The power of simulation in improving dealership operations

There’s a tried-and-true maxim regarding learning dealership operations: management training may be valuable, but hands-on experience is invaluable. One challenge, however, is being able to give enough people the hands-on management experience they need without risking actual dealership operations.

That’s where in-depth, dealership management simulation training comes in. Ally developed an immersive Managing Retail Operations training simulation that takes a deep dive into every aspect of dealership operations, using a hypothetical time period of five months condensed into an intensive and engaging three-and-a-half days. In this simulated environment, groups of participants compete against one another to manage an underperforming store, tasked with making up to 250 management and financial decisions daily in their efforts to improve the store’s overall results. In the process, they learn firsthand about the impact each department has on the other.

A life-like simulation helps people learn behaviors that can be applied on the job. Plus, it gives dealerships the ability to not only help their people learn, but also discover critical insights into their people’s leadership skills.

How to Maximize Factors Within Your Control. Simulation training helps “course correct” participants from being distracted by things they can’t control and focus on what they can. Better still, it allows them to see the results of their decisions across business plans – covering everything from staffing and compensation to pricing, advertising and inventory management.

How to Identify Your Rising Stars. Whether a storied family business or part of a large Dealer group, dealership succession planning and staff development are essential for long-term success. Simulation training can help Dealers (and OEMs) identify and develop the right managers to lead the entire dealership operation by observing how they handle complex situations.

How to Get All Your Departments Rowing in the Same Direction. Many dealerships run their departments – and compensate department managers – by treating them as separate profit centers. Simulation training helps Dealers recognize how this approach may leave significant money on the proverbial table. When everyone works together, results add up and fall where they should: to the bottom line.

How to Move from “Analysis, Paralysis” to “Analysis, Action.” Operating reports can prove daunting to dealership employees. Financial simulation training helps them learn to act in ways that benefit the entire dealership.

How to Create an Optimal Staffing Strategy. According to the 2019 Cox Automotive Staffing Study, 25% of current dealership employees are considering leaving because they don’t believe their company is headed in the right direction. The good news: among non-dealership employees, interest in working for a dealership is highest among young millenials. Simulation training hits at a key hot button for dealership employees: engagement.

For more on Ally’s Managing Retail Operations simulation – visit or email

About Ally

Ally Financial Inc. (NYSE: ALLY) is a leading digital financial-services company with $181.9 billion in assets as of March 31, 2021. As a customer-centric company with passionate customer service and innovative financial solutions, we are relentlessly focused on “Doing it Right” and being a trusted financial-services provider to our consumer, commercial, and corporate customers. We are one of the largest full-service automotive-finance operations in the country and offer a wide range of financial services and insurance products to automotive dealerships and consumers. Our award-winning online bank (Ally Bank, Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender) offers mortgage lending, personal lending, and a variety of deposit and other banking products, including savings, money-market, and checking accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs), and individual retirement accounts (IRAs). Additionally, we offer securities-brokerage and investment-advisory services through Ally Invest. Our robust corporate finance business offers capital for equity sponsors and middle-market companies.

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