From sales and marketing to service and F&I—dealers are constantly adapting, updating, and enhancing their digital tools. In the midst of all this innovation, it can be easy to overlook the technology at the core of every dealership—the DMS. Several trends within the DMS space have the potential to provide impressive benefits to the bottom line of dealerships that embrace change and the need for new updates relating to this core piece of technology. (Schedule your demo to experience the Power of One Dealertrack at NADA2023.)
Reduce Labor Costs and Improve Customer Satisfaction
Few areas are advancing as quickly as modern payment technologies within the world of automotive retail. More and more people are paying (and more and more businesses are accepting) payments using convenient digital methods. To keep up, dealerships are adopting simplified solutions that make it easier to both requests and receive payments across all departments.
The best of these technologies don’t just facilitate payments. They also ensure that all payments are automatically updated to the General Ledger. Managing a dealership’s cash flow is crucial to the ongoing success of the business. If a dealership’s digitized payment solutions aren’t working alongside or directly within the DMS, it has some catching up to do.
The right payment technologies can reduce labor, printing, and mailing costs by ensuring efficient delivery of invoices and resolution of Accounts Receivable statements. They also improve customer satisfaction by supplying convenient options for making payments. In fact, many dealerships deliver their invoices digitally via text or email and offer a variety and payment options, including consumer credit, ACH, split payments, and more. Nearly every other service does, so why wouldn’t car customers expect the same kind of convenience from you?
Drive Performance and Deliver Data that Matters
Modern dealerships have access to an unprecedented volume of customer, inventory, financial, and even behavioral data. That data can unlock new capabilities and profit streams for dealerships but harnessing it all can be very difficult. In order to capture insights and make better data-based decisions, dealers need flexible, real-time reporting solutions that integrate directly into their existing technologies.
The technology that will keep dealers competitive in 2023 and beyond needs to deliver data consistently, promptly, and in a format that is easy on the eyes. Reporting tools need to come with pre-built dashboards and modules that don’t make it accessible to leaders. Additionally, since every dealership is unique—and every person has a different approach to their business—this technology needs to allow users to drill down deeper into their numbers for forecasting, filtering, and group information so they can track progress and growth.
Dealerships can now easily break down their volumes of data into bite-sized bits of information that can drive decisions and improve performance. It’s now easier than ever to analyze department operations and performance by employee role. And, for multi-store dealer groups, it’s easy to summarize reports across multiple dealerships with group roll-up options.
Eliminate Manual Data Entry and Ensure Compliance
Today’s technology-enhanced workflows make it easy to gather signatures, complete paperwork, and streamline time-consuming manual processes. However, going digital didn’t eliminate the need to manage and store documents. If anything, the rapid adoption of digital technology, simply moved the problem online. These important, proprietary documents must be cached somewhere, and despite their importance, many dealerships are storing those documents in multiple places and in a non-secure, non-compliant manner. As documents are routed through multiple people and companies, dealerships face version-control issues, storage struggles, and more.
New data storage and retrieval technologies make it possible to capture and manage documents throughout the dealership in a single repository. Unified document repositories can eliminate manual data entry, ensure compliance, and enhance the customer experience. Dealers need solutions that automate document capture and indexing while enabling them to deploy their own document retention policies.
The world of automotive retail changes rapidly and successful dealerships are constantly adopting new digital tools within every department. To truly take advantage of today’s technology trends, however, they must also adapt their DMS technologies. Core dealership innovations related to payment, reporting, and document storage can promote profit growth and lasting dealership success.