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Investment vs. Expense: Are You Getting the Most from Your Solutions?

laptop losing money
Article Highlights:

  • 3 tips to ensure your solutions are a true investment.
  • "Continuous training is the key to continuous success."

Regular exercise is a great way to stay healthy and add years to your life. Let’s say your goal is to get in better shape. To help attain this goal, you go out and buy a top-of-the line treadmill. However, when you get the treadmill home, you hardly ever use it!

Of course, simply purchasing exercise equipment isn’t enough to get you in shape. You have to use the equipment regularly and properly to get the intended results. Why spend a significant amount of money on something and not use it?

Unfortunately, investing in expensive exercise equipment and failing to use it is similar to what takes place in dealerships each and every day. Often times, the tools a dealership invests in turn out to be expenses rather than good investments because they aren’t used regularly or properly.

To help get the maximum return on your investments, ask these questions:

  • What products and services am I paying for?
  • What do these purchased products and services include?
  • How do I maximize the use of these products and services?

If you answered, “I’m not sure” to one or more of these questions, you are not alone. In fact, I’ve been to dealerships that were paying for multiple appraisal solutions, multiple inventory feed tools, multiple CRM systems, multiple service scheduling systems, multiple you name it!

Here are three tips to ensure your solutions keep making you money:

1. Find the right solutions for your dealership:

Sometimes, when new management takes over, they bring in the tools they are most familiar with. Just because an individual is comfortable with a certain solution doesn’t mean it’s the best fit for the specific needs of your store. Take the time to investigate exactly what your store needs and if the solution meets those needs.

2. Encourage departments to communicate about your solutions:

Different people and areas in your dealership will have different experiences using each solution. It’s important for them to discuss their experiences with one another. It can help users gain new perspectives on how to use the solutions while finding out what is or isn’t working.

In addition, communication can lead to the discovery that you might need something different. Make sure any concerns regarding the solutions are expressed and all questions are answered. Good communication can reduce mistakes.

3. Continuous training is the key to continuous success:

Once you decide on the right solution, it’s time to train, and then continue to train. This could be as simple or in-depth as you desire. Simple training options include webinars, on-line courses, or reviewing manuals. More detailed, in-depth training could consist of a comprehensive re-training once a year with on-site consulting or off-site classroom training.

It’s also important to train your new associates. This seems obvious, but many times this crucial component is overlooked because management assumes the new employee already knows the solution or it’s easy enough to pick up on their own.

Many products include helpful on-line tutorials that are great for this purpose. If you have a team member who uses the tool well, they would make a great training mentor for the new employee.


Examine the solutions you currently pay for and ask yourself two things:

1) Are these solutions the right fit for my store?
2) Am I getting the most I can get out of them?

Remember, you don’t want your solutions to be just another expense. They should be an investment!

For more information on training and system utilization improvement, contact Reynolds Consulting Services at 800.657.9784 or send us an email, consulting@reyrey.com.

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Reynolds Consulting Services

Alex produced tremendous results in his 10 years as sales manager, finance manager, and general manager for various dealerships throughout the country. He brought his skills to the Reynolds Consulting group in 2012, and is currently the West Region Manager. Alex specializes in helping dealerships adapt and succeed in the changing market through process and system improvements. His fixed ops skills have assisted dealerships with processes in both service and in parts.  He has also led a series of seminars for the Gulf States Toyota, Inc.

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