Don't sacrifice competitiveness on the altar of tradition

People love tradition and routine. Whether it is looking up a destination on a map; writing out invoices by hand; or stock-takes taking place on the last day of the month.

That’s because they like the comfort of knowing what’s coming and being confident in the way things are done. Although, often we can grow so attached to our routines that we are willing to sacrifice efficiency and progress for the sake of “this is the way we’ve always done it, and we don’t need to change.”

Yet, in this fast-paced, highly competitive world, change is inevitable.

Most dealerships are aware that in order to be successful in 2016, processes (for test drives, appraisals, sales, dealership management, etc) need to be as efficient as possible. They are also aware that technology in the form of apps and online tools to integrate and automate processes are the best way to achieve this.

So what’s stopping them?

In Netresult’s experience, there are two main apprehensions that hold dealership managers back from implementing digital tools:

Obstacle #1: “It will be too hard to change to a new system”

The belief that a system overhaul will be too time consuming and complicated is a common belief, especially in well-established dealerships that have traditional processes and methodology.

This comes from a fear of the unknown and sometimes possible failure. If you’re not familiar with digital dealership tools, you may feel out of your comfort zone or don’t know how you would lead a system changeover that you don’t understand.

Overcome this obstacle by:

  • Finding a proven service provider that has implemented many systems for similar dealerships. You can request case studies of how the dealerships handled the change, or even contact them directly to ask about their experience.
  • Ensuring that the service provider will help to implement the system set up, offer training and advice to staff, and provide ongoing support.
  • Trial the system or organise a demo before buying. Check that the system is user-friendly, intuitive and simple for ‘non-tech savvy’ staff to use, and gauge whether the system will be beneficial for your dealership.
  • Finding a system that works across all your current technology platforms. It will be easier for staff to learn if it operates on the phones and tablets that they are already using.

Obstacle #2: “It will be too expensive”

Money is always a significant factor when considering implementing a new system for a dealership. Managers may be concerned that the system will not bring about a substantial return on investment.

Overcome this obstacle by:

  • Finding a system provider that offers a range of prices to meet the specific needs of the customer. This is often in the form of paying for individual ‘modules’ of a system, or having a choice of ‘package deals’.
  • Calculating how many man-hours you would save using automated processes and convert that into labour and resource costs saved.

It is a shame that some dealerships are still sacrificing competiveness and progress on the altar of tradition. Becoming educated in the cost-saving potential of utilising technology in dealership management and the ease-of-use will help to break down stubborn mind-sets and create a successful environment for change management.

Trying stocktakes half way through the month, digital invoices, or GPS systems could be what gives your dealership the competitive efficiency it needs.

If you would like to see for yourself how easy and cost effective using a digital dealership management tool is, trial Netresult for free now.

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