Around the time when General Motors prepares to announce its dealers of the year, Tom VanProoyen, the vice president and general manager of Schepel Buick GMC, can’t help but hold his breath before winning dealers are announced.
For the fourth consecutive year, VanProoyen wasn’t disappointed.
Merrillville’s Schepel Buick GMC was once again named a 2013 GM Dealer of the Year. The dealership was presented with its award last week, extending its award-winning streak that started in 2010.
“When you’re doing things well, it’s hard to sometimes see and look ahead to make it even better,” VanProoyen said. “But that’s what we have to do because the competition is getting better, too. We constantly have to look for ways we can do a better job of providing our customers with their vehicle needs in purchasing and service.”
In 2013, Schepel Buick GMC did just that, improving its service and working to find new ways to continue bettering the car buying and service experience as proven with the Dealer of the Year nod.
The GM Dealer of the Year award is given each year to a number of high-performing dealerships across the country. The nation is divided into five regions of which Vanprooyen said usually two dealers are selected and recognized with the title.
Schepel Buick-GMC earned the award in the North Central Region. Criteria for the award included sales, customer satisfaction, and the quality of the facility itself among other categories.
Above all else, VanProoyen credited an experienced staff that was motivated to maintain the success in the automotive industry customers at Schepel Buick GMC have become used to.
“The real key to us winning for years in a row is our staff,” VanProoyen said. “We have great people that work here in all of our departments. It might sound crazy, but most of my department managers have over 35 years with this organization. … It provides stability for our customers.”
VanProoyen said his staff at Schepel Buick GMC is working to continue to improve upon its service this year by implementing more web-based services available both online and through apps available on smartphones.
The dealership is also looking to add a call center to ensure better communication between staff members and customers. Schepel Buick GMC aims to take a more proactive approach in helping customers stay on top of what the dealer can offer.
VanProoyen is proud of Schepel Buick GMC’s recognition as Dealer of the Year, but he hopes to continue to see growth at the dealership in the coming years. If that trend continues, a “five-peat” might not be too far away.
“We don’t take anything for granted,” VanProoyen said. “We feel we have to continue to improve our processes and continue to do it better and move forward. It takes the right people on the bus, and I’ve been blessed that we have the right people on the bus.”