The Digital Dealership – Information is the Core
At the core of the digital dealership is information. Tonight, Mets Kramer shares more about the key information you need.
Perform an Information Audit to develop your Digital Dealership
In our last podcast about the Digital Dealership, Ron and I discussed what some of the first steps are that any dealership should take to become a dealership of the future. Since the basis for the digital dealership is the complete use of information, I suggested the first step should be to review how the dealership is currently storing and using key information.
Key information, in the Digital dealership, revolves around the customer and equipment, and especially customer equipment data. To become an integrated dealer, making the most out of the information available, information needs to be collected, analyzed and shared among all areas of the business. It’s important that areas of the dealership don’t become information silos. It’s especially important that the different areas of the business don’t operate on disconnected versions of the same data.
To do this means a few things:
- First, information should be kept in a single database or “single source of truth” for each type of information. Whether it’s customer, account, equipment or contact information, there should be one primary place to store that information, and no more. Whether it’s equipment information on work orders, customer information and contact data in CRM or unit number information in parts, they all need to draw from and update the same single source. This is especially true if the information is also needed in the other departments.
- Second, information needs to be shared out to all departments to help make decisions. The Sales team should see equipment information on machines serviced by the shop, they should see parts sales by machine from the parts department. Service needs to know about machines sold to customers before they come in for their first service work, and everyone needs to know the engagement of customers on marketing and digital platforms.
- Third, information should be enhanced with data from outside sources and inhouse analysis should be performed. When the sales team looks at a customer fleet list, they need to know how much should have been generated by each machine through parts and service, not just the actual numbers. Sales should be able to see market price on equipment when they review a machine, not have to ask the office to get this. Service should be able to see if customers have open quotes and deals on replacement machines when advising the customer’s techs about required repairs. The Marketing department should see what activities are generated from their marketing activities or customer engagement.
To prepare you for your dealership’s journey toward becoming a digital dealership the first step is to review existing systems, available information and the areas where information is missing. This Information Review identifies what needs to be done, where the problems lie and what systems are limiting your dealership’s efforts. This review is often hard to do with in house people. Most people are too busy running the day-to-day transactions in your dealership, but it’s also hard to find the things you don’t know to look for.
If you’re looking for a detailed review of your information systems, a strategic plan of issues to resolve and initiatives to complete on your Digital Dealership journey, my Company Strategic Evolutions (https://www.strategicevolutions.ca) can provide this service for you. With a week onsite, reviewing your systems and talking to people from marketing to service, we’ll prepare a detailed presentation and provide recommended activities to make information an important driver in your dealership’s growth and future.
Are you ready to see your Digital Dealership grow?