The dealer cut its staff by 20 percent (primarily in volume-dependent warehouse, distribution and back office positions), but kept intact its customer-facing sales, service and repair teams. The Bill Smith service department, now 40 years old, is one of the region's largest independent service providers, fielding 17 road technicians.
Bill Smith also narrowed its vendor base and deepened its CE and appliance offerings, choosing the manufacturers with the best supply chains and the ability to deliver at the promised time. As a result, Bill Smith has been able to drive down its on-hand inventory by more than 20 percent, Riching said.
In addition, Bill Smith deferred expansion, shelving plans for a new Naples location and a new distribution center in early 2007 when the dealer first saw signs the housing bubble was popping.