A year of unexpected change
In 2020 the automotive industry went through 10 years of digital transformation in just about 10 months. Franchised dealers have embraced digital selling and the tools required to work remotely. Some dealers will complete the whole sales process online soon. Once this is done, what is the next step in the digital transformation? Perhaps this transition was forced upon us, but now we need to make it a strategic imperative.
Digital transformation in business
Before the pandemic, one of the greatest data challenges facing dealerships was bringing all the information together in one place to aid decision-making. Data in the DMS, in your budgets, and third-party applications such as showroom, CRM and VHC needed to be brought together to create a coherent picture to improve operations.
Throw the new online data into the ring and the job has become more complex. To complete the digital transformation, dealerships will need to solve this problem. As more of the pipeline is in online systems, the sales team need to collate the pipeline into one place to maximise sales performance. Additionally, online spend on marketing has accelerated but very few dealerships have control of it.
You would have thought that once all the information is in a digital format then it would be easy to measure performance. Dealers need to get on top of this to adjust promotions as the month unfolds to maximise sales results.
Business Intelligence in Digital Transformation
Now, let’s look at one example of how a Business Intelligence (BI) solution can help us solve a problem with a current operations challenge. In a recent survey by AM Online, one of the questions posed to dealerships was around their confidence that they were getting a return on investment on their VHC system (see Figure 1).
With a well implemented BI solution, this concern can be easily managed with a view such as the one in Figure 2. This high-level view is backed up by a report that is automatically sent to each of the workshops daily for actioning.
Figure 1 -(Source: AM Online https://www.am-online.com/polls/)
Figure 2 - VHC Area Summary, RWA
Return on Capital Employed
Finance Teams have had a roller-coaster year. Although government schemes have been very helpful, turning the P&L cost and vehicle stockholding tap on and off has required considerable skills. Management information is critical to making these decisions on cost reduction and for predicting vehicle demand. This includes everything from actively reporting on sales and service teams against benchmarks to figuring out how many to bring back from furlough. Measuring no-shows is important for assessing optimum staffing levels. Good management information should drive all decisions, whether it is ages & price points that are working or having the right stock in the right place.
As we move past the pandemic, Return on Capital Employed will become the most important KPI - for leading dealers it already is. The balancing act between selling new vehicles and their adoption will make or break a dealer when demand is low. The balancing act between the sales price of used vehicles and the time it is in stock will do the same. Get all this right and the future will be bright.
Real World Analytics 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.