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Dealership operations are becoming increasingly complex, and the global pandemic has only accelerated that further. The rapid changes in market conditions are driven by several factors:

  • Evolving buyer preferences. According to a recent NADA survey about the future of auto retailing post-COVID, 82 percent of dealers said the digital sales process is here to stay. This is in reaction to the changes in consumer buying behaviors, which saw a dramatic shift in the digitalization of vehicle purchases.
  • Technology stack complexity. Dealer management system integrations with third-party software integrations are necessary, but they are more complicated than ever. With so many technologies to connect with, dealerships spend significant time and human capital as well as installation costs for each individual integration. Some DMS providers even have difficulties integrating with their own third-party systems. 
  • Data security risks. Cyber attacks are expected to increase every year, but 93% of breaches are believed to have been avoided if those softwares were constantly updated. Yet, over 70 percent of dealerships are not up-to-date on their antivirus software, according to Total Dealer Compliance.
  • Changing auto regulations. Dealerships are regulated by multiple federal and state agencies, with increasingly stringent mandates. Failure to comply can result in costly fines, so it’s critical to stay updated and ensure dealer compliance.  

All of these challenges are encouraging dealers to let go of outdated processes and make changes that enable them to deliver a superior user experience, reduce costs and protect their business. Improving the following areas of operations can help dealers more effectively respond to the rapid changes threatening their profitability: 

  • Productive team communications. From sales and finance to parts and service, all departments must work together to make the wheels turn in unison. Streamlining communications between employees, such as making it more efficient for them to contact each other without having to leave their workstation, can boost productivity. 
  • Effective documentation processes. It is no secret that dealerships often see high turnover, which can impact business continuity. As well, each department functions separately, so employees have to constantly re-enter information. This can lead to duplicate data that makes operations more complicated and confusing than it needs to be. Having a single source of truth for all information can reduce those risks.
  • Exceptional customer service. As consumers continue to raise expectations for online vehicle purchasing and on-demand service, dealers have to elevate their game to meet customers where they are – whether onsite, offsite or a combination of both. The ability to pivot with changing consumer behavior will be key to success.
  • Advanced security measures. With auto dealership cybersecurity attacks on the rise, software updates and security patches need to be implemented as soon as possible. Even a couple days of outdated protection can lead to a data breach. A cloud-native system, built on a major cloud computing service, provides the most advanced security to ensure data protection and compliance with auto regulations related to privacy laws. 

By incorporating these fundamental processes into their business operations, dealers can expect to gain greater efficiency across the enterprise. 

Learn how dealers have solved these challenges to maximize productivity and profits.

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