I'm sure you've heard the saying "Time is money." An overused cliche yes, but nonetheless its underlying meaning will always hold true. So, I ask you this: Is your outdoor power equipment dealership running efficiently, or is there room for improvement? With the limited resources that small- and medium-sized businesses operate on, efficiency becomes even more critical to maintaining and growing your profits. Here are three technologies that will help you become a more profitable and efficient outdoor power equipment dealership.
1. Streamline your purchase orders
The process which you use to send your POs is surprisingly important. Here at KPM, we implemented our dealer portal back in 2001 to make it easier for our partners. Before we built our direct-method dealer portal with c-Systems, POs would come in by fax, sometimes even written on pieces of scrap paper! Errors were an ongoing problem as a result of:
- Keystroke / Entry errors
- Monitoring fax status (did it go through, or not?)
- Miswritten vendor codes
- Misentered part numbers
All of these mistakes may seem small. How about when each one leads to an information-seeking phone call to gather accurate information? Now it can cost a company 2.5 to 5 minutes of time. Over the span of an entire year, your dealership could end up wasting $5,000+. Using KPM's direct ordering method not only reduces the time it takes to submit a purchase order to mere seconds, it also eliminates a majority of entry errors and provides immediate order confirmation.
2. Apply a rebate system
Rebates are a great way to maintain your bottom line while increasing sales. Unlike percentage-based in-store discount sales, rebates can lead to unclaimed incentives. Mainly because there is an extra step required in claiming them. Rebates come in many forms these days. There are instant rebates, mail-in rebates, shared rebates, and the list goes on and on. In many cases, rebates are funded by suppliers. It may be two-step distribution or factory direct. Each brand that a dealership represents is another subdivision of rebates to keep track of.
With all these discounts flying around, it’s easy to lose track and miss rebate opportunities. If a rebate isn't filed on time, that affects your bottom line. Dealerships who have started using Infinity from c-Systems software can set up rebates for specific product lines: Scag, Wright, Sno-Way, etc.
To start using Infinity, you first give the rebate a name, e.g. "SC210 $20 instant rebate." Then, you choose the type of deduction: customer only, dealer only, or both. You can set the system up to be automatic or manual, and it may be a flat dollar amount or the system can calculate a dynamic percentage of an item that you choose. You can even copy and paste from a vendors program into a field to describe the rebate to your sales personnel, just check off or fill in the parameters. Choose a start and finish date if applicable, and you are done. It’s that simple.
It looks like rebates are here to stay so using systems, like Infinity, are needed to make sure your dealership isn't losing out on any rebate offers. They are without a doubt an excellent sales tool to get customers into outdoor power equipment dealerships as shoppers see value in them, so it’s a “win-win.”
3. Implement a vendor stock check system
The technological evolution of a stock check has begun. About 15 years ago, your vendors started investing in technology to help increase productivity and decrease costs. Using software, like PartSmart, will make your employees dramatically more efficient while helping customers.
If you integrate PartSmart with c-Systems, when a customer comes to you looking to buy a part, you can quickly find the part with a few keystrokes and add it to your Sales or Repair Order. Directly on the Sales or Repair Order screen, c-Systems can now tell you if your vendor has the part in stock. You no longer have to take the extra steps of having to go to your vendor’s website to see if they have it. Almost instantly you will know that your vendor has the part in stock and can be ready for pick-up within a matter of days, maybe even hours.
Just think of how much time you can save each day by not having to go to your vendors' websites to check availability or pricing. On a busy Saturday, how many more customers could you help? With these increased efficiencies, you have created a positive shopping experience for your shoppers, increasing the likelihood that they will return to your dealership instead of shopping on the internet or visiting a competing store down the street.
As vendors add more and more integrations for programs, your dealership will see the benefits stack up exponentially. KPM wants to inspire you to review your business operations and determine what technologies you can add. If you embrace new technologies, it will certainly make your employees happier by eliminating tedious tasks, and it will also bolster your bottom line. Who doesn't want that?
If you want to learn more ways to make your dealership efficient, take a look at our most recent webinar.