Webinar: Blackpurl’s Take on Customer Orders

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Tune into our webinar all about Blackpurl’s take on customer orders and how our approach turns the age old, invoice-first approach on its head in order to provide a more flexible, customer-centric experience.

Learn more about why we changed the C.O. process, what we created, and how Blackpurl’s C.O. can fit into your dealership in our latest webinar.


Webinar Transcript: Blackpurl’s Take on Customer Orders

Section Breaks

01:48 – The Problem With DMS: Why We Have Created A New Customer Experience
05:41 – Solving the DMS Customer Order Problem: What Blackpurl Created
10:56 – The Application: How Blackpurl’s Customer Order Process Works in Dealerships
22:38 – Conclusion

Tianna Marinucci: Hi, everyone. I’m Tianna Marinucci and I want to welcome you to our webinar All About Customer Orders.

Today, we’re going to be talking about Blackpurl’s unique approach to customer orders and how it’s changed the once monotonous multi-step process into one that’s beneficial to dealers and empowers your teams.

Today, I’m joined by Blackpurl’s own Brian Kelly, Brayden Handley, and Marc Storey. Brian Kelly works at Blackpurl as a product visionary.  He’s responsible for new product opportunities, defining the product ecosystem, growth experimentation as well as research and development.

Marc Storey an accomplished motorcycle, heavy truck, and power sports dealer that’s been in the industry for over 40 years. He’s a trade qualified diesel technician with an advanced diploma in Digital Principles and he’s recently received his MBA from James Cook University.

Currently, Marc is retired from managing businesses but he remains closely connected to the industry as he serves as Blackpurl’s product development manager. To satisfy his curiosity about the future of IT and to help develop the platform into an industry leader in innovation.

Similarly, Brayden’s very passionate about sustainable solutions and cost-effective growth strategies. His passion led him to Blackpurl where he serves as an account executive to help dealerships implement new processes through economic uncertainty.

Brian, Brayden, and Marc have a profound knowledge of Blackpurl, both as a platform but also as a new category. Brian’s going to start this webinar by introducing us to the age-old problems that dealerships face when they start to tackle the CO process. Then, Brayden’s going to take it from there and show you what we created and how Blackpurl offers a unique solution to age-old problems.

Then, we’re going to move to Marc Storey who’s going to finish off the webinar by talking about the real-world applications of Blackpurl and how our new system serves to benefit dealers.

Now, I’m going to pass the floor to Brian who’s going to kick off our conversation about customer orders.

01:48 – The Problem With DMS: Why We Have Created A New Customer Experience

Brian Kelly: Blackpurl has a customer order experience because DMS starts in the wrong place. Whenever a customer walks into your dealership or you engage with a customer, wherever that customer is, what you want to start doing immediately is recording what those customer needs are – what does the customer need from your dealership, what is the customer going to be paying you for, what are the goods and services you’re providing, right? And you don’t care yet about how it’s going to be split out for billing purposes. Is it all going to get billed to the customer at once? Is it going to be billed in different stages? Are some of it not even get billed to the customer? It might get billed to a warranty provider or written off as an internal expense.

Do you care whenever you’re listening to your customer’s needs at that moment where the invoice ends up? You don’t. You care about accurately recording the customer’s needs. And then once you’ve accurately recorded those needs, you are going to make sure that all that work gets done and results in the appropriate invoice at the appropriate point to make sure you’ve recorded that sale, recorded that transaction. That’s what an invoice is good for. Invoices are good for being that permanent record of the sale that occurred, not as a good place to record the needs of your customer.

And when we look at DMS in that invoice-first approach, it’s because invoice-first was an innovation in the world of pen and paper. 40 years ago, 50 years ago whenever most dealers were pen and paper or slowly transitioning to computers, invoice-first made sense.

If a customer walks in the door and I’ve got to write down everything that the customer needs, if the piece of paper I’m writing on is an invoice, then I don’t have to duplicate that if I’m going to end up using that as my bill of sale, as my work order, right? It just makes sense to write it down once. It’s time-consuming to write it all out again. It could be an error-prone activity, right? So, as often as you can where you start recording your customer’s need in the world of pen and paper is an invoice and that’s an innovation, right?

Then when DMS came along and DMS was being designed, they looked at what happened in a dealership and they saw everyone starting with these invoices and they just mimicked it. They didn’t think creatively. They didn’t think critically about “Well, what would actually really serve the customer and the dealer?”, right? And instead of doing that, they just started with the invoice because that’s what they saw all of the employees at the dealership were doing. They were doing that, start with the invoice.

In Blackpurl, we don’t start with the invoice. We start by recording the customer’s needs, all of the customer’s needs, and doing it in that one interface which is our customer order interface. And by doing that, we make sure we keep track of everything that customer needs, there’s one source of truth that all of the users can go to, to make sure that customer’s getting everything they need. And you never have to be smart enough or be educated enough on the DMS you’re using to know, oh, well, there are actually 10 other invoices, 10 other digital pieces of paper you got to hunt down to really make sure you’re actually getting everything done for that customer to make sure they get what they need.

So, that’s why Blackpurl has a customer order experience because an invoice-first approach, the DMS world of invoice-first causes all sorts of problems. It adds confusion. It makes it difficult to make sure you’re getting the job done in a timely manner and giving a great customer experience to that customer. So, in the world of Blackpurl, it’s not about the invoice. It’s about the order. That’s why Blackpurl has the customer order experience.

05:41 – Solving the DMS Customer Order Problem: What Blackpurl Created

Brayden Handley: Thanks, Brian. My name is Brayden Handley, a member of the sales team here at Blackpurl. And I’m here to show you what we created. At Blackpurl, we have a simple user interface that provides a seamless experience for both the user and the customer that they’re servicing. Let me show you how.

At Blackpurl, our simple Parts and Accessory Sale makes it easy to get customers in and out efficiently, improving both your and the customer’s experience. So, simply add in a part by scanning or typing in the part number or description. Once you enter the part number description, now you can hit Checkout and add your Payment Method. Once you add in your payment, you can ask your customer how they want their invoice, printed or emailed. And then, once you’re done, you can hit Finalize.

When a part is out of stock and needed for a customer order, Blackpurl will automatically add that to a Parts Needed Report. That allows you to quickly see what needs to be ordered and more specifically, for who. As soon as that part is restocked, Blackpurl can take you right back into that CO and let you send a text to let the customer know their part is ready for pickup.

By adapting a simple and cloud-based interface, the dealership is able to conduct business across devices. When your service counter is busy and you still have to write up another unit, take a tablet out on the lot and greet the customer and their unit before they come through the front door. Simply start a Service or Repair Job. Search for your customer in Blackpurl.

You can quickly and easily set your job as a quote in Blackpurl with the handy toggle switch on top. Simply add in the customer unit. If you have your tablet, simply jot down notes of the customer issues that they’re describing right in front of them. Now, your service writer or technician can simply add parts to the work order or import a pick list. And if you have a required item, this will create a special customer order and send it right to that Parts Needed Report on the homepage.

We all have customers that decline recommended work. So, we made sure that you have the ability to include that on your invoice. Just go down to your Notes for Customer and enter in your recommended job. Simply mark it as declined and that will populate on the customer’s invoice so it’s always tracked to that order. For efficiency, you can assign a technician right to the work order and they can clock right in and out from this work order. This time tracking goes right on to your Technician Performance Report.

While you’re out on the lot checking in this unit on your tablet, why not take pictures of any dents or scratches and attach them right to the work order. Blackpurl makes this easy by simply clicking attach files.

Finally, with Blackpurl, we included three ways to get your customer approval – verbal, printed or signed. And you can get the customer to sign right on their tablet right in front of you. Just like that, you can set your job to complete and check out.

Efficiency has been a term thrown around during this webinar so far and I will likely continue to mention it as I go on. With a product designed by members of the dealership industry, we know what dealerships need.

As always, Blackpurl makes unit deals simple and easy for anyone to learn. Start by selecting a customer or adding in a new one. You can also create a deal from a lead in a CRM like DP360. You can find your unit and add it to the deal simply by searching the VIN, make, model, or stock unit number.

Once the unit is in and the deal is marked “In Progress”, you can lock that unit to the deal. This unit then becomes reserved in your reporting. On this unit details page, you can see the base unit price, factory options, or any dealer-installed options that you’ve committed over the time that this unit has been in your inventory. You can make sure that it’s taxable and what tax is applied to each unit.

Then, you can move on to your options and fees if any deal options need to be installed. Now, you can easily add a trade-in, financing, or even another unit to this deal. If any dealer-installed options need to be included, another option will appear at the bottom next to Deal Financing that’ll say “Commit and Install Options”.

By adding a deposit, deal service, or other deal actions, each section is easily distinguishable in Blackpurl. Once you add a job and it gets a little bit larger, it gets a little bit more colorful.

At Blackpurl, we believe that your day-to-day activities should be simple and efficient. That’s why, with any CO in Blackpurl, you can easily add another job to it and keep everything organized under one customer order. From each customer order, you can let a customer know that their part is ready, their service has been completed or maybe they needed a price increase by sending over a text right to the customer and that also gets tracked on the work order as well.

A traditional DMS will allow you to do anything but Blackpurl will help you do it.

I’ll now turn it over to our specialist Marc Storey to show how he could have used and has used these features in his experience running a dealership.

10:56 – The Application: How Blackpurl’s Customer Order Process Works in Dealerships

Marc Storey: Hi, everyone. Thanks for coming along and listening to me this afternoon. My name is Marc Storey and I want to talk about the wonderful concept that Blackpurl has called Customer Order and why we’ve done that and I’m focusing on what it is that the dealers, the end-users, experience and how customer order solves a problem that maybe some dealers haven’t considered. That problem I see as a dealer myself is the need to be forever looking at how we reduce our time in our transactions, the time wasted in the activities of the dealership.

And customer order, I’ll refer to it as CO sometimes, that’s the abbreviated way, but look, think about time. It’s like inventory. You buy it with wages and then you try to use it to make a profit. It’s pretty simple but how do we measure it and how can we measure it. We can only look at the output.

And if you do a time and motion study in your dealership at any time, it’s easy to pick up areas where it’s inefficient and your staff isn’t performing as best as they can. One of the most obvious areas is retail delivery because, in the day, that’s where the money exchanges hands and that’s where we hope to make a profit.

Now, customer order was always designed with the mindset of eliminating that time-wasting. You think of what I like to call the walking-talking time. If you’ve got a staff member that doesn’t know how to answer a question, they’ve got to go and find somebody and then they may not be available and, on the way, they talk to someone else and it’s such a drain on your efficiency but you can’t measure it. So, the task that customer order is dealing with is overcoming that problem of time waste – how do we move our staff through the process of serving that customer without having to bounce around all over the dealership.

And then the second issue is that with customer orders we’re not creating an invoice immediately, we’re not setting ourselves up for problems with invoices that have to be closed or corrected or general journals that have to be taken into account by administration afterward. Additionally, how do you measure that time wasted by administration staff cleaning up problems that were created not necessarily by the salesperson but by customers changing their minds, deciding they do or don’t want something? So, how does the industry deal with the current circumstance now? Well, it’s been doing it the same way for a long, long time.

The traditional method is simple. A customer comes in. It’s time to purchase something or get a service. We open an invoice. Simple. Then we will modify that invoice during the journey of the transaction and then we’ll close it out at the end but that’s where the problem lies. That works fine in a simple business.

Someone walks into a bookstore and gets a book and goes up to the counter. That’s a very simple transaction but dealerships aren’t like that. They’re very complex. You’ve got multi-departments. They inter-trade with each other. There’s something that most customers would never understand because all they want is just one interaction. They’re going to a dealership. They don’t understand the dynamics that exist between Parts, Services, and Sales. They don’t understand the complexity that you the dealer have to deal with and you have to take into account your operating platform.

So, the idea of CO, customer order, is to eliminate the time wasted in generating smooth and efficient transactions with the customer. Dealers invest huge amounts of money in buildings, facilities, and furnishings. I don’t have to tell you that. We all know that is one of the largest outlays any dealership has to go through.

And why do we do it? It’s to create a great experience for the customers. And it does. If you haven’t got a great facility, you haven’t got good furnishings, it’s pretty difficult to give a good experience but it doesn’t guarantee it. The real experience is the interaction with the people. People do business with people. It can’t be avoided. We do see less and less of it because we have online interactions and what have you but still the majority of our business is done in the dealership person to person.

Now, what is it that we’re doing? What is the one constant in every transaction at a dealership? Well, that constant is pretty simple. Doesn’t matter what department. The customer walks in. Doesn’t matter the first person they interact with. The process starts by gathering information from what the customer needs. What is their want? Why did they walk in the front door? And that can be a quick process, it can be a very long and tedious process and I know you all know that but we have to manage that journey all the way through until the point where we can actually exchange some goods or services for some payment.

So, do you have the smoothest most connected process available? Have a good look at it. Is it simple? Now, all the other nice stuff, the buildings, and everything really won’t give exactly what your customer is looking for as far as a great experience if that retail interaction is not seamless.

So, how does the customer order feature of Blackpurl redefine the solution? Because that’s what it does. It’s completely redefined how we commence and manage the interaction with our customers.

Now, the easiest way for me to probably make it clear is to give an analogy of think of a large hardware store, a department store or a grocery store. What is the customer behavior there? It isn’t that different from what happens in our dealership but in those businesses, people aren’t forced to go to a specific counter and, okay, they’ll do one transaction here and then one there. And it’s widely varied in the behaviors. The customers may just want one thing. They’re in a hurry. They may want to spend many hours perusing and deciding and changing their mind. They may come back tomorrow but the environment in those stores allows for that because it’s a very simple concept, very simple business, as we explained at the beginning.

Dealerships are more complex. Online sales have the same approach. You can go on you create a wish list, you can save it, you can revisit many times maybe over a week. You don’t have to finalize the transaction then.

So, we have many opportunities in other businesses to provide a nice simple customer experience. Why don’t we have that in dealerships? Well, it comes back to that word I keep bringing up – ‘complexity’. And you think about it. How many times have we been exposed to or we may do it ourselves in our dealership where we have that old-school mentality or an old-school approach where we walk a customer from department to department? Yes, we politely introduce them to a new person and then they deal with them, then they walk them to the next part but every time that happens, that confidence that’s built, that person-to-person connection gets broken. What customers are looking for is someone to manage them through the whole process.

And the best dealerships, ones that provide the best customer experience, do that but in a complex environment where there’s a lot of technical knowledge needed and you need to bring it all together in multiple ways and different invoices, how do you achieve that? Well, customer order does do that. It’s able to get rid of the traditional invoice, what we do – “Let’s find out what the customer’s needs are. Let’s modify it. Let’s change it. Let’s turn it upside down. Let’s start again if need be.”

CO is as flexible as you need it to be so that you can interact with your customer because we’re not generating an invoice. We’re generating basically a wish list, a shopping basket and we might put things in, we take things out as the customer changes their mind or they think of other things or we suggest. It can be a very quick process. It can be very slow.

Nothing I’m telling you, you don’t already know, but customer order allows you to manage this seamlessly. It allows one staff member to have all the information at their fingertips, the ability to manage the process all the way through.

The simplest way to look at it is if you look in your business today, are you able to generate a wish list, a shopping basket to put everything in. If your customer wants just one’s part, they want to get in and out in a hurry, that’s great. Bang! One invoice. Gone. Or they want to buy a new unit. They want to get a service done. They want to have a warranty repair done as well. They want to buy some parts. And they keep changing their mind and keep adding and subtracting from the basket, customer order.

When the time is right and we know the customer has finalized, then we go to an invoice. We haven’t created any accounting issues, we haven’t forced any problems that are hard to undo if a staff member does make the mistake of closing an invoice too early, none of that. We can still invoice that customer order multiple ways or in a single way, depending on the customer’s needs.

So, what customer order allows more than anything is the ability to get rid of that wasting time of a staff member having to walk people around to different departments to do different parts of the transaction. They can do it all in the customer’s order no matter what the customer wants. They can finalize it at the end once it’s absolutely certain the customer has got their final wish list, shopping basket whatever we want to call.

And so, we eliminate all that time-wasting, eliminate the risk of accounting problems and we’ve provided to the customer a seamless single process where they’ve built a relationship with one person all the way through.

And you think of what your current circumstance is and how difficult that is to achieve that and you just with that one simple change of mindset, a different paradigm in how you manage the customer’s information gathering and their expectations and the delivery of that, you’ve provided a far greater customer experience than walking people from department to department, having to introduce them to new people.

So, that’s all I’ve got for today and I hope that helps you understand the great advantage that Blackpurl has with the customer order.

22:38 – Conclusion

Tianna Marinucci: Thank you so much for tuning in to our webinar All About Customer Orders. As discussed, Blackpurl is very proud to offer dealers a uniquely efficient approach to customer orders that gives them the flexibility, efficiency, and control to provide a smooth experience for their customers.

If you’re interested in learning about Blackpurl, please visit our website. On our website, we have numerous resources for dealers including our blog called How To Run A Dealership. Each of our blog articles is written by our industry veterans in order to help provide some solutions and insights to very common dealership problems.

If you want to learn more about how Blackpurl fits into your dealership, please consider booking a quick 15-minute demo with us. We would love to show you around.

Thank you so much again for tuning in and we’ll see you next time.

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