Automotive dealerships face challenges every day, many of which may seem out of your control. Let's consider a few. Inventory. Who thought most dealers would have just over 25 days of inventory on their lots with no increase in sight? Or that the shift to electric vehicles (EV) would lead to a slew of new mandates?
These unprecedented challenges are creating uncertainty, which impacts key decisions that drive business continuity. While you cannot do much about the chip shortage that has stalled new car inventory or dictate OEM infrastructure upgrades, there is plenty that you can do to ensure you are the primary driver of your dealership.
Taking Back Control
How often is your dealership impacted by constantly changing OEM mandates, security risks, unfavorable software vendor terms or overwhelmingly third-party integrations? With so many layers of complexity, it can seem like technology is running the dealership, instead of you. This creates technology chaos and distractions that reduce the customer experience.
To address these headaches, you need to be empowered to quickly pivot in this ever-evolving landscape. If you think changing your operations is too hard or the cost is too high, consider how poor processes resulting from stagnant software drive away customers, increase employee turnover and cause avoidable disruptions. As you consider ways to improve your operations, focusing on these pillars can guide your dealership’s quest to take back control:
- Flexibility. Does staff know how to use your DMS, email system, phone system and other tools? Technology should work the way employees prefer to work. According to the 2021 DMS Market Survey by Dealer Tech Nerd, 24% of dealers want DMS providers to invest in a better user experience. With an intuitive, accessible platform, you can streamline workflows and increase transparency and accountability -- no matter where your employees work.
- Communication. Does an outdated DMS system prevent real-time communication between employees or with customers? Is your dealership keeping up with changing preferences for SMS? Can you text customers via your DMS to ensure convenience, timeliness and accountability? Can your employees rapidly communicate with each other without leaving their workstations?
- Growth. Like most businesses, dealers want to thrive, not just survive. Is your current DMS scalable to accommodate your current store as well as additional rooftops? Can it securely, automatically expand to increase capacity as needed? A cloud-native DMS is built in the cloud, so your DMS can grow as you grow.
- Security. Recent dealership data breaches are alarming, and threats will only continue to grow. According to Dealer DMS Survey 2021 by VUE DMS, 89% of large dealerships seek a DMS vendor that offers cloud solutions, with security being the top reason driving that demand. How are you protecting your business against cybersecurity threats? How are your software providers protecting your data? Are you aware of third-party software integrations that can leave holes in your firewalls?
- Empower. At the end of the day, businesses are only as good as their people. Are you setting up your team for success by giving them the right tools? Can your DMS sync and relay critical data in real-time? Batch updates can become quickly outdated, forcing you to make decisions without the most current information. Are you integrating numerous systems that don’t work together? How can your employees focus more on completing their job and serving your customers – and less time looking for information or figuring out how to use the DMS?
Although some challenges are evergreen, you have numerous technologies that can help overcome them. Perhaps none is more important than your DMS. That’s why you owe it to yourself to consider a modern DMS, built on Microsoft technologies. Such a system enhances security, flexibility and efficiency so you can take back control of your dealership to maximize profit.