How automated workflows can help automotive dealers make more money

Anyone who’s ever bought a car at a dealership knows that they end up spending quite a lot of time filling out forms. But that’s nothing compared to the amount of time dealership employees spend managing forms and paperwork. From receiving vehicles onto the lot and managing compliance certification to preparing quotes and estimates, processing invoices, organising finance and making sure nothing is missed, this can take up the better part of an employee’s day.

This over-reliance on paperwork interferes with productivity and makes it hard for sales representatives to get into a flow that could increase their sales. Automotive dealerships that can minimise the time spent on paperwork could conceivably increase sales and revenue significantly.

In addition to the selling time lost to paperwork, there’s also the issue of what to do with all those pieces of paper. Hardcopies of documents are generally strewn all over staff members’ offices and putting their hands on the right piece of paper when they need it is all but impossible. Or in the instance that the documents are filed correctly, they could be stored in rows and rows of boxes or filing cabinets, taking up valuable storage space. If a document is required urgently, this can become a problem.

Another major concern is accessing repair orders or vehicle details in the event of a recall or fault. The inability to access this information quickly or on-demand can cause major compliance problems, and even put lives at risk.

Managing this information more effectively is crucial for automotive dealers looking to meet compliance requirements, reduce costs and improve productivity. Printing less and implementing automated workflows or digital storage is the key.

Whether it’s dealer packs, repair orders or accounts payable processing, document digitisation and automation can help automotive dealers in five ways:

  1. Less paperwork. Keeping information stored digitally where it’s searchable and can be found at the touch of a button means there’s less paper on people’s desks or storage space required. This means there’s less chance of paperwork going missing and staff members spend less time searching for the information they need.
  2. Timely reminders. Automated workflows can include reminders and prompts to team members so processes keep moving forward. Whether this is to chase up a quote, pay an invoice, or sign a contract, automated reminders keep staff members on track and processes moving smoothly.
  3. Easier audits. In the event of an audit, or need for review of service or repair documentations, dealerships using digital document management can instantly locate all the required documents without worrying about outdated or inaccurate information.
  4. Fewer errors. Automated systems reduce the risk of errors, ensuring the team is on top of all compliance requirements. This avoids situations where important documents aren’t signed or customers aren’t given the paperwork they need, for example.
  5. More time. When staff members aren’t distracted by mountains of paperwork, they can spend more time doing what they do best; selling or repairing vehicles or working on other value-add activities. This results in stronger revenue and more income for the business.

The most successful organisations are those that can empower their staff members with the tools to get the job done, then get out of the way. Automotive dealers who can automate workflows are likely to see significant productivity and revenue gains as sales staff are unleashed from their desks and can spend more time engaging with customers.

Joe Visentin, Queensland state manager, Upstream Solutions

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