Quality System Management – Vehicle Sales

Any system employed within a business is only as good as the people who operate it.

The purpose of this article is to ensure that there is a pyramid of accountability from the Board to the newest recruit so that the Company may be sure that its policies, systems and procedures are being carried out at all times.
The importance of accountability cannot be stressed enough. If the systems are seen only as paper systems which have no active involvement within the business then they are ineffective and will offer the company no protection whatsoever. It is essential that any system adopted must, at any stage, have an effective monitoring and record system to evidence the precautions taken.

The purpose of this Quality Systems Management article is to:

• Ensure the system of accountability and reporting structure throughout the organisation is operative

• Facilitate compliance audits at every level

NB. The Quality System that we advocate is designed to overlay the existing business systems you operate. The elements are specifically aimed at Trading Standards compliance.

As an operational organisation you will have the essential infrastructure of staff, equipment, stationery and business procedures on which this system can be overlaid.

Where Do I Start?

Where Do I Start?

The route adopted in Quality System's will be used again within this article and the following flow chart will indicate the checks that need to be made.
 

Audit Checks

Audit Checks

Owner/Partner/Director

Initial and Ad hoc
The following checks should be made immediately and on an ad hoc basis thereafter:

• Check to ensure that the Business/Company name, address and business ownership details are displayed on the premises on a position where public have access and on all relevant documentation.

• Check to ensure you have a Consumer Credit licence which is current, contains all trading names, and covers the relevant categories of trade you require.

• Check to ensure that you have current and relevant Data Protection registration.

• Where geographically applicable check to ensure that you are registered with the local authority.
• Check to ensure all business documentation complies with current requirements.

• Check to ensure all staff have an appropriate contract of employment, job descriptions, appraisals and training records and that they are all current.

Ensure a person is nominated to deal with complaints.

• Advertising agency agreements contain indemnity clauses and you have provided the necessary instructions and information to enable them to comply with the relevant provision of the regulations.

• Check web site to ensure it is compliant.

• Check to ensure that Company Policies, Systems and Procedures and Lawgistics Manuals have been issued and signed for as appropriate.

• Check to ensure all staff have valid and current driving licence.

• Provide a general Statement of Intent in respect of Health & Safety within the workplace.

• Outline the role and responsibilities of individuals in respect of Health & Safety within the workplace.

• Detail and communicate the practical arrangements necessary to implement the Health & Safety policy.

• Appoint a competent person to carry out Risk and COSHH Assessments, Fire Procedures and Assessments.

• Ensure Safety Signs and Instructions are displayed.

• Provide Personal Protection Equipment for staff.

• Provide training on safety issues including Manual Handling.

Monthly

The following checks should be carried out on a monthly basis, namely:

• A visual inspection of the Company’s web site to ensure that it remains compliant.

• A check to ensure that the Company Policies, Systems and Procedures, overseen by the Manager, are being carried out and with particular reference to:

- Web site information
- Media advertising
- On site advertising and promotions
- Point of sale material
- Purchasing of motor vehicles and other goods for resale
- Vehicle roadworthiness
- Valeting and display
- Mileage checks
- Test drives
- Sales procedures and documentation
- Hand over procedures
- Customer complaint procedures
- Health & Safety

These checks may be made by an examination of the Internal Audit records kept by the Manager and/or Staff.

Managers

Initial and Ad hoc
The Manager will ensure that the following action has been taken and a record of that action made, namely:

• All staff have a contract of employment and job description that is current and contains all the relevant terms and conditions appropriate to their role.

• All staff have been assessed for their training needs and an individual training programme entered onto their employee file. This file shall be continuously kept under review.

• All information placed on a web site and any alteration of any kind made shall be personally signed off by the Manager and a record kept of the same.

• All advertisements shall be checked and signed off by the Manager prior to their publication.

• All advertisements and promotional material shall be removed at the conclusion of any promotion.

• All Health & Safety procedures shall be checked to ensure compliance.

• All vehicles and goods purchased shall be checked to ensure compliance with description, documentation, order details, specification and other matters detailed in the Company Policy.

Weekly

The following checks shall be carried out on a weekly basis and a Weekly Check
Sheet completed and signed to indicate the same, namely:

• A check to ensure that staff are aware of the current advertisement including content, extent and period of availability.

• A check to ensure that all price reductions, special promotions, free gifts and other offers are available and have been put into effect and that there is no such promotional material displayed that is not current.

• A check to ensure that no unauthorised advertisement, offer or promotion or any out of date promotional material is on display.

• A check to ensure that all point of sale material is accurate and describes the vehicle or goods to which it relates.

• That the Company Policy is being adhered to in all matters and in particular:

- Purchasing of vehicles and goods
- Vehicle roadworthiness
- Valeting and display
- The use of disclaimers and the disclaimer register
- Mileage checks
- Test drives
- Sales procedures
- Sales documentation
- Hand over procedure
- Customer complaints
- Health & Safety procedures and safe systems of work

Each of the checks carried out by the Manager or his nominee shall be entered on the Weekly Internal Audit Checklist and endorsed by the person completing the check.

The completed sheet shall be placed on file for inspection by the Owner/Partner/Directors and any non compliance shall be immediately rectified and drawn to their attention.

Sales Executives

Every day the following checks shall be carried out by all or nominated sales staff, namely:

• All vehicles are checked to ensure that a mileage disclaimer has been affixed over or in close proximity to the mileage reading.

• All vehicles are checked to ensure that any point of sale material is accurate and applicable to the vehicle with which it is displayed.
 
• All documentation completed by them in respect of any consumer transaction is accurate, completed in full and signed prior to the transaction being completed.

• All vehicles will be checked to ensure that they are in a roadworthy condition prior to their use on the highway.

In addition all staff shall comply with the Company’s Policies, Systems and procedures fully and at all times.

External Audits

External Audits

External Audits of all applications of Company Policies, Systems and Procedures shall be made as and when the Owner/Partner/Directors consider appropriate. A report of their findings shall be passed to the appropriate personnel for action.

Reporting

Reporting

In accordance with the flowchart at the beginning of this article each tier of the organisation internally reports to its superior as indicated.

The results of an external audit (carried out by an organisation such as Lawgistics) will be reported to the head of the organisation when carried out.

Published: 02 Aug 2011

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