If you’re involved in managing a trailer dealership, you know first-hand that a lot goes into handling inventory, sales, customer records, and financial accounting. That’s where a dealership management platform or dealership management system (DMS) comes in.
Dealership management software is designed to streamline and automate many of the day-to-day tasks associated with running your operation. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look.
A modern dealership management platform is a specific type of software or web-based system that organizes the inventory, service, sales, and accounting details for your trailer operation.
For example, one section of the system would allow you see all of your inventory and cost for each item. Another area would allow you to quote, sell, and take payment for all of your customer transactions—this would normally include a point of sale system with payment processing integration. The service section would allow you to manage work orders, schedule appointments, and track technician time in the shop. On top of that, some platforms contain or integrate with CRM (customer relationship management) and other helpful tools. The bottom line: your management platform is your single source of truth for trailer and parts inventory, service jobs, taxes, accounting, transactions, key profitability numbers, and more.
What does a dealership management platform do?
A modern management platform will include:
- VIN-friendly point-of-sale interface
- Inventory management (tracking stock, cost, movement)
- Maintaining detailed customer records
- Creating work orders and tracking technician time clocking
- Trailer-industry part price file support
- Actionable reporting
- Parts inventory management and counting
- Vendor ordering and receiving
- Processing payments
- Accounting and financial reporting
- Ultimately—everything you need for parts, service, sales, and accounting
Web-based management software may offer these Pros:
- Log in anywhere in the world, on any tablet or computer
- Little to no IT expense
- Simple to use and learn
- Easy to make data connections
- Integrates with cloud-based accounting platforms
- Integrates with web-based CRMs
- Integrates with top e-commerce platforms
Basically, if there’s something that you need to do in order to run your dealership effectively, chances are there’s a tool for it in a modern dealership management platform or DMS.
What is the bottom-line benefit of a management platform?
The right software hits right where it matters—your bottom line. When your operation is organized and is on an easy-to-use management platform, it’s easy to provide an excellent customer experience. And, you can sell more with lower payroll costs. There will be fewer mistakes, and more work happening in the same amount of time.
A good system allows you to spend less time on administrative tasks and more time on generating sales and providing the outstanding customer service that keeps customers returning. In addition, a good management platform will save you money by helping you to avoid inventory mistakes that cost your business both time and money.
For example, if you’re manually tracking inventory levels and make a mistake, it could lead to over-stocking or under-stocking an item. Both scenarios could cost you profit. Throughout the parts, service, and sales departments, the risk of human error is greatly minimized if you’re using a trailer and VIN-friendly system to track inventory levels. The result? Increased efficiency and profitability for your business.
How to choose the right dealership management platform for Trailer
Standing out from the crowd of traditional and automotive-centric systems are a handful of trailer-focused dealership management platforms. To find the best system for a trailer dealership specifically, we recommend considering the following questions:
- Does this system track cost and history by VIN?
- Is the software designed for full parts, service, sales, and accounting support?
- Can this system provide trailer industry-standard price files (list of all parts from a distributor)?
- How easy is this platform to learn?
- Can this system easily handle common but complex transactions, such as a customer purchasing accessories with a trailer that need be installed by Service before delivery?
- Can I securely track the time my technicians spend on each job?
- Can I easily see and search trailer inventory by Age, Cost, Price, Type, Payload, etc.?
To learn the answers to the above questions, your best bet is to schedule a Demo or Q&A with the software option you’re considering.
Not sure what questions to ask in a demo? We’ve got a few suggestions.
One key pre-demo tip: outline your current processes and goals briefly before you demo. That way you can focus the conversation on what you need the software to do for your specific operation.
In case you’d like to learn more about Blackpurl’s Dealership Management Platform, you can check out a trailer video case study HERE.