How Important Is Dealership Security?

The child’s face literally beamed with anticipation, his fist closed tightly around the nickel in the palm of his hand, as he gazed at the brightly colored candies behind the curved glass front of the display case in Conner s General Mercantile.

Today, I feel exactly like that child. I have been given the opportunity to do something that I have wanted to be able to do for more than 15 years. I have been given the means to communicate with thousands of automobile dealers and their Managers about my field of expertise- design, development, production and implementation of access control systems and related products.

About 20 years ago, a young manager of a Maryland dealership believed there had to be a way to control the use and access of dealer demo tags. After much research, he could find no acceptable solution to the problem. The idea occurred to him that a system should be developed that addressed the challenges dealers faced on a daily basis. He believed the required solutions should include making demo plates available only to authorized personnel, identifying the individual using the tag and keeping the plates both visible and secure. A prototype was developed, a patent was applied for and granted. Modifications of the design were made to the product to make it easier to manufacture and more conformable to the wide range of requirements of dealers large and small. Four years later Securitag was ready for market.

I designed the modi-fications, was responsible for making the production tooling and have manufactured and serviced the product for the last 18 years. Two and a half years ago, I purchased the rights from my original partners and have determined to aggressively market access control systems to my target market–automobile dealers.

Until August 2000, my position in production and service did not permit me to express my ideas and ambitions in marketing although I had many. Now as president of my new company, I believe it is more important today than ever for automobile dealers to be aware of the potential risks to which they are exposed through the use of their demo plates. I hope to explain the advantages a dealership can expect to realize through implementation of improved security measures in future issues. It is important to examine the multitude of benefits each and every dealer can realize by making a few changes in the methods and practices in the dealership relating to your dealer demo tags and other security issues. It is my goal to explore all of these issues in addition to any industry news I become aware of and welcome questions from readers.

News for this issue is that Jerry W. Mims of the South Carolina DMV confirmed to me that as of January 1, 2003 all vehicles must have a regular demo plate attached to a vehicle being test driven. The practice of using a dealer logo tag will no longer be accepted. These logo tags can only be used as temporary tags after a vehicle has been sold and must be accompanied by proper paper work.

I will be attending the NADA convention in San Francisco and will be available at my company booth #1530. I would be pleased to meet anyone to talk about how improving security in your dealership can improve your bottom line and your peace of mind. Yup. Just like a kid in a candy store. That’s how I feel tonight.

Bernard Boule


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