Fortunately, the technology door swings both ways. While ignoring changes in technology can be disastrous, embracing them can unlock the promise of better connections with customers, information, and the state of the industry.
Technology and connection have always gone hand in hand. With new technology comes the promise of better, closer, more instantaneous connections. Our cell phones promise the ability to communicate with practically anyone, anywhere with the touch of a button. Our homes and businesses stream wireless signals that allow us to connect instantly with millions of people and nearly limitless ideas across the globe. Even our cars promise to connect people and places more efficiently than ever before.
But, just because technology can be used to make better connections doesn't necessarily mean it's always used as intended. In fact, when technology is taken for granted, it often has the opposite effect. For example, we text before we talk and "make friends" via social media. It's the irony of technology and it's everywhere, even in the auto industry.
The Danger of Disconnecting
When a dealership's tech provider becomes disconnected, so do its clients. When technology passes by a tech provider, customers pass by the dealerships. That's not to say dealerships are completely blameless, however. They shoulder some responsibility in choosing a forward-thinking tech provider, and, in collaboration with that provider, ensuring that their workforce is kept up to date with the latest technology trends affecting their business. In other words, just because a tech provider is in danger of disconnecting doesn't mean the dealership should avoid the warning signs, such as customers finding information about a vehicle before your sales staff.
Embracing Tomorrow's Technology
Now in its third generation of management, the Beyer Auto Group, located in Northern Virginia, understands the importance of paying attention to new technology and being aware of changes in the marketplace. It's this focus on staying connected with technology that led Beyer to search out a forward-thinking tech partner, one that could continue to promote growth for the company, which now includes 11 stores.
"With Dealertrack DMS, I've got all the information I need accessible on a mobile device, on an iPad; anywhere that I go, I can see what's happening with all our stores," said John Altman, Beyer Auto Group COO.
Understanding that technology must be embraced (not avoided), and partnering with a like-minded tech provider, Beyer Auto became more productive and profitable. Especially as industry changes demand that information be more streamlined, accessible, and absolutely secure, dealerships must continue to find ways to innovate and embrace the future.
A Focus on the Future
There's no doubt that technology and connection go hand in hand, yet sadly, too many dealerships—and especially their tech partners—fall victim to the irony of technology. They are attracted to the allure of its promise, but ultimately fail to take full advantage of its ability to connect. They are slow to adapt and eventually disconnect entirely, assuming that what worked in the past will work today, and meanwhile their businesses suffer.
Fortunately, the technology door swings both ways. While ignoring changes in technology can be disastrous, embracing them can unlock the promise of better connections with customers, information, and the state of the industry. And, partnering with a tech provider that is willing to keep up with it all, constantly looking for ways to innovate is key. The future of the auto industry will most definitely be different than today, but with the right technology in place, you dealership can be prepared for whatever comes next.