All things digital from the top experts in the business today.
June is the month that our leadership team joins WD Co Auto and MDA Services for a trip across the province to meet with our members. I truly appreciate the time commitment from Glenn Smaha and Greg Stahl (our Chair and Vice Chair) as they have their own businesses to run. This year’s meetings were very well attended, and we were afforded the opportunity to hear from you about what is important while we provided some updates on the business.
There were three very clear themes that came out of our sessions. First, there is work to be done with our government regarding the Federal ZEV Mandates that will kick in, starting in 2026. While CADA continues to work federally to show the government how poorly thought-out these mandates are, we need to get the Alberta government’s attention to the fact that, as a province, we are too far behind the curve in adoption of this new technology.
Second, we need to work with AMVIC to find ways to ensure our dealers are compliant when it comes to All-In Pricing, including identifying areas where perhaps the laws are not reasonable. This process will be arduous, but it is important to remember that this is the law, and we must comply, regardless of our current issues.
Finally, the shortage of skilled tradespeople needs to be addressed. While work is on-going with the federal government to streamline the immigration process, we need our provincial government to help us with certification of these workers, when they arrive. We believe there is opportunity to work with the Board of Skilled Trades to make progress in this area.
We see the Foreign Worker Program as a temporary fix. The key to long-term stability in these areas is to rebuild the pipeline of students coming from high school into the trades. With that in mind, the association is working on the development of a “Meeting in a Box” to assist dealerships with visits to your local high school to help students understand the opportunities that exist in our industry.
Hope everyone has a great summer, and we see a significant reduction in the fires and floods that seem to have dominated our lives early this season.
AMVIC Quick Hits
Service & Repair is part of Automotive Business Regulation (ABR)
Since service and repair is included in the ABR, AMVIC is responsible for ensuring that franchised dealers, as well as independent shops comply with the regulation.
Authorizations are critical in your service department.
Any type of service or repair in Alberta requires authorization from the customer. The authorization should be in writing and include the following:
the name of the person giving authorization
the date the authorization is given
a description of the work that is being authorized
the estimated total cost of the work described above, with confirmation (signature) authorizing the work
If it is not possible to get authorization in writing, the information noted above must be documented along with the time the authorization was received and how it was provided (ie. Phone, email etc.).
While this may seem obvious, we continue to get reports of some dealerships not getting documented approvals.
If you have any questions in this area, do not hesitate to contact the MDA Office.
Western Canadian Dealer Summit
November 16-19, 2023
Register now for the event of the year!
Registration, as well as the room block at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is now open! To date we have announced four of the individuals who will join us in November to celebrate the auto industry and learn about the opportunities that are on the horizon. Don't miss out - click on the link below to register now.
Speaker Line Up (more announcements to come)
Former NHL star and US Hockey Hall of Fame member, Jeremy Roenick will be our guest of honor. This will be another “fireside chat” format where Jeremy will share his insights on leadership and teamwork, drawing on his experiences as a professional athlete.
Charlie Volgelheim brings over 35 years of experience in the automotive industry. Charlie works on a variety of automotive initiatives, including retail, wholesale, and finance. Considered a thought leader in the industry, he attends automotive shows and conferences around the world, and is fascinated by ongoing changes and technological developments in transportation.
George Nenni is the founder of Generations Digital, a technology marketing analytics firm that empowers car dealers to maximize their marketing dollars by eliminating advertising waste. George will provide insights that will help your team excel in the digital marketing space.
We are thrilled to have our first "Mystery Speaker", a concept that our Host, Jay Radke, has added to this year's line-up. The session will be an inspirational experience, detailing the early career of working the frontline with Ford to running a successful Ford dealership and more recently, following his entrepreneurial spirit that lead to an acquisition in the technology sector. It is a story that will inspire you.
Entering its sixth day, workers at BC's ports and their employers are deadlocked in negotiations, affecting as much as $800 million in cargo daily, as noted in a BC Chamber of Commerce statement. The ongoing strike is of particular concern for automotive companies that depend on the port for shipments, adding significant costs and increasing uncertainty.
A letter has been sent to Prime Minister Trudeau from business associations across Canada, including CADA, and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce calling on the federal government to resolve the labour dispute quickly.
On June 12th, MDA Chair Glenn Smaha, Vice Chair Greg Stahl, and President Gerald Wood kicked off the 2023 MDA Chairman’s Tour. They were joined on the tour by Mike Reid, President of WD Co-Auto, and Dave Jones, President of MDA Services.
The week started in Grande Prairie, with stops in Peace River, Edmonton, Lloydminster, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Calgary and Red Deer. Total attendance was over 120 dealer members representing over 160 roof tops across the province. We even had a member from Hay River, NWT make the trip to join us in Peace River.
The discussions have provided the basis for our forward strategy at the Association. Thank you to all of the attendees for committing their valuable time to meet with us.
The MDA would like to give a special “Thank You” to Clarence Arnoldussen for kindly accommodating our Lethbridge meeting at his auto museum.
Keep an eye for next year’s Tour which is tentatively planned for June 2024. In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns you would like to discuss, give us a call at the MDA Office.
SAIT / MDA Corporate Learner Portal
Success in today's environment requires an unwavering focus, motivation, and dominant mental toughness. The mind is fundamental in determining how you tackle obstacles in the workplace, excel under pressure, consistently perform beyond expectations, remain confident in times of distress, handle difficult workplace conversations, and excel when apprehension and doubt creep in.
The CADA Laureate program has recognized dealer excellence since 2006. On June 25th, CADA announced their honorees in three categories:
Peter MacDonald, MacDonald Auto Group, Charlottetown, PEI
Also nominated: Gerry Wood, Wood Auto Group, Calgary, AB; Neil Kalawski, Kalawski Auto Group, Castelgar, BC; Peter Heppner, Preston Chevrolet Buick GMC, Langley, BC; Paul Williams, Centaur Subaru, Calgary, AB
Andrew Ojamae, AutoIQ Dealer Group, Barrie, ON
Also nominated: Kyle Romeril, Kaizen Auto Group, Calgary, AB; Mathieu Landry, Landry Automobiles Ltee, Montreal, QC; Mark Hicks, Sherwood Ford, Sherwood Park, AB; Mathieu Spinelli, Groupe Spinelli, Montreal, QC
Hugues Carle, Carle Ford, Gatineau, QC
Also nominated: Dean Cooley, Dean Cooley Motors, Dauphin, MB; Francesco Policaro, Porsche Centre Oakville, Oakville, ON; Jason Mills, Westridge Buick GMC, Lloydminster, AB; Martin Tailandier, BMW Montreal Centre, Montreal, QC
Remembering Wayne Budge
The MDA is saddened to learn of the passing of Wayne Budge
We are deeply saddened to share the news that we have lost one of Federated’s best – Wayne Budge passed away on June 12, 2023, after a long health battle. He was surrounded by his loving wife, Wendy, son Shea along with his sister and brother-in-law.
Wayne started his career with Federated on Sept 20,1982 in the Winnipeg claims office as an Office Adjuster. He progressed in Claims, in various roles, from an Adjuster to an Examiner and in 1986 to a Supervisor. In 1998, he became the Corporate Training Manager until 2008 when he joined the Association team as a Service Coordinator. In 2014, he was promoted to a Senior Account Representative and in 2016 to Manager Association Partnerships. Wayne celebrated 40 amazing years of service with Federated in 2022 and retired in December. Wayne was a true leader, friend, and a key Federated family member. Many described him as simply ‘one of a kind’.
Words from Rosé Oxenham, SVP Corporate Development & Operations
Federated wouldn’t be who we are and where we are today without you. You had a heart of gold, a quick wit, unparalleled dedication, commitment, and the list goes on… We all cherished our relationships with you. You were a true gentleman and a scholar. Thank you – the words will never seem to be enough. May you continue to shine above. R.I.P. my friend …
We will always carry you in our hearts and will miss you.
Is Your Staffing Strategy Summer Ready?
As we head into the summer, many of us have had recruitment on our minds, but staffing levels can be impacted by many other factors too. This is especially true as we head into the summer vacation season.
Here are a few quick ways to be sure that vacation is managed in a way that still maintains operational efficiency:
TRACK IT! The use of a robust vacation management system can mean the difference between having adequate coverage or not, as well as being able to make well informed decisions around those last-minute vacation requests.
AUDIT Review your system to ensure that those staff members with a lot of vacation days left to use are scheduling time off and giving you those vacation requests in a timely manner. If your review of vacation management reveals high available times and no requests, be sure that you are being proactive. This is also true in the reverse, does your system reveal that someone has requested time off that they do not have entitlement for paid days that you need to address?
THE BOY SCOUT RULE Always be prepared. Being ready for last-minute requests, unplanned absences, and attrition all at the same time can be daunting. By cross training your staff, having solid tracking systems and reviewing Year-over-year data can help ensure that you are prepared to address gaps in staffing.
REMEMBER THE WEATHER Being short staffed may not be just about absences. Extreme weather protocols that leave you with workers seemingly on water and rest breaks as much as on task can impact effectiveness quickly. During extreme heat, revisit your schedule to ensure that you can still meet timeline expectations, are prepped for heat related injury or absence, and have the needed resources on hand.
JUST SAY NO! As much as we want to ensure that staff are happy, you can’t please all the people all the time. If a last-minute vacation request just isn’t feasible, then you may need to deny the request. Having your vacation utilization mapped out in your system can make this let down a little less painful by being able to quickly offer up an alternate date, responding expediently and demonstrating why you are unable to give them exactly what they asked for.
AVOID THE SCRAMBLE If you dread the start of summer and the prep for fall it may be time to review your policies and practices. Ensuring that you have clear expectations on vacation request deadlines, dates for use of accrued vacation, parameters for minimum staffing levels (maybe even black out dates) and a clear approval process can take the stress and frustration out of the summer season.
If you would like more information on preparing for extreme weather, vacation management or how we assist dealerships with any of these tips, we would love to help! You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
We hope you enjoyed this edition of the MDA’s Monthly E-Newsletter.
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