Here's a sneaky way to get members of your partner or dealer network to update their technology and their facility: Tie it to an overall energy-efficiency initiative.
That's what Ford Motor Company is now doing in conjunction with the Rocky Mountain Institute, which is an organization dedicated to reducing companies' dependence on fossil fuels. The automaker has started up a voluntary "Go Green" sustainability program, which is available to U.S.-based Ford and Lincoln/Mercury dealers.
The first step in the program is an overall energy-efficiency assessment conducted by Ford's sustainability team. Ford will then work with the dealer to come up with specific technology investments and facility updates that could help improve the dealer's energy efficiency profile AND (another sneaky side benefit) help ensure better operational efficiency to boot.
Ford says it will help dealers figure out tax credits and incentives that could help them fund any investments they need to make; it also will hook them up with technology experts that can help them update their technology infrastructure for better energy efficiency.
Pilot projects are being conducted with three dealers in Florida, New York and Nevada.
Personally speaking, in my mind it is the responsibility of any large company with a serious dependence on a dealer or franchise network to help offer ideas and resources for them to address their sustainability. The more progressive companies could use it as a means not only of promoting loyalty but also of helping improve their operational viability.
This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com