How Good Is Your “Swing” In Used Vehicles?

November 2, 2015

I recently read a great book, The Boys In The Boat, about an unlikely crew team from Seattle that captivated the world when it earned a gold medal in the 1936 Olympics.

The book discusses the art, science, tenacity and will required to create synchronicity, or “swing,” among eight rowers on the water:

“There is a thing that sometimes happens in rowing that is hard to achieve and hard to define. Many crews, even winning crews, never really find it. Others find it but can’t sustain it. It’s called ‘swing.’ It only happens when all eight oarsmen are rowing in such perfect unison that no single action by any one is out of synch with those of all the others. It’s not just that the oars enter and leave the water at precisely the same instant. Sixteen arms must begin to pull, sixteen knees must begin to fold and unfold, eight bodies must being to slide forward and backward, eight backs must bend and straighten all at once. Each minute action—each subtle turning of wrists—must be mirrored exactly by each oarsman, from one end of the boat to the other. Only then will the boat continue to run, unchecked, fluidly and gracefully between pulls of the oars. Only then will it feel as if the boat is part of each of them, moving as if on its own. Only then does pain entirely give way to exultation. Rowing then becomes a kind of perfect language. Poetry, that’s what a good swing feels like.”

This passage makes me think of the “swing” some dealers achieve in their used vehicle departments—that point of harmony that occurs when buyers, managers, service technicians and sales associates align every decision and task toward the common goal of efficiently maximizing opportunity in every vehicle.

As the book excerpt indicates, even winning used vehicle teams may never find their collective “swing.”

But I’d submit it’s a worthy goal to aspire to, and one that pays rich dividends every time it arrives.