Skip to main content

Submitted by HR Automation

At DealerPILOT HR we enjoy the opportunity to speak openly with our clients about their experience with managing their teams and systems. Recently we had the chance to catch up with Steve Iaboni, the Service Manager at Audi Brampton, part of the Bramgate Automotive Group.

Steve has several years of experience in the car business – first as a technician prior to moving into the Service Manager position. Initially, he managed the service department using old fashioned paper and pen eventually moving to the adoption of DealerPILOT when Bramgate implemented the solution a few years ago.

Audi Brampton is a newer location built about three years ago. In that time, their turnover is 24% less than the industry average for 2020 PLUS their workforce demographic is younger than the industry norm, with an employee average age of 34.

In Steve’s office, there is a sign that says “Do what’s right, not what’s easy” which is a mantra he teaches his staff and abides by himself. Speaking to when they first implemented DealerPILOT HR, he expected a little bit of pushback from his staff because that is natural when you are onboarding a new solution.

“At first it feels like more work when in reality it is less work when all is said and done.”

People want to be led by those that understand what they do and can do what they do”, says Steve, who is a big believer in leading by example. “The do as I say not as I do leadership style is completely out the window.”

When asked how much time DealerPILOT saves Steve in work he emphatically states hours and hours. Being able to see a glance who is on the floor rather than searching for a time ticket is valuable time savings. Their foreman is fully engaged and will check the in/out board to quickly tell when someone will be back from lunch by seeing their Lunch Out punch time.

Steve shares the thought that if you have 12-13 technicians, if each of them comes up to you in person to say they are going for lunch, then you need to calculate that you have enough coverage on the floor, that is an amount of administrative noise that eats at people’s productivity and creates an unnecessary distraction.

Newly hired staff are taught in New Hire Orientation to review the Time Off Calendar for the dates they would like to request BEFORE they enter their submission, to see if any of their team is already off on those dates. This way they can see the likelihood of their request being approved. “It is about employee empowerment, not monitoring, and when you get that point across to your staff, they will use the tool consistently.”

Before DealerPILOT, he used an old- fashioned spreadsheet for tracking vacation time but said he felt he was always spending time updating the sheet. With DealerPILOT time deducts automatically and there is a simple Time Bank Report to pull from the system at year-end to ensure all is balanced.

Manager consistency helps your people be consistent, if someone asks you in a conversation or byemail if they can take a day off simply redirect them back to DealerPILOT. He agrees that, on average, the younger staff adapt to technology more quickly but it’s worth it to take the time to coach other individuals that need help using the system because of the hours of time it saves down the road.

Steve loves the transparency and increased engagement among his staff with the DealerPILOT system. When people are familiar and comfortable with each other and the tools you use in-house – your communication will be of high quality and the added benefit to that is there are much fewer surprises.

It is encouraging to Steve that his staff are on board with the system and how they empower themselves. For example, if they forget to punch, they are telling Steve before he even receives an exception notification from the system. Staff take responsibility and understand the importance of their information being up to date and accurate in DealerPILOT.
DealerPILOT wanted to share Steve’s story because he provided great feedback when we launched the updated portal, expressing how he appreciated the enhancements to the dashboard and timesheets.

“The layout is very clean and easy to navigate, I love the timesheet cover page that tells me how many days I have left to approve. Everything is fast, quick and easy to edit with the intuitive design.”

At the end of our chat, Steve mentioned one other benefit that we had not heard before – the esthetic of having a clean office.

Audi is a luxury brand and a professional office where the walls are bare except for appropriate décor such as brand photography solidifying a positive image, as opposed to an office with piles of papers, folders or perhaps a bulletin board or whiteboard filled with schedules, calendars and to-do lists.

When everything is in your computer and at your fingertips, you keep clutter reduced and can focus on the important parts of your role, such as strategic planning and coaching your team.