Neal Jackson likes solving problems. As accounting manager and controller in charge of payroll, finances, and accounting for Lawley Auto Group, Jackson wasn’t about to let his software technology slow him down. That’s not what he’s about. And it’s not what Lawley Auto Group is about either. The multi-location dealership—headquartered in Sierra Vista, AZ—lives by its motto, “Nobody beats a Lawley Deal. Nobody!” We don’t doubt it.
“I’m always looking for constant improvement. That’s something I’ve always enjoyed about Dealertrack and now Netchex. There’s always improvement being added—we’re not just standing still and milking a cash cow.” Neal Jackson, Accounting Manager and Controller at Lawley Auto Group
(Re)Doing the work
Each month (and sometimes more often) Jackson and his team would pull reports, then set about the task of redoing them. “It was very hard to get reports out of payroll in a manner that was usable. So I spent a lot of time taking reports out of Dealertrack and converting them in an excel file. And that was pretty time consuming due to all the noise that was in them,” Jackson explains. New legislation in Arizona around paid sick leave, in addition to other measures, was forcing Jackson and his small team of three to manually adjust payroll for the 250+ employees across eight different locations. And, with various types of pay, Lawley Auto Group needed to find a better way. “And that’s what I’m about here: always looking for a better way to do something,” explains Jackson. “That’s what keeps me excited about doing my job here. I’ve been doing this since ‘93…I enjoy solving problems. So, whenever there are new solutions, typically, I’m an early adopter.”
Integrated Solutions for Better Processes
Lawley Auto Group partners with the specialists at Hireology, a hiring and recruiting software company, to improve retention and attract top talent. And it was Hireology who mentioned a new Payroll tool, called Netchex, to Jackson. Netchex was designed to integrate with Dealertrack DMS and reduce the manual back-and-forth between the DMS and data. A better system meant better processes, less paperwork, and less human error. With the old payroll system, Jackson was reviewing multiple levels of payroll for every employee across every location. Plus, he couldn’t communicate through the system with other managers to review reports. Jackson was eager to take the next step.
A Catalyst for Optimization
When he considers the time-savings that Netchex offers his team, Jackson says the impacts were immediate. He was able to convert a full-time payroll position into a part-time clerk, freeing that individual to focus on other areas of HUman Resources within the dealership. “She spends half the time she used to on payroll,” Jackson estimates. And his own time, which used to be consumed with manual conversions and revisions was suddenly more flexible and productive. “It was probably a day each month that I was doing that. These were manual things I had to do, that I no longer have to do with Netchex.”
Jackson was also happy to learn Netchex was able to handle Tech Time. “Tech Time has been a huge, huge time-saver for me. And, one of the reasons is that we’re semi-monthly and one of those Tech Time conversions happens at month-end. And that’s three or four hours at month-end that I need to be doing something else, but I’m just playing with spreadsheets.”
The process improvements didn’t just free Jackson’s time on payroll and reporting, however. He’s seen an overall impact across the entire dealership group. “Because we’re a centralized accounting office for multiple dealerships, we rely on fast, easy information from the outlying departments to produce payroll, to get it all done. And that’s another thing that the Netchex system allows us to do.”
From First Day to Sales Floor
“One of the main things we switched to Dealertrack for was the HR processes. Prior to Dealertrack, our process was very paper-driven.” As an early adopter, Jackson and the team at Lawley Auto Group took full advantage of Netchex and the HR Solutions that integrated through Dealertrack DMS. With everything up-and-running, the paper-driven days are now a distant memory. “If you’re hiring someone, it can be done through their home computer, where they can pretty much do all their onboarding paperwork from their computer at home,” Jackson explains. “…the day they start they’re pretty much already done. Their first day is spent in their home department and not filling out paperwork in HR.” With the path to productivity clear, direct, and largely digital, new hires at Lawley Auto Group hit the ground running.
A new technology decision can be intimidating. So called “early adopters” often take big risks while the majority of their peers ride out legacy technology and stick with the status quo. It’s not always easy, but it can be rewarding. For Jackson and his team, uncovering faster reporting and smoother processes was worth the risk.“Pretty much anything I put into Netchex, data-wise, I can get out through a report.” To learn more, download a copy of the Lawley Auto Group Story here.
Interested in learning how Integrated Payroll, powered by Netchex, can help your dealership? Schedule a demo.