Lot Management Solutions Drive Profitability for Auto Dealerships

Patrick Leonard

We’re always on the lookout for ways to utilize technology to help our auto dealership clients increase their profitability. One way to protect their assets is to utilize a lot management solution, which takes geofencing to another level for auto dealerships. To learn more about this technology, we asked the experts, Dean Powery and Richard Boyce at Protek Plus.

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Topics: Auto Dealership IT

9 Things to Consider When Selecting a DMS (Dealership Management System)

Patrick Leonard

A Dealership Management System is the core software application for nearly every auto dealership, and it integrates each department of the dealership from sales and F&I to accounting and service. Typically, a DMS stores customer information including transactional data, accounting functionality, service history and job tickets, vehicle inventory, and more. Enterprise-level DMS software integrates with third-party software, such as listing websites, providing a single dashboard for General Managers and executives.

Considering to use a Dealer Management System is a relatively easy decision, yet selecting which DMS to use requires much thought and analysis. After assisting clients with dozens of DMS analyses and transitions, we’ve developed this list of considerations to ensure you find the right fit and to prevent you from having to replace it in the near future, which is costly.

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Topics: Auto Dealership IT

Top 3 Auto Dealership Cybersecurity Mistakes

Patrick Leonard

Although most auto dealerships have robust security systems and processes in place to protect their inventory of cars and parts (and money), many auto dealerships are inept in their cybersecurity. Generally, the absence of cybersecurity is from a lack of knowledge of the threat and ramifications of a cyber-attack. Many General Managers feel their dealerships are too small to be targeted by a hacker or they think if they ignore it long enough, the problem will never arise.

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Topics: Auto Dealership IT

What is an Auto Technology Specialist Anyway?

Patrick Leonard

After writing my blog post, Where Auto Dealerships Use Technology to Drive Profitability, I received emails regarding one line in the introductory paragraph all asking, “What is an Auto Technology Specialist? Tell me more about that.”

The line that I wrote in my initial post:

Cars have so much technology packed in them that many auto dealerships now have an auto technologist on staff just to demo all the gadgets on board to the new owners.

In short, an Auto Technology Specialist isn’t on the IT or network side of technology like myself. The person in this position demonstrates all the technology in the vehicle to the new owners.

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Topics: Auto Dealership IT

Geofencing for Auto Dealerships

Patrick Leonard

A geofence is a virtual perimeter that you can draw around a location, such as your dealership’s sales lot. A geofence uses the GPS satellite network or local radio-frequency identifiers, such as Wi-Fi nodes or Bluetooth beacons positioned onsite, to create the virtual boundary. You can set your geofence to be as big as an entire city or as small as a flagpole.

A hardware or software application is needed to create the geofence and create a game plan for the actions you’d like taken when someone or something enters or exits the virtual perimeter. For example, a rancher could get a text alert if his cattle strayed too far, a construction company can “clock in” workers when they enter a construction jobsite each morning, and a retailer can alert customers walking nearby of a sale.

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Topics: Auto Dealership IT

Sharing KPIs Across an Auto Dealership

Patrick Leonard

The other day, my partner was asked to speak to a group of business executives about sharing KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), a topic he is passionate about and something we take seriously here. In talking with him, it reminded me that many of our most profitable and fastest growing auto dealership clients do a great job of both measuring and sharing KPIs with their team.

What is a Key Performance Indicator?

Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is a measurable value that demonstrates how effectively a company is achieving key business objectives.

A KPI is not a new, internet-born term. KPI has been a business term for decades and businesses have measured their productivity long before the term was coined.

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Topics: Auto Dealership IT

Where Auto Dealerships Use Technology to Drive Profitability

Patrick Leonard

Technology has revolutionized the auto industry, especially on the sales end with websites like TrueCar and CarFax. The vehicles themselves now come equipped with GPS, backup cameras, Wi-Fi, parallel parking capabilities, and self-driving cars are in the near future. Cars have so much technology packed in them that many auto dealerships now have an auto technologist on staff just to demo all the gadgets on board to the new owners.

The vehicles aren’t they only thing on the lot powered by technology, the entire auto dealership is now a technology powerhouse. Why have so many auto dealers invested in technology? Easy, to drive profits! Technology can track customers contact info and their lifecycle along with preferences, expedite writing service tickets, and make car buying not only easier, but faster. All these things do two things, improve the customer experience and reduce labor for the auto dealership. A win all around, especially for the CFO!

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Topics: Auto Dealership IT

9 IT Considerations when Acquiring an Auto Dealership

Patrick Leonard

Over the years we have worked with numerous auto dealerships, and many of them have grown through acquisition of other dealerships across the United States. Although a dealership’s IT infrastructure is probably not a deal breaker for an acquisition, it can be costly if the prior owner neglected their IT for a long period, driving up your post-acquisitions costs.

Changing over a dealership’s IT after an acquisition usually takes 3-8 days on-site to set up everything. The best way to reduce this time and associated cost is through proper planning.

The costliest thing an auto dealership can do is to neglect to account for IT and to wait until the day of the switch over to take care of it. Reacting after the fact means scrambling to see what equipment is usable, working to have multiple providers (internet, phone, DMS, etc.) switch over, and migrating data. Usually, a reactive switch over can cause a week or more of turmoil including lost sales and challenges with service opportunities.

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Topics: Auto Dealership IT

10 Ways You Need to Secure Your Data Before You Fire Another Sales Person

Patrick Leonard

Because of the high turnover in sales at most auto dealerships, the industry is prone to data theft across the board. In business, people get fired, but you can’t let that come back at you. Don’t give a disgruntled ex-employee the ability to communicate with customers, steal contact information or credit card info, or cause severe damage to your infrastructure.

Before you notify a sales person about termination, you need to:

  1. Disable Access to Workstations
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Topics: Auto Dealership IT

6 Hidden Costs when Switching DMS (Dealer Management Software)

Patrick Leonard

We’ve worked with dozens of auto dealerships to convert them to a new DMS (Dealer Management Software). Regardless if they’re switching to CDK (formerly ADP), Reynolds & Reynolds, Autosoft, or another DMS, there are costs many dealerships do not think about until after they’ve made the conversion.

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Topics: Auto Dealership IT

About My IT's Blog

We believe an educated client is the best client, therefore, we share our knowledge with executives and business owners looking for a fair, knowledgeable IT firm that fits well with their company and objectives.

My IT helps companies to protect their data, become more efficient and productive, and to boost high-growth using technology. In our blog, we discuss these topics and our extensive expertise working with medical practices, construction industry companies, and auto dealerships.

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