Top 10 Things to Look for in Dealership Technology
Switching technology platforms is no laughing matter, but implementing change with these 10 tips will help keep you smiling
David Letterman, a legend of late night comedy, once said, “Nothing is more satisfying . . . than getting a great idea and then beatin’ it to death.”
Each night on his talk show, he demonstrated his ability to overdo an idea by reading a Top 10 list featuring 10 humorous takes on a single topic.
In honor of Dave’s return to show business, I offer up a Top 10 list of my own to help dealers know what to look for when considering a dealership technology change.
10. Easy to use
Nothing is more stressful than slow technology that is difficult to use. When choosing a new technology for your dealership, be sure that it is efficient by design and easy to use.
This will benefit both your employees who use the technology, as well as your customers, who will be able to drive out of your dealership quickly while feeling more relaxed.
Even if you can’t touch your toes anymore, your dealership can still be flexible. Choose dealership technology that is secure and accessible from any location, and on any device.
8. Real-time data
It’s fun to reminisce about days gone by with old friends, but not with your dealership technology. Don’t settle for batch updates—demand instant real-time access to your dealership data.
7. Open integration
Leave exclusivity to the red carpet, and start eyeing dealership technology that has open integration capabilities.
Find a platform that plays nice with the other solutions you use at your dealership. Open integration will save you money, and give you the freedom to build your own technology strategy.
6. Flexible contract terms
Sometimes it’s nice to have a technology vendor hold your hand, but it gets a little frustrating when they won’t let go. Great technology partners don’t hold you captive with lengthy contract terms and auto-renew clauses.
5. Solution-oriented structure
Technology tools shouldn’t get credit for solving the problems they create. Partner with a company that provides technology solutions that adapt to your unique needs.
4. Committed and knowledgeable team
If a company doesn’t know how to run a dealership, you don’t want it designing your dealership technology. Be sure that there is a helpful, capable team behind your software systems.
3. Ongoing proactive support
The only thing advancing more rapidly than technology is our frustration with it. Expect your partner to get you through your toughest technology times with continual training and support.
2. Long-term fit
Choosing dealership technology is a lot like choosing off the menu at your local diner, except that with bad technology decisions, the heartburn can last a lifetime. Look for a long-term partner that’s investing in the future and thinking about how your dealership is going to grow.
Don’t separate technology from the team, or you’ll hasten the rise of the robot rebellion. Part of choosing the right technology is choosing a team that you want to work with.
Technology change is no laughing matter, but by comparing vendors and their platforms according to their performance in these 10 key areas, your search and selection process will keep you smiling for a long time.
Paul Whitworth is the Senior Vice President of DMS and Fixed Operations at Cox Automotive.