Dealership Decision-Making: More Data Means More Money

Gaining access to data within your dealership may require a shift in mindset and a change in technologies. But, given the track record of your gut feel, now is the time to start demanding the use of better decision-making tools in your business.

Most people are very selective about the tools they use in their businesses. You’ve probably seen this within your own dealership—service technicians want the best wrenches and your IT manager wants a top-of-the-line computer. But, when it comes to making business decisions, you’re probably still relying on one of the most faulty and inferior tools around—your own gut. Research has shown that companies make better decisions when they rely on data rather than gut feel. A recent report published by the Deloitte consulting group stated that “for binary decision making tasks where large amounts of data are involved… simple statistical models easily outperform even leading experts in the field.”

The ultimate benefit of better decision-making, of course, is more money. Data helps dealerships to formulate long-term strategic goals and helps drive daily decisions, both of which can lead to increases in revenue. Despite the obvious benefits of data-driven decision making, many dealerships continue to rely on gut feel. As discussed in the Deloitte report, “most organizations today recognize that analytics has great potential to create a competitive advantage. However, many organizations still struggle to reap the benefits of fact based decision making and keep relying heavily on gut-feel and consensus decision making.”

If companies understand the benefits of using analytics to make important decisions, what is preventing them from acting on that understanding? The fact is, dealership managers have to make decisions every day, but often it takes too much time and money to get the data they need for each decision. Fowler Auto, a seven-store dealership group in Oklahoma and Colorado, found this to be a major problem. The company wanted to use data to shape strategy and drive decisions, but was having a hard time harvesting useful information. “We like to be a data dependent organization, but our system and processes weren’t supporting that,” said Jason Clark, CFO.

The right technology can play a key role in overcoming that challenge. Fowler Auto made several key changes to its portfolio of technologies, and found it much easier to collect, pull, and analyze data. With easy access to data and reports, the group now knows exactly where it stands and always has access to the information necessary for making important decisions. “Before it was impossible to get some of the information without having to do a lot of manual work,” said Jason Clark. “Now we’ve got good data and reporting to monitor stores against each other and against the industry.”

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Real-time data—a key feature in Fowler Auto’s new technology tools—has made all of this improvement possible. Like Fowler, many dealerships are recognizing the importance of having access to their data anytime, anywhere in real-time. Fortunately, cloud-based technologies have made it possible for dealerships to access up-to-the-minute reports featuring detailed and customizable data. Because all transactions update in real-time, there is no delay in a dealership’s ability to make daily decisions or long-term strategy moves.

Having access to the right tools is an important part of business success. And, when it comes to making important decisions, there is no better tool than real-time data. Companies that use data to drive those decisions enjoy better outcomes, including more revenue. Gaining access to that data within your dealership may require a shift in mindset and a change in technologies. But, given the track record of your gut feel, now is the time to start demanding the use of better decision-making tools in your business.

To learn more about how Fowler Auto uses real-time data to make better business decisions, click here.