It’s easy to get stuck in a rut. You start doing something one way and before you know it you’re set in your ways and there’s no turning back. It’s a predictable pattern, and one that has more to do with a fear of change than anything else. Sure, it’s easy to shrug off this type of stubborn behavior in opinions and politics, but when it comes to your business, fear of change can have disastrous consequences.
The Speed of Technology
The history of the American auto dealer is filled with examples of enterprising businesspeople who found ways to adapt in the face of difficulty. In fact, you could probably list several examples at your own dealership when you or a previous owner had to make difficult, yet necessary changes that at the time seemed risky. If that storyline rings true, it’s because your dealership shares the narrative of resilient, successful businesses everywhere. That is, if you want to stay successful, you have to be willing to change with the times.
In recent years, major advancements in technology have caused a noticeable shift in consumer and business behavior, and the auto industry isn’t immune. These technologies include better, more instant access to data, and more hands-on, user-friendly ways of managing information. And, those dealerships that have faced their fears and changed with the technological times have found increased business efficiencies and an undeniable appeal with tech-savvy customers.
The Brains (and Teeth) of Your Business
If you’re like most dealers, there’s one technology, in particular, that you fear changing most – your Dealer Management System. That’s because, for all intents and purposes, your DMS is the brains of your business. It touches every aspect of your operations, from inventory management, to sales, to service, parts, accounting, and finance. It’s an extremely complex system, and one that almost every person at your dealership uses in some way. So, it makes sense that you resist change when it comes to your DMS. It strikes fear into your heart (and the hearts of every other dealer) because it effectively means replacing the central nervous system of your business. And yet, this is precisely the operation that so many dealerships must undergo in order to stay competitive.
Simply put, sticking with an outdated DMS is the easy way out. Sure, it might save you the initial pain of having to disrupt your business and your employees to implement a new system, but in the long run the easy way out never pays off. Think of your current DMS as that troublesome toothache you’ve been trying to ignore. You hope the problem goes away, and yet it keeps nagging you to do something about it. Sure, you might experience some initial pain in diagnosing and fixing the problem, but you’ll be healthier and happier in the long run for doing something about it.
Embrace the Change
And, now the question comes about what to do with your DMS. If you still shudder at the very thought of making a change, here’s some good news – it’s not as scary as you might think. Partnering with the right DMS provider not only allows you to take advantage of the latest and greatest in technology that will keep your business viable and competitive in the long run, it has surprising short-term benefits, as well, including:
- A smooth installation and transition process with a team of experts on hand, ready and willing to help with any questions or concerns you and your employees may have.
- An easy-to-use system that’s much more intuitive and user-friendly than legacy systems.
- Flawless data conversion that instantly transfers information from your legacy DMS to your new DMS.
The auto retail business is built on change. You are where you are today because you and your industry forbearers had the strength and resolve to face your fears, get unstuck from the rut, and change with the times. Sure, those changes may have been scary, even painful at first, but they were necessary and they kept your dealership competitive for years to come.