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How Van Horn Automotive Group is leading dealerships’ digital transformation

Staying ahead means embracing innovation and digital transformation in a rapidly evolving automotive retail landscape. On the latest edition of Dealer Forward, Josh Bickerton, Director of Product Consulting at Dealertrack, is joined by Mark Watson, Vice President of Finance and Insurance Operations at Van Horn Automotive Group, who reveals how his dealership has harnessed the power of digital solutions to enhance efficiency, streamline operations, and elevate customer satisfaction. From integrating comprehensive tools within the Cox Automotive ecosystem to fostering a culture that embraces change, Van Horn Automotive sets new standards for dealership excellence in the digital age.

Key Takeaways 

1. Mark Watson emphasizes the significant improvements in operational efficiency achieved by integrating various digital solutions from Cox Automotive. These tools, such as VIN solutions, Auto, DeoTrack, FNI, DMS, Accelerate Title, and the new e-commerce platform Essential, have streamlined processes, reducing time and costs. The seamless integration of these platforms has simplified tasks, making roles within the company easier and more efficient.

2. Van Horn Automotive Group’s primary focus is providing an exceptional customer experience. Watson highlights how digital solutions, particularly Essential Commerce, have enhanced customer convenience. The ability to conduct 90% of finance transactions electronically and offer remote signing has significantly improved transparency and speed, aligning with consumers’ desire for a more efficient car-buying process. These advancements have minimized customer pain points and increased overall satisfaction.

3. According to Watson, the transition to digital processes at Van Horn Automotive Group has been relatively smooth. The shared vision and goals within the team, coupled with strong support from Cox Automotive, have facilitated this shift. The performance manager model provided by Cox has been instrumental in guiding the team through the transition, ensuring the effective use of new solutions, and addressing any challenges promptly.

4. Moreover, Watson underscores the importance of a strong partnership with Cox Automotive. The collaborative approach, with key individuals like Wendy Blake and Kevin Pruitt, has been crucial in overcoming challenges and pushing toward full automation. Cox Automotive’s commitment to meeting Van Horn’s unique needs and its collaborative approach with external vendors has significantly influenced the dealership’s success with digital solutions.

5. Nevertheless, Watson advises other dealers to embrace digital transformation fearlessly. Highlighting the positive impact on customer experience and operational efficiency, he encourages leveraging the extensive resources available through Cox Automotive. Watson’s message is clear: by challenging partners like Cox and utilizing their solutions, dealerships can successfully navigate the transition and achieve their goals.

"Working inside the Cox ecosystem has provided real work efficiencies that save us time and money." – Mark Watson

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For over 11 years, CBT News has been informing and helping automotive retail professionals grow their businesses and thrive in their careers through an awarding-winning, on-demand streaming platform. With exclusive interviews featuring the biggest names in the industry, daily newscasts, up-to-date market data, and exclusive articles covering the latest trends, CBT News is your #1 source for auto industry news and content.

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