If you give me a spreadsheet and a sharp pencil, I can do almost everything faster and easier than the majority of DMS or CRM systems out there. But no longer is the use of a DMS or CRM product confined to data entry and processing. Today’s DMS and CRM products do so much more and there are four key reasons to use fully your software instead of that easy pencil.
The first reason is accuracy. Let’s say that one the places where you prefer to use a manual process is issuing technician flags. Your service manager, advisors and technicians all think those manual “lick and sticks” are just much easier to use than trying to pay flag hours with your DMS. I agree – anyone can fill those out. But let’s look at the accuracy of the flags. If your flagger enters 1.2 hours when it should have been 2.1, your technician will immediately find this error and get it corrected. What if they enter 2.1 when it should have been 1.2 hours? Does anyone catch that? Sure, we’re supposed to check those off in the office – but we’re buried and when we do double check, 1.7 hours does looks a lot like 7.1 – so easy to miss. We also total the flags wrong and then enter them wrong going from a spreadsheet or calculator into payroll. It is very easy to enter 173.4 hours instead of 123.4. We call this “fat fingering!”
Our second key reason is internal control. What if someone enters flag time for a repair order that doesn’t exist or is void? What if one of your technicians gets together with the flagger and decides to pad their hours? It is easy to do and hard to catch (honest mistakes is always the answer when we catch them!) Does your dealership have a step commission program? It is common in the sales force for a lower performing sales person who was going to make minimum wage to “sell” his deals to another salesperson that will make the step bonus or increased rate. All they have to do is go into the F&I or accounting office and tell them that the Jones deal wasn’t theirs and an F&I manager or billing clerk will happily change that. If you have used a good DMS with CRM – or CRM alone, the notes will all be there along with deal tracking to catch this trick.
The third reason is analysis. It is time-consuming to create closing ratio reports or properly trend technician productivity. Often key measuring reports don’t get done – or done in time for managers to make the type of decisions they need to improve performance.
Fourth and finally there is follow up and marketing to your customers. Let’s say this month there is a special on tires. Can you quickly find everyone that you have recommended new tires for when they were last in for service? What if a customer comes in looking for a used Corvette? Can you find all the customers who came in with a Corvette as the trade-in that you couldn’t make a deal with? Going through a huge stack of write ups or deal logs is not an easy task, but a DMS or CRM system that keeps a potential trade-in inventory can make this a snap!
The fifth reason that I didn’t mention is cost. Your DMS and CRM software costs combined is already one of the highest outside costs that you pay per month. If you’re also paying for the duplicate or manual system like the clerk who has to total those expensive technician flag forms, then the cost is even greater. To save even more money, should you consider some of the newer DMS systems that include CRM? Your first chore is to determine what portions of your current CRM do you actually use and does the new DMS perform those functions? Is having two systems causing you duplicate entry or interfacing problems?
These should be some of the factors to consider when selecting one of the newer DMS systems with CRM. Regardless, try to use your DMS and CRM software more fully and you’ll make more profit.