Automating Your Dealership for Better Profitability
How often do you find yourself too busy to carry out certain tasks or constantly pushing things aside and saying you will come back to them later? I can almost certainly say this is happening more often than you would like it to, so why not find ways within your processes that you could automate?
Dealerships across the country are surprisingly still carrying out basic administration tasks that take up hours of staff time. With a forever changing technological world, it is no surprise that more systems are finding ways to automate these general administration tasks within dealerships to improve efficiencies and free up staff time for more important, revenue gathering tasks.
Is your administration team individually entering invoice details, manually cross-referencing information and relying on their attention to detail to catch duplicate invoices, incorrect amounts, or out-of-policy expenditures? To solve this, you need a software solution that can automate the approval workflow and remove any potential human error. For dealerships of any size, there is little argument that adopting an automated invoice payment solution that is fully integrated to your Dealer Management System (DMS) can help contribute to the bottom line.
Typically, an administration department could take anywhere up to 25-30 hours a month manually processing 100 vehicle contracts. The gold standard and most efficient administration departments are automatically reconciling and are only having to manage any exceptions. Senior managers need to drive discipline in the Showroom Department to ensure all data is entered correctly by the salesperson. If your estimated gross is within your acceptable variance of accounting gross, these deals should be automatically posted to the General Ledger.
Storing of paper documents within the business
Are you storing all your documents physically on-site, or using a third party supplier to do this for you? Here are some facts that you may not be aware of:
- 1 out of 20 documents can go missing.
- The average staff member in a dealership spends 4 weeks each year looking for documents (400 hours).
- It takes an average of 10 minutes per paper document to retrieve, copy and re-file.
- Each folder drawer file cabinet holds an average of 10-12,000 documents and takes up 9 square feet of floor space and costs $1,500 per year.
- Source: Gartner Group, AIIM, US Dept of Labour, Imaging Magazine, Coopers & Lybrand.
Instant storage and retrieval of documents directly from your DMS will help save time, space and effort when you adopt paperless workflows at your dealership. Having an electronic document filing system for your DMS documents, mitigates any future risk of costly fines from your OEMs when you can’t reproduce those original warranty repair orders during your audits.
CRM & Marketing Campaigns
It is all about customer lifecycle management and how you engage with your customers over time. Some of the top performing dealers around the country I have seen are sending on average over 2,000 targeted messages via multiple communication channels out to their customers every month from their automated CRM & Marketing software. This all happens with no human intervention once the CRM & Marketing business rules are set up. Whether it be service reminders, sales campaigns, or thank you letters; gone are the days when you would just send email blasts to your whole database with generic messages. Dealers today who are leading the way with their CRM strategy are profiling customers and targeting specific messages at relevant times during the lifecycle of the vehicles their customers own.
It’s easy to see, with only four common processes within a dealership, how you could be saving your staff hours a week by the means of automation. So why not free up valuable staff time, improve customer satisfaction, and ultimately, generate additional revenue within your business simply by letting your Dealer Management System do all the heavy lifting for you?