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3 Keys to Reporting Success

Article Highlights:

  • The right reporting can have a big impact on business success.
  • There are 3 keys to success that take business strategy to the next level.

Running a successful business is no simple task. It requires detail, planning, and strategy. And when you put it all into action, your dealership’s people, processes, and technology must work together to be your best.

However, time and time again I see dealerships that claim to be focused on long-term success forget one of the most important pieces of that effort – reporting.

Whether they are using Excel spreadsheets or building their own in a reporting tool, they are relying on a method that doesn’t align with the long-term success they’re striving for. Simply put, the tools are in place, but the strategy is missing.

The truth is, the right reporting can have a big impact on business success. It means the difference between simply seeing your gross is down this month and seeing a way to fix it. Or finding out how much you profited on a sale versus understanding its true profitability by looking at the entire lifecycle of the full deal.

Especially when you implement technology with a profit-centric focus, reporting should be the first place you turn when looking to maintain long-term profitability, success, and efficiency.

Here are 3 keys to success that take your reporting to the next level and allow you to make more strategic business decisions.

1. Have access to accurate and key business information at any time.

If it takes a day, a week, or longer to view a report, you’re at a disadvantage. Not only is the information no longer current, someone is spending valuable time putting it together when their expertise could be used in better ways.

You need already-built reports you can access in a matter of seconds. Timing is everything, right? When you can see how your dealership is performing today, good or bad, you have the ability to make strategic decisions to impact it.

Whether you’re in the dealership or on the go, being able to see what’s holding up contracts in transit, which open ROs should be closed, or the status of unbooked deals gives you the visibility to hold people accountable and run a more profitable business.

2. View reports that provide insight, not just numbers.

Looking at a spreadsheet can be overwhelming or confusing. The more data you have, the more crowded the report, and the harder it is to take anything away from it.

When it comes to building your reports in a tool, you might have a little more insight into the basics. However, it shouldn’t be your job to know how and where to manipulate the numbers to see the information you want. You could be missing important hidden trends that you don’t know how to find.

Reporting is only as useful as the takeaways you can get from it. To take your reporting to the next level, it must be presented in a way that is easy to digest and understand. No confusion, no hidden trends.

Using colors and signals to call out problems and successes, drill down capabilities that connect your data, and intuitive reports that know what information to combine all allow you to understand your performance, not just review it.

3. Identify profit opportunities with ease.

Being able to see where your dealership’s profit opportunities are is a huge advantage when trying to run your most profitable business. But, you can’t have opportunities without access and insight.

Without access to reports in seconds, the profit opportunities would be behind you, in the past, unattainable. And if you take away insight, sure, you might be able to see your reports in seconds, but that means nothing if the data is confusing.

You see, when you can combine access and insight, you have a reporting tool that shows profit opportunities you can actually leverage. It’s one thing to review information, but what sets you apart is the ability to act on it.

Effective reporting can show you what is beneath the surface. It knows what to look for and where to find it. No one has to spend time compiling anything.

Therefore, opportunities like the profit potential of sending deals to your best F&I manager are easy to see. With information like that in mind, you can be strategic about which deals go where and end the month more profitably.

Conclusion

Reporting is more advanced than ever; now it’s time for you to capitalize on what it has to offer. Although your business may be successful today, the icing on the cake is having a reporting solution on your side to provide you the access, insight, and opportunity to run your most profitable dealership yet.

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Product Planning Manager, Reynolds and Reynolds

Todd Polak is a product planning manager with Reynolds and Reynolds. He is currently responsible for business employee management applications, GAS, security management, and general systems. He joined Reynolds and Reynolds in 2012, working with the remote software implementation department specializing in accounting and payroll products and installations.

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