Change Management: The "Upward Climb" With New Dealership Tech - AutoSuccessOnline

Change Management: The “Upward Climb” With New Dealership Tech

Adopting new technology in a dealership is an important business decision that requires a process to ensure success. A comprehensive, user-friendly technology platform can be extremely advantageous and profitable to your dealership. It makes collecting data easier, provides the ability to mine existing customer information, and even helps integrate sales, service, inventory acquisition and other revenue-generating opportunities.

Selecting and implementing a new CRM, DMS, phone management system, inventory platform or other technology is a serious process requiring careful consideration. Becoming proficient with a technology takes time and you almost certainly won’t see success from Day One. As a result, change within a dealership is often avoided or unenthusiastically embraced because change management can be an agonizing task. Managing expectations is crucial.

The importance of making such a change successful throughout the organization cannot be understated. Too often, however, the human element of an implementation is not taken fully into account, and the result is a less-than-successful launch.

Read our entire issue – Click here


Helpful Hints Here are several tips for adopting a new technology platform in your dealership. These are meant to help guide the process of change management and to reduce the negative impact of the learning curve, as well as to help teams work together to make change:

  1. Find the right technology platform. The first step is to find the right platform for your dealership. Don’t try to save time on this crucial step. The time invested up front to research, poll staff and get informed will more than pay off in time saved and speed to revenue after implementation.
    A few things you should look for when adopting a platform are integration with existing platforms, ease of use (user interface) and product features you really need. Weigh the advantages and disadvantages of various platforms and look at how other dealers are benefiting and using them to determine which is best for your business. Vendors should be willing and able to provide this information; be wary if they aren’t.
  2. Lead from the top. Dealership management must make a public and often repeated commitment to the new technology. If management does not appear committed to the success of the implementation, the staff will simply view it as the “flavor of the month.”
    The key to effective change management and adoption of a new technology is leadership embracing the change and providing clear and specific examples as to how the technology will make the staff ’s lives easier and simpler.
    Make sure your supervisory team has proper training with the technology partner so team members fully understand what it entails, how to use it most efficiently and how to properly train employees to perform their normal functions most effectively on the new platform.
    Motivate from the top down, and hold everyone accountable to move the process forward. That means setting measurable goals like “ask sales teams at least twice daily if they have any questions about X,” and holding every team member accountable by keeping track of agreed-upon actions.
  3. Work with your technology partner for training. Your technology partner is the most knowledgeable about its own product and should be a resource to your team for providing a change management plan as well as training. From firsthand experience, your technology partner knows best how to get the most out of the platform and how it can impact your business.
  4. Form change management teams and a communication plan. Adopting a new technology requires an accessible, optimistic support team. Change management teams should not display hesitance or doubt about adopting a new technology, or it will hinder the adoption curve and overall process. Team members should be carefully selected as enthusiastic adopters of the technology. They should develop a solid communication plan to ensure they are all communicating the same message.
    Agreed-upon messaging should address all employee questions and concerns early in the process — having an FAQ is a useful tool at this stage in the process. “Work schedules will not change and will, in fact, improve” is different than saying “work schedules will probably not change.”
  5. Create measurable project milestones. Dumping a new technology on a team and expecting them to learn new processes all at once sets you up for failure. Sit down with the change management team and determine your incremental, measurable goals both for the implementation and the new technology. Understand that productivity may dip at first, but ensure you have the proper support so business doesn’t suffer and the change process continues to move forward.
    When you are determining your project milestones, make sure they are achievable and measurable. Develop a process to take small steps (make one change at a time, not multiple changes) to ensure employees are fully understanding each step in the process and know exactly what is coming next. As part of establishing milestones and platform usage expectations, you may wish to consider removing the legacy platform. This might be an extreme step, but it ensures that staff members cannot fall back to the process with which they are comfortable. Eliminating the old platform takes away the ability to backslide and increases the adoption rate of the new technology.
  6. Review your progress (and adjust if necessary). If something is not working and milestones are not being met (or are being met faster than expected), adjust the plan. The plan should be fluid enough to make changes if roadblocks arise. Hold people accountable and track progress publicly — and communicate it with the entire team. If people feel they are making progress, they will continue to move forward.
  7. Listen. One of the most important steps in the process is to listen. Listen to the concerns of employees, ask questions and address them to keep everyone on target. If concerns aren’t addressed, particularly if there is one vocal critic, it can turn into a negative spiral in a team setting and hinder the overall process.
    If you follow these steps when putting in place a new technology, the learning curve can be reduced significantly and you can create a culture of innovation, success and high morale. Change management reduces the human element and allows the new technology to begin doing its work.
    There are countless positive impacts of adopting a new technology, including making your business attractive to potential customers, encouraging innovation within teams, increasing efficiency, generating additional revenue and developing more satisfied customers and employees.
    The benefits of adopting new technologies are clear, if your management teams build a solid plan for the task of change management.

Read our entire issue – Click here

You May Also Like

COMPLIANCE: A Necessary Evil or a Million-Dollar Mistake?

Explore the complexities of digital privacy in business, including the impact of consent banners on marketing analytics and the balance between legal compliance and operational effectiveness. Learn how to navigate the risks and rewards of digital data management.

As a business owner, you spend a lot of time balancing risk and reward. For instance, your service department changes tires every day. What if a wheel comes off after the customer leaves? It does happen sometimes and could mean a lawsuit, yet you still change tires. Why? You know the risk, have taken steps to insulate against it, and accept that the upside outweighs the unlikely downside. However, digital risks and rewards are not always as well understood.

Sorting the Latest GA4 Confusion

If you’re stumped by the new Google analytics, take some solace in that you are not alone. Here’s some help.

Sorting the Latest GA4 Confusion-Remora, Google Analytics,
BendPak Introduces New Octa-Flex Lift: Inside Look

Susan Givens has a discussion with Sean Price from BendPak about the groundbreaking Octa-Flex Series concept two-post lift.

Bendpak-Octa-Flex-AS-Inside-Look
Turning Your Website from a Maze into a Clear Path

Discover how simplifying dealership websites can significantly boost user engagement and sales.

Turning Your Website from a Maze into a Clear Path
You’re Losing $700 on Every Trade – Why the Data Screams, ‘Mandate 100% Scans!’

Having the right appraisal data integrated with accurate reconditioning costs in hand before the deal is transacted leads to acquiring inventory that can be turned at a profit.

Rapid Recon, appraisal, scan tools, time to line, vehicle reconditioning,

Other Posts

The Art and Science of Vendor Partnerships

By collaborating with suppliers and vendors, within the framework of a true partner relationship, you can multiply success and profits exponentially.

The Art and Science of Vendor Partnerships - Women In Automotive
Navigating Title Clerk Transitions

Discover solutions for dealership title clerk shortages to avoid backlogs and ensure smooth vehicle sales and registration processes.

Navigating Title Clerk Transitions
Phone Sales Strategies for Pitch-Perfect Wins

Discover how preparation, knowledge of your inventory’s value and a tailored call guide can transform your sales approach. Master the pitch-perfect phone sales strategy that respects the customer’s time and maximizes your dealership’s potential.

Phone Sales Strategies for Pitch-Perfect Wins
How Will Advanced Automotive Technology Showcased at CES 2024 Impact F&I Protection Products for Dealers?

By offering the right F&I products that embrace vehicle innovations, dealers can ensure their customers are navigating the roads with confidence.

Advanced Automotive Technology Showcased at CES 2024