KPM's first guest blog post comes to us this week from Joe Miller, the Marketing Director at c-Systems Software, Inc. Joe is an outdoor power equipment industry leader in software, and works closely with KPM on a host of dealer-focused enhancements to c-Systems’ BMS. Click here to read more about Joe.
According to various industry surveys, at least 50 percent of outdoor power equipment dealers still do not utilize a computerized business management system (BMS). This is not to say that these same businesses do not have any type of computer system, as many dealers do have computers to access the Internet, conduct parts look-up, submit and receive email or generate office documents. These same surveys indicate that the most successful dealers (by dollars and size) utilize “industry-specific” BMS at their dealerships.
Does this mean you must have an industry-specific business management system to be successful in the outdoor power equipment industry? No, but it does indicate that a BMS could factor heavily into the successful operation of your business.
Here are some reasons why you should consider adding a computerized business management system to your business:
1. The primary role of a BMS is to improve productivity at all levels of a business organization. Every employee in your business will benefit from modern computer technologies that will allow each team member to function more effectively and efficiently. A BMS will streamline your business operations, improve employee workflow and enhance dealership processes.
2. Business management systems contain numerous features that help management and employees more easily communicate and collaborate. Users of these systems find they have much easier access to needed information to complete work-related tasks. Even technology like email, instant messaging and social networking has enhanced the communication process to provide rapid communication between vendors, dealers and customers. This business communication technology allows management and employees to develop closer relationships with customers, which results in improved sales.
3. A business management system facilitates real-time tracking of business activities. This speeds up the process for typically laborious transactions like invoicing, purchasing and inventory control. Essentially, all business activities will see a tremendous reduction in time spent and a dramatic decrease in errors. Many BMS developers have coordinated efforts with leading industry suppliers to provide seamless communication between the dealer’s and supplier’s business systems. Now it is common practice to electronically transmit purchase orders from the dealer’s business system to the vendor, but recently more progressive BMS providers and vendors have incorporated the means to transmit product registrations and warranty claims as well.
Do business management systems sound too good to be true? Not at all. However, business owners and management should keep these things in mind before making the decision to implement such a system.
The purchase price of a BMS has seen a considerable decrease in the last two decades, but you should be aware that the initial price of the BMS is a mere portion of the total investment. It’s important to understand the full cost implication to avoid unpleasant surprises.
Installing a BMS requires proper training and employee buy-in. A company should expect to invest considerable time and money training each person that will be involved in the operation. Without proper training, operation of the BMS might cause work disruptions and could become quite detrimental to productivity and profitability.
Ultimately, dealers that embrace these new technologies report substantially lowered labor costs, error reductions and improved profits. Business management systems provide business owners with better management controls and reporting that positively impact the dealership’s bottom line.