Founded in 1967, Bretz is a premier specialty dealer in Montana and Idaho with locations in Missoula, Nampa, Boise, and Billings. The main location in Missoula has nearly 38+ acres and 600-700 customer storage units. They are also the largest RV and Marine dealer in Montana, Idaho, eastern Washington, Wyoming, and the Dakotas.
Prior to Lot Metrix, Bretz had a cumbersome and time-consuming process. If a unit needed to be moved on the lot, they would use a 2-way radio to communicate with their drivers and share the new location a unit needed to be moved. The driver would aimlessly search for the unit and complete the assignment. As time went on, they acquired better quality radios, but it still proved challenging to communicate — signals were being blocked in the metal buildings, noisy forklifts, drivers were frustrated due to communication breakdown, techs were frustrated due to losing money, and leadership didn’t have proper oversight that it needed. They spent nearly $8,000 on radio setups that still weren’t an efficient way to communicate.
“I could never imagine going back to that kind of setup,” said Garard. “On a large lot, imagine a forklift driver searching for units aimlessly and getting frustrated that they couldn’t find what they were tasked to locate. We tried to organize the lot by model or types of units, but in all actuality, the unit could be in 4 or 5 different locations. The wear and tear on our forklifts, the fuel we were using, the wait times — it all stacked up.”
Lot Metrix is helping Bretz increase sales and service production while minimizing dealership liability.
Assignments are on a tablet, drivers see the assignment, pick it up, and bring it exactly where it’s needed. The seamless breakdown of all vehicle movements from A to Z has helped minimize liability of unnecessary repair costs. Tracking employee performance has also helped Bretz immensely.
“Lot Metrix is my best friend and the single best tool we have,” said Casey Garard, Service Manager at Gull Boats & RV. “I have been with Bretz for 26 years and I don’t know how we ever lived without it. When you’re trying to get the most of the service resources you have, keeping things moving with full bays is critical.”
The efficiency savings are staggering — get more work done, improve lead time and wait time, and streamlined the backlog.
When Garard was promoted to a Service Manager at Gull Boats & Marine, he was tasked with transforming their inventory management. Prior to Lot Metrix, the Gull technicians were paid to move units. They would clock into a flag, go on a forklift, get their unit, and move it. In March, he calculated the time it took his team to move units and dropped it from the retail rate. He was able to identify roughly $23,000 in lost production time that could have been spent on higher priority tasks or helping customers who have been waiting to get their boats and RVs worked on. Garard estimates the savings is likely closer to the $30,000 a month mark for Gull and was likely millions at the primary Missoula location prior to utilizing Lot Metrix.
Garard goes on to say, “As someone who is paid off production, we need to be cutting edge to ensure we are hitting the mark. Here at Gull, we deal with a 6+ acre footprint but doing it the caveman way just doesn’t make sense. If I could give dealers one piece of advice, the payoff is massive. Get rid of the radios — you need Lot Metrix!”