When Jim Browne Auto Group analyzed the value they were getting from their technology investment, they were less than impressed. Their current monthly investment had, according to the owner of the auto group, “outpriced themselves” for the value provided. In a hyper-competitive environment, where technology is constantly changing and dealers are demanding more from their vendors, a Dealer Management System (DMS) that fails to perform can find itself on thin ice. We spoke with Jim Browne’s Lead Controller, Sue Mudge, and General Manager of Chevrolet Buick GMC in Dade City, Sam Rhineberger, to learn Leadership Lessons on implementing new technology within their multi-store group in this live webinar. The recording is available now; read below to discover the opportunities for success Sue and Sam share:
Champion Your Dealership’s Champions for a Successful Change
No DMS switch is simple. But there are steps that every dealership can take to make the process run smoother. Finding a DMS partner with the right experience in technology transitions is important, but that’s only part of the work. According the Sue and Sam, identifying your dealership “champions” in each department is just as important. Sue and Sam were both identified in their departments as “champions” to lead process changes across multiple stores, ensuring that team members were all on the same page and up-to-speed with the transition. As Sue explains, “It was important to us as a group and to Mr. Browne, specifically, that we use this opportunity to hit the ‘reset button’ so to speak, so that after the transition we could come out the other side a stronger group with one set of processes for (Jim Browne Auto Group).”
Work With a Team Who Works With You
Making a big change in your dealership’s technology impacts more than your day-to-day workload. When executed properly, it has the potential to streamline your workflows, improve the time it takes to move new hires to the sales floor, and modernize your outdated practices. However, working with the right implementation team is key. That’s why it was paramount for Sam and Sue to find a vendor who was available every step of the way. “I cannot sing praises loud enough for our implementation team,” Sue explains. Having a dedicated team of install experts from a team that regularly installs 40 dealerships each month, meant that Jim Browne Auto Group was never left in the dark.
“I cannot sing praises loud enough for our implementation team.” – Sue Mudge, Controller Jim Browne Auto Group
Every DMS transition takes work. And, your vendor installation team is working behind the scenes—and on scene at your dealership—to ensure that everyone is up-to-speed with the new software. But, a successful transition requires that each employee do their part in logging on, using the “sandbox environment,”and completing their required training. When asked how the team champions, Sue and Sam, ensured that their teams were ready to go when Jim Browne Auto Group decided to pull the switch, they responded, “Actually our owner, Mr. Browne, was very hands-on in keeping everyone on-track.”
Finding the right-sized DMS that fits your dealership is the first step. But, making the transition to a new technology takes teamwork, a good plan, and top-down leadership support. These efforts can ensure that flipping the switch to your new technology empowers your team to discover new opportunities for success.