AutoNation

College

Brookhaven College

Background

AutoNation, the largest automotive retailer in the U.S., had combined all financial processes from its more than 250 dealerships nationwide into a centralized service center. The company wanted to develop a culture of continuous improvement to focus on improving and refining processes. When service center managers asked their corporate office about training, they were told that a local community college usually implemented such programs and contacted Brookhaven College to develop a plan. 

Goal and Target  

The goal was to train the Shared Service Center’s vice president and upper-level supervisors in Lean Six Sigma. Toyota developed Lean principles to reduce waste by defining, analyzing and improving manufacturing processes. Six Sigma, originally developed by Motorola, provides techniques for continuous process improvement by minimizing variability. Lean Six Sigma combines the two concepts for both manufacturing and management. ​

Specifics

Brookhaven College delivered two Lean Six Sigma courses to more than 50 AutoNation service center supervisors in 2013-2014, providing knowledge and skills to improve processes and management of project teams. The process included 8D (for its eight disciplines) problem-solving methodologies using trainees’ processes, problems and data as classroom examples to put theory in to practice. 

Funding

Contract training courses were funded by AutoNation to conduct courses from February 2013 to April 2014 at a cost of $40,000, with an expectation of more courses in 2015.  

Challenges and Solutions

AutoNation identified projects for process realignment related to dealer trading: identifying improvement design, creating a new workflow model and improving automation. Solutions included developing and applying capital program improvements and identifying major process improvement. The next step of implementing improvements is awaiting approval.

Strategies for ​Success

Employees at AutoNation discuss their processes as part of their Lean Six Sigma training.

To create the highest quality of training experience, the college consulted an expert subject matter facilitator and developed content through in-depth communication with process owners. 

Outcomes

Through this training, AutoNation created a culture of continuous improvement that affected the company’s bottom line by reducing costs and waste and improving employee effectiveness.  

Lessons Learned

Training was customized from previously created training modules with specific competencies identified by the partner. This technique, instead of creating a curriculum from scratch, allowed for curriculum development with significant cost savings to the client.

What Our Partners Say

Jan Learing
Training Manager, AutoNation
“ The Shared Service Center does financial transactions for all dealerships owned by AutoNation. Because of our size and the need to improve our processes to be more efficient, the CFO made a decision to begin offering the opportunity for our associates to go through Six Sigma and learn how to re-think and implement processes that would benefit the organization, dealerships and the center. ... Great program! I highly recommend it! ”

For More Information

Brookhaven College
Workforce and Continuing Education
972-860-4574 ​​​​​