“Outstanding customer service produces SA winners” – Tania Barlow

With their strong focus on delivering outstanding customer service from all departments, South Africa’s leading motor dealers produce business performances which easily equal and sometimes exceed the best in the world, says Tania Barlow, MD of Sewells Group South Africa.

business man of the year

She was announcing the date for the Sewells Businessman of the Year (BotY) awards banquet which will take place in Gautengon Thursday 7th June. Tania said the awards banquet, sponsored by WesBank and supported by the National Automobile Dealers’ Association since its inception in 1998, is the industry’s way of recognising global best practice performances.

‘It has long been recognised by motor dealers and manufacturers worldwide that good business performances are only achieved by automotive retailers who can continually succeed in satisfying customers across the five traditional departments (new cars, used cars, workshops and F&I – financial services).’

She says that an important by-product of Sewells Group SA with its business management and consulting activities in the retail automotive sector is the unique capability of being able to produce detailed key indicator benchmarks which can be used to measure dealer performances – not only inSouth Africabut also in several other global markets where Sewells Group operates.

‘Two recent observations can make us distinctly proud of the performance of our South African retailers:

‘This month we carried out a direct comparison of key indicators of dealer performances in seven countries where Sewells operates (Australia, China, India, South Africa, Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand).

‘Earlier this year we hosted a large dealer study group to the 2012 NADA Convention in the United States and were again able to look at our dealers’ performance numbers against some of those revealed by six different Las Vegas motor dealers whom we visited.

‘In both cases we could see how well our retailers compared with these global colleagues. It was very pleasing!’

 ‘An innovation in our BotY last year was to introduce a stratified selection procedure to nominate dealers from each of three categories – large, medium and small.

‘We’ve continued that practice this year to give equal and fair opportunity to dealers of all sizes throughoutSouth Africa. So there will be three distinct Businessman of the Year titles given out next month for the best performances during 2011 in each of those categories.  We also have a tradition of recognising up-and-coming entrepreneurs with a Most Improved Performance award.’

PREVIOUS YEAR’S WINNERS – Here are last year’s winners of the 2010 Sewells Businessman of the Year title flanked by Tania Barlow, managing director of Sewells Group South Africa and Dennis Anderson chief operating officer of Sewells Group.  They are, from left, small category winner Riaan Smit from BB Auto Polokwane, large category winner Pieter Maree of NTT Toyota Vryheid, and medium category winner Gordon Ferris of Galactic Auto.  The next winners of Businessman of the Year title will be announced at a WesBank-sponsored banquet in Gauteng on Thursday 7th June.