For car dealerships, often with multiple branches and a whole range of different brands, the potential for business silos is a real danger. It’s not uncommon for individual dealerships to go their own way in developing different marketing processes and their own brand messages. Ensuring a common, consistent approach is, therefore, often a major headache for corporate headquarters. It is possible though for head office to take back control. And the tool for doing so is a company intranet. So if you want to eliminate business silos and ensure a consistent approach across all your car dealerships then read on to discover how an intranet can help.
The latest figures suggest that there are over 13,000 car dealerships in the US. This represents a considerable number of employees and a considerable amount of business going on.
And in the highly competitive market of car dealerships, sales are the key driver. This kind of environment, however, encourages the growth of business silos. Head office can struggle to keep on top of multi-site and multi-brand operations that, driven by a keen sense of competition, often set up their own systems. These can include, for example, developing their own information repositories that are not necessarily consistent or in keeping with agreed head office policies and procedures. This can restrict the overall ability of the business to leverage the many benefits associated with a single consistent solution. Typically, what you end up with is a bit of a mess with all sorts of different systems in operation, the potential for errors and mistakes plus a lack of central oversight.
A private website that is only accessible to internal staff, the company intranet offers a solution to the problem of business silos. In one central platform, the company intranet contains all the information, data and tools that staff in the car dealerships will need in their daily work. It has a number of advantages for head office and local staff alike. Perhaps the most important from a head office perspective is that it enables more oversight over local operations. And for the dealerships it is the single source of truth in terms of key company information. Let’s look in more detail at exactly what the benefits are from the perspective of both head office and the local dealerships.
Benefits For Head Office
The company intranet makes it easier for head office to communicate and share information with regional dealerships. Important updates on brands and models can be posted on the intranet newsfeed and are therefore shared in an instant with all dealerships. This eliminates the need for the daily emailing of information around the regions and the potential for important messages to get lost or not be acted on in the sea of email.
Moreover, a centralized marketing section on the intranet could include all the marketing collateral, brand information, logos and model updates relating to all vehicles and makes of car. The intranet will, therefore, make it much easier for head office to introduce consistent marketing processes that are designed to maximize marketing return on investment for lots of different brands. It will also ensure that there is consistent customer-facing messaging across all brands throughout the dealerships.
The checking of stock availability across the regions as well as reporting on sales performance is also much easier with the intranet. Information can be shared with head office or around the dealerships by embedding the Google Apps suite in the intranet and utilizing Google Sheets, for example. Alternatively, head office can create their own customized forms using the intranet’s intuitive form builder. What’s more, the intranet will ensure that the form is routed directly through to the relevant staff member at head office for action.
Through blogs and forums and adopting an employee self-service type of approach, the company intranet can connect the dealerships and staff members. So, for example, the Atlanta car dealership may have a long tradition and detailed knowledge of working with Chevrolet. A salesperson in Washington with a customer information request on a Chevrolet model not supported at their location, can connect with the experts in Atlanta and utilize their superior knowledge in satisfying the customer’s query. While this type of approach isn’t rocket science, the intranet facilitates these types of connections much more quickly and easily. In just a few seconds and a couple of clicks with the mouse, the Washington dealer is able to respond to his customer in a timely and super-efficient way.
Local Car Dealerships Intranet Benefits
Quick and easy access to corporate information and events is probably the single most important benefit for local dealerships. What’s more, the local dealers can be sure that the data is the most up to date and can be confident of the information they are in turn passing on to customers. Whether it’s to check for updates on new brands, the latest promos and incentives or to look at the status of their dealership on the national sales leader boards, the intranet can be relied on as the single source of corporate truth. And in those situations where there is some form of product recall, it’s a straightforward process to simultaneously notify all local dealers who can act on it immediately.
Connecting with other dealerships is another great benefit for the local operations. Keeping an overview of what’s happening across the other brands and sites is an advantage and sharing insights, successful promos and incentives helps to maximize sales and profits across the entire company.
Furthermore, communicating with head office and requesting and receiving support is a much more simplified process with the intranet. For example, requesting brand promotional material for store fronts is a straightforward business process when using an online intranet form. You can also order and book other centralized assets such as central marketing displays, marques or spider displays using the centralized corporate calendar.
Working in a car dealership tends to be a high-pressure environment and as a result, there’s often a high turnover of staff and sometimes it can be difficult to recruit and retain new employees. The intranet offers opportunities to address these issues as well, which will be of great benefit at the local level.
Onboarding of new staff is a complex issue with the sheer amount of product knowledge that’s required. The company intranet can help in that process with a whole section devoted to onboarding. As well as including standard personnel forms and requirements that need to be completed for all new staff, it can also include the required knowledge by way of videos, wikis, checklists and quizzes. In addition, the intranet houses all the crucial documents and manuals the new employee will need to reference and be familiar with.
Better onboarding combined with easier access to information, better communication and opportunities to connect with colleagues will also see the levels of employee engagement correspondingly increase. This will be of benefit to both head office and local operations alike.
So if you’re interested in finding out more about how a company intranet could impact on your car dealership operation, then get in touch with MyHub today. We offer a free, no-obligation 14-day trial so you can see for yourself the many benefits an intranet has to offer.