial jobs, particularly by larger dealerships.
Focusing on the following coursework is useful: mathematics, computers/electronics, automotive service and technology, business and courses that teach analytical skills.
Fixed operations directors often begin their careers as entry-level technicians and work up to managerial positions over time. This is a demanding management position that may lead to general manager.
The average annual earnings of fixed-operations directors are approximately $72,000 to $109,000. Earnings vary depending on experience, and the dealer’s geographic location and size.
Benefits vary by employer, but most dealerships offer health insurance, retirement plans, and other benefit options to employees. Talk with the specific dealer or general manager about benefit packages.
Working in the automotive industry can be physically demanding. Certain positions require employees to spend most of their workday on their feet and to carry heavy and awkwardly sized items. A reasonable level of physical fitness and flexibility is beneficial.
This job description has been provided as reference only and portions of it’s content is credited to Auto Careers Today.