Technology partners

Unlock profitability and improve operations with flexible technology partners

Welcome to another edition of our Front dealership video series with Cox Automotivewhere we talk about some of the toughest issues affecting the automotive retail industry, and how dealerships and industry leaders are addressing these challenges.

Josh Bickerton, director of product consulting for DMS Dealertrack. Today we’ll be discussing what Josh is hearing from General Managers and Senior Owners about how a more flexible Dealer Management System is helping them unlock profitability and improve operations.

Bickerton works with professionals with extensive experience in dealership management systems and helps them make technology-related decisions that will help them succeed. This includes “discovering the right strategies and tools to generate profits”.

Dealerships, Bickerton says, have run into issues with “using and understanding data,” and they’re turning to outside vendors to help with those challenges. Dealerships would have an overwhelming amount of data, and Bickerton says Cox Automotive is helping dealerships “unlock key information” that compiles all that data and produces something “meaningful.”

While it’s great to have massive amounts of data, Bickerton says it’s only useful if dealers know how to interpret the information.

Dealerships also reported difficulties hiring and retaining talent as well as finding “flexible vendors” that don’t prevent them from operating their business “however they want”.

When it comes to hiring, Bickerton says workers have more room to be “picky” now. He adds that a recent study found that more than 50% of dealership employees change staff within a year of being hired, and that dealerships need to find people from a broader talent pool who can be trained on their technology.

“Simplified and connected workflows,” according to Bickerton, can reduce costs and increase profitability while improving the customer experience.

Bickerton cites a Cox Automotive study that found dealerships use an average of seven different technology platforms to complete a transaction. These technology integration fees are costing dealerships an exorbitant amount of money.

The solution, according to Bickerton, is for dealerships to identify “inclusive” and “well-connected” partners. He notes that these inclusive partners are open to integrating with other dealer management systems instead of just pushing their own solutions on dealers.

Bickerton points out that Dealertrack offers its Opentrack platform, which is connected to more than 200 vendors and offers a “secure, two-way flow of data” between different systems.

In addition to “intuitive technology,” Bickerton reports that partnership is also critical to a dealership’s success. He says having a partner who understands the challenges dealerships face can help dealers analyze and use the data they’ve amassed.

Bickerton says successful dealers view their performance managers as members of their teams and are transparent about all aspects of their business, from long-term goals to finances and the development of their dealer management systems.


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