Cutting Filing Costs with Electronic Document Management

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Operating an auto dealership generates a lot of paper. At most dealerships, deal jackets, repair orders, and parts tickets fill rows of filing cabinets and bankers boxes. Stacks of paper cover every flat surface. Employees dread going to the file room and searching through drawers of tightly packed paperwork for a document that was hopefully filed correctly. Is any of this sounding familiar?

The costs associated with filing, storing, and retrieving all that paper are often hidden from dealers for two reasons. First, many auto dealers think that a paper filing system is the only way to handle their documents, so the costs they can see appear non-negotiable. Filing cabinets, manila folders, paper, ink, off-site storage, and other costs they can find on a balance sheet go unchallenged and unexamined. Instead, they invest in label makers and books on how to organize all that paper, applying a band-aid to a problem that needs a hospital.

Second, one of the biggest costs associated with filing paper is largely hidden from view: the cost of your employees' time. The more time your accounting staff, service writers, and technicians spend filing and looking for documents, the less time they have to spend on tasks that really contribute to your bottom line. And the higher the salary of a person looking for a document, the more it's costing you.

So what's the alternative?

Many dealers are starting to turn to electronic document management (EDM) software to handle their documents and files in a more cost-effective manner. An

By now you may be thinking, “All right, how much is this going to cost? Will I actually save any money by the time I pay an arm and a leg for this miraculous solution to my paper problem?” As with any product, you can spend almost any amount of money on bells and whistles, but a robust and effective EDM solution for your dealership can be quite affordable. The physical costs of paper filing and the cost of your employees' time you're paying for now outstrip the cost of any reasonably priced solution.

Those auto dealerships that can operate faster and more cost-effectively will be able to better compete on pricing and provide better customer service. Those dealerships that go into the 21st century dragging all their paper behind them may find themselves struggling, if they're not struggling already. Which kind of dealership will yours be?

Rob Leslie is the Online Marketing Manager for Scan123 Electronic Document Management, providing an EDM solution built by an auto dealership for auto dealerships since 2005. For questions about EDM, call 888-481-3727 or visit



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