For those who are considering buying or selling a dealership or site for the first time, it can be quite an exciting yet thorough process to ensure the transition is smooth. For buyers, be it their first time or not, there will always be hurdles in the way and to assist we have compiled a short list of things to consider so that day one will operate according to plan. At Pentana Solutions, we believe success comes from having a well thought out plan.
Before anything in the dealership can be touched, it’s important to know the settlement date. Why? Because until settlement the current owner (seller) has the legal rights to the all of the property including; networks, servers, data, inventory and don’t forget the premises itself.
Here at Pentana Solutions, we are going to run you through five basic components and how they’re effected during a buy/sell agreement.
Licencing & Networks
Completing paperwork surrounding the purchase or sale of a business is a tricky and comprehensive task. You’ll see many pieces of paper, however there will be a couple of significant pieces which you’ll want to pay close attention to. This will reduce the amount of stress which will (we acknowledge there will be some stress) arise as the ‘go live’ date gets closer and closer. Whether it be the OEM approval for a Dealer Code or becoming a Licenced Motor Car Trader, it’s vital to ensure all of the relevant paperwork is approved and licences are accredited.
Have the rights to the DMS including licences been included in the sale? Or will this be another small additional cost that, over the course of the project seem to continuously sneak into the cost of buying a business. Don’t forget about the very basics of a network, you’ll need to source a reliable internet and phone line provider as these are key to the efficient operation of internal programs as well as customer communication. If you plan on using a Pentana Solutions DMS, contact us and we can assist in the licencing and networks transition area.
For some people, data can be quite confusing and furthermore, a daunting aspect of the process even though it’s a really exciting time. Two things are very important here, data can only be converted after settlement regardless of how hard you push. Consider appointing a project manager who’s technically, financially or CRM-minded that can set the foundations right and you’ll avoid many headaches later on. Any data that will be carried over from the sale, such as debtor balances, for example, will have some information which will be valuable to the success of your new acquisition.
Do you know exactly what inventory you plan to keep on the site? Have you done any market research to assist with stock predictions? Pentana Solutions believes the best success will come from spending some time researching the area and configuring the stock required. To assist with stock ordering, try and get and understanding of historical sales and you’ll keep your customers satisfaction high by avoiding out of stock items.
Cutting the fancy red ribbon with some oversized scissors is quite an experience. However, once the party popper mess has been cleaned up and the day begins there will be high expectations on performance. Whilst other components of the transition process can only be started when legal documents are settled, the promotions can begin straight away.
Create a marketing plan that will have people at the door at the time of opening. Include in that same plan how you will retain these customers and perhaps even how to consider them in the fun of opening the dealership. If you can create an efficient marketing plan that begins right on day one, you won’t necessarily need to work as hard on your marketing later on. Pentana Solutions has a Customer Relationship Management Contact Centre to assist with all of your marketing needs.
If possible, allocate a team of staff who have the appropriate experience to handle the change. You’ve spent a fair amount of money getting to this point and now it’s going to rely on people behind the desks to assist with the strategies in place. Ensure all staff have had the appropriate training on the policies, procedures and workflow through the relevant dealership areas. Ensuring everyone knows how to operate the DMS is also very important. If you’re using a Pentana Solutions DMS, contact us in advance and we can assist with your strategy and planning.