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Increase utilization to drive efficiency.

Group looing at computer monitor
Article Highlights:

  • Are you using your system to its fullest potential?
  • Four tips to increase utilization in your dealership.

You know the old familiar saying, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink. The same goes with the tools in your dealership. You can buy new solutions and products but your employees still need to use them effectively to make a difference.

Here are four ways you can ensure your employees are using your solutions to their fullest potential:

  • Set realistic goals. You already know the results you want from the solutions, whether better CSI scores or increased PVR. But what utilization results do you want to see? Determine where your team is starting and set attainable goals. Depending on the solution and how much change in process is involved, you may want to look at your training options. Once your team is up to speed, you can start thinking about increasing your utilization goals.
  • Take inventory. Frequently, dealerships buy solutions designed to increase profitability and efficiency but then the needle doesn’t move. One of the most common reasons is because employees are used to doing things the way they always have. Why fix what isn’t broken, right? Except, it is broken—they just might not see it. Sit down with managers and figure out a new process that includes using the new solutions the way they’re meant to be used. Come up with a plan and steps to ensure it’s being followed. Request a meeting with your account manager for a performance review to see real numbers on your key solutions.
  • Change your process. If you’re trying to save on cost, reduce risk, and increase efficiency, you’re going to have to overhaul your process. At first, this could seem challenging. It will take time to learn and become habit. But with commitment, the new process will become standard and your employees will be wondering why it took them so long to adjust.
  • Constant monitoring. Use a solution that offers you ways to check utilization automatically. Set up reports on solutions you want feedback on. Check utilization by employee and set target utilization percentages. For example, if you’re trying to increase utilization on a new F&I solution, the goal might be that 90% of the time every F&I manager uses the tool properly. Check daily, weekly, or monthly and follow up with staff when needed.

Utilization is key to increasing profitability and efficiency in your dealership. Half the battle is over; you’ve purchased the tools and solutions for your business to be successful. The second half is following these steps to ensure they are being used.

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Product Planning, Reynolds and Reynolds

Gary Reinhardt is a Product Planning manager for Business Office and Reporting applications at Reynolds and Reynolds.

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