Striking a Balance Between People, Processes, and Technology
- How is your dealership like a three-legged stool?
- You need a dealership-wide approach to fix a dealership-wide problem.
The three-legged stool has always been a great symbol for organizational structure. The legs represent the principles that prop up your business, and each leg is equally important. Remove just one, and the whole thing topples over.
The same applies for your dealership. While the dealership is made up of many different departments and innumerable moving parts, we can boil success down to three core concepts: people, processes, and technology.
What does that look like in practice? Consider:
- The people who contribute to your dealership’s success, including the employees and management who run your business day-to-day, the customers you serve, and the people at the companies you partner with to maximize your success.
- The processes that surround your dealership, including the various workflows, both within and between departments, that get you from warm lead to closed sale to loyal service customer, over and over again.
- The technology that makes your dealership operational, including the different tools you implement to increase efficiency and productivity and improve the customer experience, all with the ultimate goal of boosting revenue and profitability.
If any of these principles aren’t fully utilized, or if you’re not equally prioritizing people, process, and technology in your dealership, then your stool will get shaky or even topple over.
Balancing Priorities to Maximize Effectiveness
To break this visual metaphor down a bit further, consider the seat of a three-legged stool and imagine it represents your business as a whole. Although each leg of the stool – people, processes, and technology – is separate, they all connect to the seat, three points equally spaced around it. And, because each leg is connected to the seat, each leg is essentially connected and flowing into the next.
This image is useful because it shows how these three core concepts work together to keep your dealership running, and if a single piece is overlooked, they could throw off your entire operation.
What do I mean by that? Consider that having the right technology in place facilitates smooth processes, that smooth processes empower people to do their jobs more efficiently and more effectively, and that better performance among your employees translates to satisfied customers and increased revenue and profitability.
In other words, the key to balancing these priorities and maximizing effectiveness is to find ways to build them all up simultaneously – something that can be done because they’re all interconnected.
This means taking a dealership-wide approach and asking yourself, “How do I improve my people, processes, and technology all at once, in ways that complement each other?”
This is actually simpler than it sounds. For example, if a dealership-wide approach requires a dealership-wide solution, you could take a fresh look at the system that runs it all and see if your people, processes, and technology are being served as well as they could be.
Look at your dealership and ask yourself:
- Is my dealership using a system built on a single platform, using a single set of data in all departments and applications?
- Are my employees able to enter data just one time and have it be instantly accessible across multiple departments and applications?
- Does my system provide my employees all the information they need about a customer, a sale, or a service visit at their fingertips?
These attributes describe the kind of system you need to have in place to balance your dealership priorities by building them all up simultaneously. They describe not just a dealership management system, but a Retail Management System.
There’s no denying that a dealership-wide focus on these core concepts is key to unlocking long-term, sustainable success.
Are you ready to see your business with fresh eyes and balance people, processes, and technology?
Automotive News recently published an article discussing why dealerships are sourcing lower-grade used vehicles to fill their lots.