If you were looking for a quick fix to maintain dealership profitability in the last eighteen months, I hope that you’ll share it. That’s because, in my career of thirty-plus years in retail automotive (most as a GM), I haven’t found the magic bullet. As the Director of Performance Management for Dealertrack DMS, it’s my experience that it takes a specific combination of factors to help our dealer partners become more profitable. It’s not rocket science, per se. And it’s not magic either. It’s more like common sense combined with the human touch. And, when faced with economic uncertainty, it’s the right tools, processes, and partner insights that make the most difference. If you watched our webinar recently, I went into detail—based on key research and learnings from Cox Automotive on this topic. (You can watch it here.)
Technology Tools Improve Process
Better tools do make a difference. As rapid adoption of digital technology in retail automotive takes place across the board, we are seeing massive improvements in customer satisfaction across the board. According to the 2020 Cox Auto Car Buying Journey Study, the vehicle buying process is becoming more efficient and satisfaction levels are increasing. When I looked at the data, I was surprised to learn how much the right tools impacted the buying process for our partners. Those defined as “Heavy Digital” buyers were cutting forty minutes off their time at the dealership. That’s truly significant, especially when you consider that, often, General Managers and Principal Owners view their software (like the Dealer Management System) as more of a utility than a profit driver!
A Partner in Your Corner
Technology tools are changing the way dealers do business. And new processes are being implemented to meet the needs of consumers as they change rapidly. But, the number one request I continue to get year after year from our clients is simply…a go-to person. A person they can call when an entirely new process needs to be rolled out. Or, when a new sales manager comes on board and needs to be introduced to the DMS. As that relationship takes hold, and trust is established, the true value of our team, Performance Management, really begins to shine. That’s because our team of committed professionals—each with a minimum of ten years in upper-level retail automotive management—actively helps you achieve your business objectives. Planning, strategizing, and attaining your quarterly projected goals are their main priorities. They know the DMS inside and out, and they can help you pull targeted data from this single source of data for all of your reporting needs. With that kind of support in your corner, achieving your ambitious goals shouldn’t feel like wishful thinking. It should feel like a must-have.