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Puzzled by Efficiency? Solve it Today

Article Highlights:

  • Connecting technology throughout your dealership creates better efficiency.
  • Here is what peak efficiency could look like in each department.

Each department of your dealership is a piece of a jigsaw puzzle. Finding a way to make the pieces fit together means information wouldn’t stay in each department, but flow between them. When your departments are all connected, you are able to operate at maximum efficiency. Faster processes, happier customers, and cost savings are all a result of connecting your dealership puzzle.

Here’s what the finished efficiency puzzle should look like in your dealership:

Online

  • Customers receive social and online ads relevant to vehicles they are likely to buy.
  • Customers see real-time updates on inventory and pricing.
  • Your dealership is notified of customer interest on your website.
  • When a customer calls your store, his information, previous buying history, and website behavior are instantly available to the salesperson.

Sales and F&I

  • The salesperson meets the customer on the lot already having any information collected from his time on your website.
  • A custom test drive route is created for the vehicle he wants to test drive.
  • Credit score, incentives, and monthly payments are instantly sent to F&I when a price is agreed upon by the customer and salesperson.
  • All aftermarket products and documents are presented and signed electronically.
  • A completed deal is stored in an electronic deal jacket and sent digitally to the business office.

Business Office

  • The business office receives a closed deal from F&I instantly to your computer.
  • Each member of your business office works on a deal simultaneously.
  • Approved funding packages are received from lenders only hours after sending.
  • A/R statements are sent to customers via email and they pay online.

Service and Parts

  • Your service advisor is alerted when a customer arrives.
  • He sees all coupons or emails the customer received as well as his information captured during his vehicle purchase and any previous buying history.
  • All previously declined services are displayed for your service advisor to present.
  • Walk-arounds are completed with customers on a tablet.
  • Advisors get real-time updates on parts availability and pricing.
  • If a customer is determined a good candidate to purchase a new car, a salesperson is alerted to go speak with him while he waits in the service lounge.
  • Customers pay on a mobile phone at their convenience.

Completing the Puzzle

You can’t see the full picture of a puzzle until all of the pieces are connected. The same goes for your dealership. You can’t see the full potential of your dealership until you connect every piece and every department. With employees spending 19.8% of business time looking for information just to do their job effectively, you can’t wait another day to make your store more efficient. Using the right technology and implementing the right processes will allow information to flow seamlessly throughout your dealership. Less rekeying, less missing information, and happier employees and customers. That’s the big picture of retailing efficiency.

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Director, Product Planning, DMS, Reynolds and Reynolds

Scott Worthington is director of product planning at Reynolds and Reynolds. With more than 28 years of automotive industry experience, Scott leads the team responsible for product strategy for the company’s ERA® and POWER dealership management system platforms. He also manages product strategy for Reynolds eWorkflow, DMS reporting tools and analytics, and a number of other product areas.  

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