A senior business leader in a dealership group recently briefed his colleagues with “Data is the lifeblood of our Dealerships” at the start of our meeting with his team. I have to say that this was my first time hearing this directly and much more relevant than the classic slogan of “Data is the new Oil”. I always thought people were the lifeblood of dealerships but thinking about this on the journey home, people still need to be managed and motivated effectively to drive the success of the dealerships which is normally measured by its bottom-line profitability. And the key is data.
In the automotive industry, where dealer groups manage multiple dealerships, data plays a crucial role in driving profitability and success. It drives informed decision-making, operational efficiency, and strategic growth. The challenge of course is that the business is awash with data from a plethora of different systems that individually give a competitive advantage, but all too often can only be collated into complicated spreadsheets for information context. This process is extremely time consuming and will often create errors but at the same time, not being able to use data to drive decision making and operations means missing out significant opportunities and profits. Hence, a management information system that brings the data from all locations together into the dealer group’s business drivers will be essential to run your dealerships effectively, minimise waste and maximise profitability.
One good example of this is used cars operations. The rising market in 2021 handed every dealership about £500 per car in a stock profit that year, but from 2022 onwards, those profits could only be sustained by an outstanding performance in market pricing, a superb buying strategy, together with efficient & appropriate upselling. The progress that some entrepreneurial dealer groups have made in these areas in terms of the level of sophistication has been nothing short of astonishing over the last 2 years.
Another example is in aftersales, which is ultimately a declining business unless it is reinvented in a different way whether it’s tyres, new products & services. In the meantime, increasing profitability will give more firepower to meeting this future with confidence. Tracking service retention, increasing upsells and efficiency by tracking technician and service advisor performance will drive the profitability in your aftersales business.
The two examples above are in fact success stories from our customers. We have seen many dealer groups use their data to translate business drivers, consumer insights and employee behaviour into more profitable ways of working and deliver outstanding performance as a team.
Data serves as the lifeblood of a dealer group by providing critical information for decision-making, optimising operations, and driving strategic growth. It allows dealer groups to stay competitive in the automotive industry by understanding customer preferences, improving efficiency, and seizing new opportunities. Embracing data-driven approaches empowers dealer groups to adapt to changing market dynamics and enhance their position in the industry.
John Hogan is the CEO and Chief Data Scientist at Real World Analytics (RWA). RWA helps dealer groups become more efficient with actionable drillable dashboards and reports Visit realworldanalytics.com/automotive/our-solutions for all our solutions, or check out our customer stories. If you want to find out how we can help you drive your dealer business forward, contact us here or email firstname.lastname@example.org
This article was previously published in Auto Retail Bulletin.
About RWA Automotive
RWA Automotive provides a cloud-based Business Intelligence (BI) solution that helps you become a complete data-driven dealer group. By bringing all your data into one place and delivering actionable insights to different levels in the business, everyone has the right information at the right time to do their job efficiently. The management will be presented with executive dashboards where they can drill down to the details for further investigation. Your managers in the outlets get reports such as DOCs delivered to them automatically so that they can action issues on the spot. The solution is designed to help you stay on top of your business with all the information you need at your fingertips.