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IT systems and solutions rev up efficiency in automotive industry

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It is widely accepted by operators in the automotive industry that a credible, sustainable route to business success cannot be mapped out without the incorporation of technology, writes Callie Human, executive director of eliance.

Today the integration of Information Technology, software and digital marketing that enhance operations is no longer seen as a primary business goal – it is imperative to core functions and service, as is a partnership with a reliable, experienced software developer and solution provider.
The term ‘experienced’ is linked to just about all communication these days, but the regularity of its use detracts from its true meaning and dilutes its significance.
In the case of the automotive industry experience is everything. It is an important factor in helping to determine whether an operation can ride the storm and negotiate what is likely to be a tough year ahead for the industry and those hoping to make margins and budget.
Experience combined with reliable technology & systems will reinforce strategy.
It is here where software developers and solution providers – those with a proven track record in the industry and an established product portfolio – make a difference.
A proper system is vital to administration, sales and service transactions, with the ability to capture and store customer data being essential to providing tier one service levels.
The accurate retention of customer data must take place before the sale is concluded, the rationale being that it will ensure a higher level of experience at point of contact with the customer. Furthermore, it will reinforce the dealer/client relationship should a customer seek to interact with the dealer at a later stage.
For example a customer could walk into what he or she believes to be a familiar dealership only to discover that his or her details are not recorded and there is no existence of their track record or personal portfolio.
Under these circumstances, and given current market conditions, the customer will not hesitate to move to an alternative service provider or dealership.
The reality of the market is that operators who base their customer interaction and service level on a ‘pen and paper’ system will experience more challenging trading conditions.
Systems, particularly opportunity or lead management software, that enable automated electronic communication and service equates to immediate advantage.
It will not be long before these systems will become de facto. Furthermore, effective digital marketing and web presence will start to play a greater role in dealership strategy to capture market share.
Digital marketing and business improvement represent key driving forces that continue to capture the interest and attention of operators within the automotive industry.