Automotive & Automobile
management systems, are you using your tools correctly
Dealer Management Systems (DMS) needs to be the most frequently used money making tool in the dealership. However according to industry reports it would seem that only a select few view their system in this light. More seem to see it as a means to an end, some even see it as a hindrance.
dms, dealer management system, garage software, Automotive & Automobile software, showroom system, workshop clocking software, accounts software
The potential of many of the UKs dealerships will never be realised unless they start to use the tools they are provided with in the correct way. There is also a good argument that some dealerships are working so hard to achieve their potential that their old antiquated DMS cannot provide the tools needed. Many dealerships need to change their DMS solution because of this. However some view change as troublesome and worrying. There is a simple question that needs to be levelled is your dealership achieving what it should if the answer to this is no then a review of your DMS is essential.
I am often asked about what changes are needed to dealerships to gain that competitive edge? The simple reply to that is you know your dealership, staff and customers better than I. What I can say is that without dedicated, trained and motivated staff even the best DMS in the world will fail. People and process are the most important things in any dealership. Lets be clear about this, DMS is just a device used to achieve set down objectives. It helps if your DMS contains all the tools necessary.
Many in the industry now see that tools such as Showroom systems, Customer relationship management (CRM), analytical reporting, Internet marketing and time management systems are essential. These all should be available integrated into the DMS. There are many of these products available as stand-alone but few integrate, this means yet more work for the user duplicating information.
Choosing a DMS that suits your business is a bit like choosing a business partner, it needs very careful thought and consideration. The following were listed in the last issue as relevant questions to ask and are still essential today.
· How will it give us a return on investment and over what time?
· Where will it cut costs/enhance efficiency?
· Is it designed to grow with our business?
· Is it capable of operating multi-company, multi site, multi-franchise?
· Will it communicate efficiently with customers on the web, in the call centre and on the dealership floor?
· How good is the CRM part of the system?
· How easy will it be for staff to adapt to the system? What training is required?
· From talking to other users of the system, how good is the suppliers customer support?
Once you have chosen and implemented the DMS that’s where it begins. So many dealers forget that constant training and reviews of process need to be addressed. It is recognised that the average dealer should book at least two days training a year. A decent DMS provider should always be prepared to share their experiences on good working practices. I also think that as business partners the dealer and the DMS provider should document process controls. Simple but effective training training training.
I’d echo other industry observer’s recent comments about the current obsession with running a hosted DMS solution. It’s imperative for a DMS to have access to web services providing third party data delivery, and indeed using the internet as a transport mechanism for multi-site connectivity is a cost effective solution. However, running a DMS over the web where the server is in a datacentre all too often ends in tears. The UK communications infrastructure is not mature enough to reliably run a remote web server based application as intensive as a DMS with adequate performance. How many problems do you have with slow Internet connections? We offer the service, but we don’t actively promote it. Keep your DMS server within your business.
Most dealers owe it to their potential to review the DMS market. I believe that Gemini Systems Dealer Management Systems should be one of the systems reviewed.
Marketing... The 3 Mistakes Everyone Makes Marketing To
When marketing to Automotive & Automobile Dealers make sure your campaigns include these 3 main points for maximum results
Automotive & Automobile marketing, Automotive & Automobile dealers, gus skarlis, direct mail
When trying to sell a car dealer your products or services most sales are lost because of these 3 reasons.
The main reason that your sales are not where they should be is because most dealers never receive your message. Unless you are a huge company with an advertising budget in the millions most dealership owners and general managers will never see your message. Car Dealers are constantly bombarded with everything from window decals to water filtration systems and averages state that your prospect will have to see your message at least 7 times before they will have a favorable opinion about your products and services. How many times are your dealers seeing your message?
Another important point that happens in most campaigns is the message is too long. You must have copy that gets right to the point. If your message is 7 pages long and requires the prospect to spend 15 minutes reading it chances are they wont. Take a look at the length and see what points you really need to make. Most marketing and sales agents make the mistake of tyring to sell the prospect with their copy and adding in every little feature and benefit about their product. Instead offer a teaser approach and get them to contact you for additional information. This will allow you to focus on hot prospects while testing your marketing message.
The final reason that most campaign fail is not using enough marketing mediums to contact your prospect. We all know that an appointment with the decision maker offers the best opportunity to sell your product or service, but in the Automotive & Automobile marketing world we all know that is next to impossible. With the phone being the next best followed by direct mail and internet marketing. You must make an effort to use every form to reach your dealers. How many are you currently using?
If you incorporate these ideas into your current sales and marketing campaigns your sales and profits will explode and If you need the most exclusive Automotive & Automobile direct mail and marketing list with complete contact information on 21,545 Auto Dealers for only $297 visit: http://www.AutoDealerList.com
BDC and Internet Departments - CRM Alone is Not Enough
CRM software is only one component of the Automotive & Automobile dealer BDC initiative.
CRM software is only one component of Information Technology.
Information Technology (IT) should comprise all hardware and software data solutions; marketing and communication systems; and most importantly the design, testing, application and refinement of the methods of implementation.
In other words, IT is not just software and hardware, it is the central philosophy and methodology underlying the coordinated application of technological assets in the search for efficient growth.
Maximize capitalization of internet prospects
Maximize capitalization of global corporate data
Minimize Internet and/or BDC departmental overhead
Reduce third-party lead referral costs
Increase captive lead frequency
Strengthen ancillary revenue streams - parts, service and merchandise
Exploit horizontal market opportunities
As such, a CRM platform cannot not be considered - in itself - an efficient vehicle for growth. Rather, the coordination of CRM with all other IT assets, in concert with a comprehensive marketing and communications strategy - across all franchises (and beyond) - remains the key to attaining and sustaining a superior level of efficient growth.
With this in mind, the evaluation of any piece of hardware or software should include it's ability to:
Accommodate strategic goals and processes
"Talk" to other systems
Be easy to use and understand
Work securely and privately
With regard to personnel, the ideal IT manager should not only possess a reasonable knowledge of hardware and software systems, but also a strong grasp of the retail marketplace, in addition to marketing and communications strategies. The IT manager will consolidate all technological assets and (working in conjunction with the principal(s)) develop new strategies facilitated via this nascent consolidation of datasources and communications systems.
Moreover, the IT manager is the most important piece of the puzzle; for it is through this key employee that all data and communications pass, all syste
ms unite; and the successful, efficient utilization of this amalgamation via strategic marketing initiatives is dependent. No other single employee has the potential to control so much, and through doing so contribute so much.
In closing: Where most have welcomed and quickly capitalized upon technological advances in communication, the Automotive & Automobile retail industry - obstinate and myopic - has barely capitulated. Hence, the opportunities just over the horizon may be considerable for those who endeavor.