Training Top 125 Best Practice: CarMax Inc.’s DRIVE

The DRIVE program teaches Service Operations associates and leaders what “good” looks like, so they can understand what’s required to perform well. The program includes online training, daily huddle meetings, and structured observations.

CarMax Inc.’s DRIVE program has become a best practice within the used vehicle retailer’s organization and is one that can be easily replicated. The model includes:

  • Show what “good” looks like through a video clip of an expert demonstrating the skill and desired result
  • Provide training on the vital behaviors needed to execute the process
  • Provide managers with the tools to follow up and provide daily support for a minimum of 30 days

Program Details

Specifically, the DRIVE program teaches Service Operations associates and leaders what “good” looks like, so they can understand what’s required to perform well. The program includes online training, daily huddle meetings, and structured observations. CarMax offers SmartClip video segments, a skill practice guide that helps associates execute with excellence, and an Observation Guide for managers to help reinforce the learning from the previous steps.

The program allows the Service Operations team to:

  • Develop all associates with the skills they need to succeed
  • Reinforce training using a shop-floor focus
  • Involve associates as experts, so people learn from the best
  • Validate tools and training for effectiveness
  • Execute at a high level to continue to deliver value and quality to customers

Modules include topics such as “Kept Informed Call” for service consultants; “The Huddle Process” for leads; “The Diagnostic Process” for technicians; and “No Stain Left Behind,” which helps detailers get every car that’s going on a CarMax lot in top cosmetic condition.

The program is linked not only to CarMax’s strategic goal of developing associates, but also to driving efficient execution. DRIVE optimizes manager time by providing standard activities to train and to develop the functional skills of Service associates.

Results

The original goals of the program were to improve customer satisfaction (based on a Voice of the Customer survey), reduce the number of post-sale returns and repairs (cars coming back for work that should have been performed correctly the first time, aka “comebacks”), and reduce the cost of reconditioning the vehicle (repairs are completed correctly in less time with less cost per car).

Success measurements to date include:

For the Diagnostic Process:

  • An average cost savings of $1.55 per car for mechanical sublet (sending cars offsite for repairs)
  • An improvement of overall quality scores by 5 percent, which resulted in a $1.66 per car savings

Under the Final Quality Control (FQC) process:

  • An overall reconditioning cost reduction of $4.15 per car
  • A reduction of 2 percent on “comebacks” and transfer costs

For Ordering the Correct Part:

  • An overall savings of $13.13 per car
  • Improved speed and lower cost by reducing Returns to Vendor (RTVs)

In Customer Service:

  • An overall 2.3-point improvement in Customer Satisfaction score (VOC)
  • A 4 percent reduction on the number of service consultants with a personal VOC score below 45

All this totaled $9 million in savings for the year.

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Training Top 125

Minneapolis, MN (November 18, 2014)—Training magazine, the leading business publication for learning and development professionals, today announced the finalists for the annual Training Top 125, which ranks companies’ excellence in employer-sponsored training and development programs.

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