'Time flies, use it wisely'

The Jacksons Isuzu Suzuki dealership in Queenstown won a slew of awards in the Suzuki Auto Dealer of the Year Awards, and the dealership’s veteran after-sales manager, Odette Allers, must take bow for her role in the dealer’s success.

KZN n12 Odette Allers

Suzuki Queenstown won the Top Rural Dealer and Top Rural Dealer in the Mobility Finance Category awards, as well as the Best Sales Practice and Best Parts Practice, and it is the last-mentioned award where Allers had the biggest part to play.

The youngest of four children “with no money for university”, Allers started her career in the auto trade straight after achieving an excellent matric, working as a cashier at Midas in Queenstown.

A self-confessed “control freak” with a talent for creating systems and processes that ensure optimal workflow, Allers was soon promoted to stock controller and after five years in Queenstown, managed the finances of Sten Distribution in PE for a year before returning to her hometown to start as debit clerk at Jacksons.

The next decade passed in a flash, with Allers again managing stock and in this role advising the OEMs in the GM group, Isuzu, Opel and Chevrolet, on parts usage and supply.

“I was part of an advisory group of parts managers to GM, representing the Eastern Cape, and I really enjoyed the challenges and learned a lot during this period of my life.

“I am easily bored and always eager to learn new things, which is why I thrive on new challenges,” she says.

Suzuki has been part of her life for the last three years, and she credits her talent for managing processes for winning her latest award.

“After-sales never stand still, but I always say I don’t manage people, but systems and control processes. If you have these two in place, your staff can work effectively,” she said.

Looking forward, she says the entry-level pricing and model mix at Suzuki are ideal for Queenstown’s still mostly rural customers, with the Ertiga increasingly popular for private taxi use.

Allers starts work at 7, but as a mother of two gorgeous young adults and grandmother of a 2-year-old grandchild, she believes in maintaining a balance between work and family.

Her philosophy for making each day a success is simple: “Be humble and always be grateful for what you’ve been blessed with. Time is precious, you never get the moment back, so use it wisely.”

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