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4 key dealership operational reports to analyze and customize

Leading dealers know that daily operational reviews are non-negotiable to address nonperformers, missed deals, lead provider performance, and service productivity and revenue.

Recent interest rate hikes coupled with tight supply continue to limit sales of both new and used vehicles. How can you prepare your dealership for a more competitive vehicle market going forward? One of the best tools at your disposal is custom reporting available through your CRM. 

The key word here is “custom.” Your dealership and market are unique and your reports should be too. Most leading CRM providers give you the power to craft a report the way you want to by adding or removing fields, applying filters, and creating visuals like graphs or charts. Why is reporting so important? Monitoring what’s working and what’s not is key to ongoing productivity and profitability. 

Leading dealers know that daily operational reviews are non-negotiable to address nonperformers, missed deals, lead provider performance, and service productivity and revenue. Below are four key reports that these leaders are looking at every day, along with suggestions for the metrics that matter so you can customize them to fit your specific needs. 

The Master Daily DOC (traffic management report)

I’d bet most GMs and department managers keep this report open all day, and for good reason. The DOC is one place that quickly provides a top-level view of dealership activities and metrics. Most can be sliced and diced by department or category to give every manager a quick daily update while protecting confidential information. Consider which of these elements would best serve your DOC needs: 

  • Front-end sales
  • Sales forecast
  • Service productivity and revenue
  • Parts revenue
  • Overhead expenses
  • Payroll

Performance reports

These reports allow you to see what your salespeople are doing day-to-day to meet monthly sales goals with drill-down capabilities into each person’s lead number, follow-up activities, sales, and closing ratio. Daily reviews are key to spot and address nonperformers before they affect your bottom-line. Which of the following would serve your performance needs: 

  • Lead activity including activities due, overdue, and percent completed
  • Leads that should be transitioned to the BDC
  • Missed deals
  • Contracts in transit
  • Deals delivered but not approved

Lead provider activity report

Dealers across the country spend tens of thousands every month on digital marketing – but is it working to reach the right audience and sell vehicles? You’ll never know unless you monitor the metrics. Be wary of providers who want you to count on their attribution and influence reports. Data misrepresentation is a pervasive problem – especially when conversions are rolled-up into one monthly report that gives little insight into details and may include clicks from Google Business Profile (which is free, organic traffic) to make the numbers look better. I would argue it’s better to trust your own reporting within your CRM that includes: 

  • Cost-per-lead by provider
  • Cost-per-sale by provider
  • Number of deals delivered

Fixed ops report

Some industry experts expect a service slump over the next few years due to selling fewer new cars and lower maintenance EV models. By tracking how your shop is doing now you can proactively spot potential slow-downs and put plans in place to boost customer loyalty, increase employee productivity and/or cut costs.

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Fixed Ops reports can include:

  • Open ROs
  • Average hours per RO
  • Average dollars per customer-pay RO
  • Hours forecast and hours per day goal by employee
  • Inventory of spare parts, especially those ordered and never picked up
  • Upsold parts

Daily monitoring of these four pivotal CRM reports will help your dealership keep tabs on operations and spot market fluctuations so you can proactively respond and protect profits. It’s also worth noting that some leading CRM providers are beta-testing single-view reporting across product lines to simplify and streamline the reporting process. Imagine having one report to assess your modern retailing products? Stay tuned for that! 


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Michael Biasco
Michael Biasco
Michael Biasco is a senior product marketer at Elead/CDK Global. Biasco has over nine years of sales, marketing and operations experience in retail automotive, and has led numerous product initiatives from ideation through testing and commercialization.

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