Brandiss Drummer on Teaching People To Think Outside The Box

May 31, 2023
Brandiss Drummer is Vice President of NCM.
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Brandiss Drummer is Vice President of NCM.

Key Takeaways:

  1. NCM is involved in various aspects of the automotive industry, including founding the 20 group concepts, training, consulting, software solutions, and working with OEMs.
  2. The leading focus at NCM is training, emphasizing not only back-to-basics knowledge but also cultivating a thinking mindset to adapt to the evolving market.
  3. Innovation labs are utilized to encourage critical thinking and collaboration among industry professionals to find solutions to industry challenges.
  4. The example of overnight servicing is discussed as a problem that requires innovative thinking and a fresh approach.
  5. NCM focuses on attracting and retaining talent in the automotive industry by improving the industry's brand perception and exploring strategies for talent management.

Paul Daly: 0:00Hey, today on the show, we have Brandiss Drummer,Vice President of NCM. Just all of it.

Unknown: 0:06

This is amplify, a retail automotive podcast brought to you by Reuters events and ASOTU. It's time to make the most innovative voices in retail. Automotive. Louder.Coming in,

Paul Daly: 0:22

I told you there was intro music you wanted to get you wanted to pick your own walk on music

Brandiss Drummer: 0:26

I did. I wanted to make sure the vibe was right. But that was good.

Paul Daly: 0:29

I told you once you hear it, I said you'll feel like you have to deliver. That's right. But it got your brand is thanks so much for joining us today.

Brandiss Drummer: 0:35

I'm glad to be here. Thanks for having me.

Paul Daly: 0:37

All right, let's talk about NCM. Let's do it. Right.Because you said your vice president of everything, every place everywhere. Yeah, he kind of said everything off the record before? No, no, what's on the record? Now? There's no off the record around here. So let's talk about NCM. Everybody knows na, da and what they do? Not as many people understand ncms Reach is pretty broad. Tell us about it.

Brandiss Drummer: 1:03

Yeah. So a lot of people don't know that NCM actually founded the 20 group concept.

Kyle Mountsier: 1:09

The atom bomb,start there for

Paul Daly: 1:11

joining us today.

Kyle Mountsier: 1:14

Okay, put that clip on social

Brandiss Drummer: 1:16

running.However, that's just one of the things that we do. So we also have training, we have consulting, we have our software. And then we also work directly with OEMs. So we actually acquired a business management solutions company,which is a product where we take in dealer data on behalf of the OEM like the financial statements that dealers submit every month. And so we've got a lot of big partnerships in that way as well.

Paul Daly: 1:41

A couple things,

Kyle Mountsier: 1:42

couple few things. Yeah. I love it. I like work. So where where would you say right now is kind of like the leading focus of all of that, I know that everything's always a focus. But what's the leading focus that's driving things that needs the most focus so that the dealer, the OEM, the consumer, can get the best of all of us?

Brandiss Drummer: 2:02

Yeah, that's a great question. And it's hard to choose your favorite child. But I will say one of the areas that we're really leaning into is training. I mean, right now,with everything that's happening in the market, but also the unknown, and what's to come, we really want to not only get people trained on the back to basics that everybody's talking about, but we also want to train them on a thinking mindset,because knowing what worked before is not necessarily what's going to get us moving forward.And so what we really want to cultivate is how do we get people to be thinkers? Right?How do you think

Kyle Mountsier: 2:34

critically think in the moment? That's right?Because everything's shifting all the time?

Brandiss Drummer: 2:39

That's exactly right. So we've really leaned into what we call these innovation labs, where we're having people come together,we're giving them a problem that's in the industry right now that doesn't have a silver bullet. And we're teaching them how to critically think together and collaborate to come up with a solution or

Kyle Mountsier: 2:55

give us a problem. What's one of the problems? Let's go, let's let's work, right here, here we go.Here's the problem. Go, we're ready.

Brandiss Drummer: 3:01

Um, I mean, we can do an easy one, which is one that's kind of a feeling, it's not gonna be easy. Well, there's no silver bullet to it. But it's something that everybody talks about all the time, which is overnight servicing as an example. Yep. So everybody's talking about it. Everybody is saying, you know, how do we do it? What's the model? what's worked, what hasn't? A lot of people and 20 groups are best practice sharing where they're saying, here's what I did.Here's what I did. But instead of just sharing solutions, we want to critically think together and come up with a brand new way to do it.

Paul Daly: 3:35

What does that process look like? So overnight servicing, right, you put the problem on the table, you got the smart people around the table, you're like, let's workshop this, what's the next thing happens? So

Brandiss Drummer: 3:45

actually, one of the first things that we do is we give a problem that's not an automotive. And that's,that's a critical part of innovative thinking.

Paul Daly: 3:54

Because you're already like when you want as soon as you make it automotive,right. Everyone comes with the box. That's right. What's the box on the table? No, no, no box first. Maybe we don't need a box.

Brandiss Drummer: 4:03

Yeah. Yep. So we want to create an entire paradigm shift. And it starts with we work on something that it's not cheesy. It's just some random thing that's in a different business. I really want

Kyle Mountsier: 4:12

to know what that problem is. Right? That problem. Sounds exciting. Yeah.

Brandiss Drummer: 4:16

Workshop away.Yeah. Okay. Okay. All right. You got to pay.

Kyle Mountsier: 4:23

smash that subscribe button.

Brandiss Drummer: 4:26

Anyway, so we start there. And then what we do is we actually give them so there are ways to think innovatively, there are concepts that tell you how to do that,because most people don't just wake up and think outside of the box, right? So we actually have tech before us. We actually have,

Kyle Mountsier: 4:43

we only think outside the box, which is what gets us in problems. All right.So you got

Brandiss Drummer: 4:48

Yeah, so we have techniques that say okay,here's how you might approach a problem or methods. So as an example, our scamper method, you know, what can you substitute out? What can you combine? So each of the letters are things that You think the problem through and say, okay, you know,what would I take out of what we have today and substitute to make it better as an example.

Kyle Mountsier: 5:08

I love it.Overnight servicing that's a major problem. But and it's necessary because we have so many service departments that are pushed out three, four or five weeks. But the problem actually isn't the process or anything like that. It's still back to people. Yeah, the techs.So we need to solve the technician shortage issue, the technician training issue, all of that, actually is the precursor to figuring out how and what technologies, personnel scheduling, flipping cars, all of that type of stuff to go first, without a doubt. And I'm sure, with training, comm solving the people solution, how are people that you're working with our dealers that you're working with? Continuing to work on solving people shortage issues in our industry?

Brandiss Drummer: 5:50

Yeah. So that's been a huge topic. As you can imagine, technicians is always one that comes up. But I think we need to look at it larger as what is our talent acquisition and talent retention strategy that we're going to employ in automotive. So one of the things that we've been doing along this front is really getting in our 20 groups,instead of focusing so much on kind of this operational data.And you know, how many arrows did we ride and this will be an easy place to go, though, it's an easy place to go. And we believe in the data. But at the end of the day, the people driving the numbers are people,period. Thank you guys.

Kyle Mountsier: 6:26

Come on now. But

Brandiss Drummer: 6:28

the bracelet people more than cars. And so we really want to focus on again,how do we attract talent in automotive? How do we get people interested in this industry that really hasn't necessarily had a good brand? You know, as people think about being a car, oh, I'm going to be a car salesman or this what's the brand that people have? And how do we overcome that? And then once we've overcome that, how do you?How do you keep them? Yeah, so those are some of the things we're talking about are 20groups now. And we really want to get some data behind the people management side of it,how do we tie that to making money and profit and and show that there is a connection that we all know exist?

Paul Daly: 7:07

What did you do before you did this position?Real curious.

Brandiss Drummer: 7:11

Everybody why everyone always seems asked me that. I wonder if I ask that. So I actually I've worked a bunch of different positions at NCM.And then before this, I sold mutual funds and annuities for a financial company called fintech.

Paul Daly: 7:22

And obvious,

Kyle Mountsier: 7:24

obviously,linear progression. Yeah, of course. Right?

Brandiss Drummer: 7:27

It just, once I say it, it makes sense. Right?Yeah.

Paul Daly: 7:30

So stick sticking with the people side, right?love people more you love cars,you're talking about solving the people, the people challenge based on some intelligent data,some, you know, thoughtful problem solving. Why do you think this is the time that we have the opportunity to do that?More than we did in the past?Like, why is this moment? The one where everyone's focusing on it? Now I know there's like,there's like a quantifiable need? Well, there's just fewer,it seems. But why do you think we're positioned to make a dent right now?

Brandiss Drummer: 8:01

Well, I think a lot of the problems that we're trying to solve in automotive right now many of the other retail industries, have done a good job of either already solving or are further down the path than we are. So like, which ones? Oh, gosh, any I mean, as an example, think about all the things that we're comparing automotive to that I hear on the stage, whether it's Amazon,whether it's Nordstrom, whether it's, you know, thinking about companies who have already mastered, if you will, or a lot further down the path of customer experience of E commerce of digital retailing, I think there's a lot to learn from other retail industries,and also talent that we can attract from other retail industries, that's for sure.Yeah. And ways to look at the experience. So right now, I would just say there's a keen interest in looking at the way that we're doing things from a consumer experience standpoint,you've got expertise, it would make sense at this time. And it's a great opportunity to look at these things.

Kyle Mountsier: 8:57

They go, I mean,it's a pivotal moment. I mean,we were saying this all the time, the pop culture narrative and the automotive narrative are like colliding, and that that that's happens not just on the interest on cars, but also on our ability to attract a bunch of people from outside of auto that I've never thought about auto. I mean, just the tech opportunities alone, I actually had, this is interesting. I had someone reach out to me on LinkedIn, that is in the tech sector, in the healthcare tech sector. And they just recognized that I was dealing with with tech a lot and I love data and tech in the auto industry. And they were like, Hey, I literally not a sales pitch. I don't want to bring anything I just want to know like, is the opportunity good to come in to auto for tech? Right? It was like a full cold outreach, right? So it's,the rest of the world is looking at auto going or something going on over there something going on over there. So we do we have this pivotal moment to like,connect the people that are somewhat interested in what we're doing and and plug them in and learn from the places where they've already been So I love that like a pivotal moment that it's not just culture, but culture is also attracting talent. And so as long as we do a good job branding ourselves as an industry, then we can then we can attract that top talent.

Paul Daly: 10:12

Brandis, you get the final word. What's your encouragement to dealers who might be kind of like circling the runway thinking of like engaging in some kind of new training or 20 group? What are you going to say to them?

Brandiss Drummer: 10:21

Just do it?Why haven't you done it all? I mean, at this, in this day and age, if you're not investing in your people, if you're not investing in your own personal growth, and with all the change we have in the market and the industry right now, you're

Kyle Mountsier: 10:36

What are you even doing?

Brandiss Drummer: 10:38

What are you doing? Why are you here?

Paul Daly: 10:40

Well, thank you so much for giving us some time.Excited to see where it goes and what comes up all the people talk in the people movement.Thank you so much.

Brandiss Drummer: 10:48

Thanks.Appreciate it.

Unknown: 10:49

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