How many times have you wished you had an extra hour or two in a day to accomplish everything that you’ve scheduled? The old adage “Time is money” cannot be understated.
For a car dealership, a typical day may include a sales meeting, walking the lot, following up on leads, completing paperwork and most importantly, selling vehicles. As if that isn’t enough to fill a day, dealers must also set aside time to review reports and monitor the various business programs and processes that keep their car dealerships running and on track.
The bottom line is that in order to grow their businesses and remain competitive, dealers must continuously look for ways to become more efficient and manage their time more wisely. Since we can’t add hours to the day, most of us can benefit from better time utilization and improved efficiency.
Many of us rely on technology to monitor and track key performance indicators at our dealerships. I’ll be the first to admit that technology can be a great time saver, but it can also lead to inefficiencies. A common problem dealers experience with technology is that for every business challenge, there are multiple technology solutions. It’s likely that each of these technology solutions is offered by a different vendor and built on a platform that is incompatible across vendors. As a result, in order to access and review business data, it is necessary to log in to multiple sites contributing to a potentially inefficient work day.
If you have multiple systems managing your inventory, leads, website statistics, and service department scheduling, you may be wasting time. Think about the amount of time it takes for you to log in to each of these systems to review key metrics and reports, create updates and make strategic business decisions. The problem becomes compounded with each new technology program that you adopt. For most dealers, it can become very difficult, and even overwhelming to manage.
Imagine how much time you could free up if you could log in to one program and access information about leads, the amount of activity your website is generating, view a complete up-to-date listing of your inventory, and even see the number of appointments that are booked with your service department. A unified dashboard can provide a central point of entry into the key systems you need to help keep your business running smoothly. This will save you valuable time.
If you have been using several programs to manage multiple aspects of your business, a central and consolidated dashboard is a natural progression. Like many dealers, chances are you started with a basic website, and over time, added an inventory management tool and maybe a CRM tool. As new technology became available, you probably added other systems to enhance your online efforts and to properly manage your business. While these tools performed well and provided the tracking capabilities you needed, you may have found that with each technology added, you actually become more inefficient. By integrating the key tools you use to monitor your business into one dashboard, you can improve your processes and more efficiently run your dealership.
In summary, centralized data can help you better manage your busy schedule and stay ahead of your competition. Remember, some key benefits to a dashboard are:
- Allows access to multiple systems with one login
- Displays top-level reports on one screen
- Aligns efforts across your dealership to help manage specific goals
- Provides faster collection and distribution of information
- Improves efficiency and saves time
One thing I know for sure is that technology is changing. In 2011, it will be important for dealers to find a solution that provides the depth and breadth required to effectively and efficiently run a dealership. By taking advantage of a centralized dashboard to manage your dealership, you’ll save valuable time, streamline your business processes, and gain a strong competitive advantage.