Every dealer I have the pleasure of speaking with around the topic of reporting mentions its importance in their business. Having data available to them that gauges their team’s performance unbiasedly, gives them the ability to make critical decisions that promote profitability and growth. However, the tone of the conversation changes when the same dealers speak to the generation and availability of the reporting in their dealership.
Those dealers who feel this frustration typically have a store relying on manually created spreadsheets from their variable managers. These managers have to gather all the departmental data needed to run the business effectively, or in some cases, even multiple businesses! If your store is working with this system, I am sure you know the challenges it’s imposing on your store.
Challenge #1: Time and Energy
The first challenge you have to overcome is the enormous amount of time and energy it takes to create a report by hand. Typically, your manager must dedicate hours of time gathering the most up-to-date data and plugging it into the cells. Next, they must take those numbers and analyze them for trends, opportunities, problem areas, and any other specific KPIs you are hoping to track in your report. Finally, the report then has to be easily understood by other areas of the business. In turn, there may be some reformatting, polishing, and even meetings to explain the report with other department managers.
The unfortunate part of this system is that all of these reporting hours pull a producer away from creating revenue for the store. Instead of closing deals, coaching their departments, taking care of customers, and conducting daily business, they are tucked away in front of a computer writing reports. Where do you think his/her time is better spent?
Challenge #2: Report Accuracy and Availability
With all of this manual entry, many times these handmade spreadsheets are not always accurate. Sometimes it’s typos, sometimes it’s a number that was misread; I have even personally seen managers that didn’t have the information and guess (Yes, it happens)! Often the accuracy of a report is questionable because the information that was gathered at 10 am on Monday morning has changed by Tuesday’s departmental meeting. This overlooked factor can mean your team is forced to work off numbers based on old metrics.
Finally, I see many dealers who are failing to use the robust reporting platforms provided by your DMS. The truth is, dealers are not using them because they can’t figure them out, and nobody can agree on which metrics to use anyway! At the end of the day, there is one truth I have seen that works at every single dealership. If it’s not simple to understand, easy to use, and fast enough to avoid inconvenience, your management team will not use it.
So how do we solve this problem?
Faced with all of this, what is a dealer to do? How can we get accurate, up to date, information into your hands in a way that is simple, easy, and available in a matter of seconds? Here at NCM, we continuously recommend axcessa to our clients. axcessa is a revolutionary reporting platform that gives your business all the information you need to run and manage all departments in the store instantly and accurately. Plus, the software frees up your best employees to do what they do best, drive profits by helping their departments close more deals.
Most dealers I talk with are experiencing one or more of these frustrations and want to know the best practices for their data managment. If you are interested in learning more about axcessa, I would love to answer any questions you may have or to schedule a demo of this fantastic software.