Dealer Best Practices: Implementing New Technology

May 11, 2017

How to Evaluate and Maximize Your Investment in New Technology Tools

Technology is significantly transforming the way dealers do business every day in nearly all areas of operations, including vehicle acquisition, inventory tracking, remarketing and sales. New applications and tools that are designed to create new efficiencies, build new channels of business, streamline the way we service customers, enhance overall productivity and drive sales are debuting seemingly every month.

The opportunities are endless, but so too are the potential challenges and pitfalls. How do you know which technology tool is the right one for your dealership? How do you determine if an investment is worthwhile? What do you do to make sure the technology is properly implemented so that you are realizing the full benefits, and not creating new issues?

The following outlines best practices to help you make the right tech choice, and make the most of that choice: 

Focus on the pain points

The number one question to ask when considering adopting new technology is: How will this tool alleviate or eliminate one of our pain points? What kind of short- and long-term impact will this solution have on our operations and bottom line?

Next, measure the potential technology against your dealership’s needs and pain points. Is the tool designed to solve one of the particular pain points you have identified? If so, consider how it alleviates that issue, and set goals for long-term cost and time savings. When deployed effectively, tech tools should leave you with time and money to reallocate.

Along with determining how the potential new tech would transform your business, be sure to carefully vet the specific provider. Credible providers are backed by concrete testimonials from other dealerships that demonstrate success. They bring comprehensive training and support to the partnership, including consistent access to experts who implement, maintain and troubleshoot issues.

Implementation best practices

Once you have vetted and identified your tech solution and provider of choice, the next crucial step is implementation. One of the most common mistakes dealers make is to invest in a new tool, but not allocate the time and resources required to fully train their staff and integrate it into their current operations.

Collaborate with the tech provider to outline a measured implementation plan that works for your organization. Based on factors like numbers of dealerships, number of employees and level of technical aptitude, develop a training program that outlines quantity and length of sessions and required attendees. A strong implementation plan contains an aggressive yet realistic timeline for go live, and that timeline should account for potential pitfalls during implementation, including the most likely challenges and proposed resolutions.

Finally, establish an ongoing education cadence. Technology is constantly evolving. Successful dealerships embrace that evolution, realizing the full potential of new tools that arise post-implementation. Once the tool has been up and running for a few months, evaluate how the tool is working for you and adjust as needed to ensure that your organization is fully leveraging your investment in technology.