Most dealerships want to operate in a manner that they will be considered green. Normally however, going green is costly when compared to today’s methods of operation. There is one exception I’ve been made aware of that saves time and money for dealership operations. In the near future, service departments will all be faced with the need to go paperless. Storage requirements for space and compliance with law become more extensive, let alone the amount of labor required handling all the paper generated in the service department. Add to this cost lost technician efficiencies, while they look for hard copies of repair orders to complete a repair and the cost savings become substantial. Service departments must focus on making technicians as efficient as possible due to the massive shortage in available talent. Wise dealerships are making investments in technology and support staff to drive up technician efficiencies and parts sales.
I have reviewed the Ideas program from Canon and am impressed. Having seen it in operation and discussed their vision for the future I can only call it impressive. Their program is able to capture a repair order file and add things like alignment and battery testing reports. Now you can begin to understand why this program illustrates the future.
Often I use the medical profession to compare with automotive service departments for professional approaches to customer care. When is the last time you saw a nurse bring in a paper file that held hard copies of every past patient visit? For me anyway every medical visit for many years has been reviewing my electronic files with their laptops. My local doctor visits now include electronic customer intake with me using a small portable electronic device to check in. I can review my medical records on line and include future appointments, medication information, and emails to and from my doctor. If I had any payments due, I could also scan my credit card into their system for payment. The reason the medical profession values state-of-the-art electronic archiving is simple. They understand the value of saving doctor and support staff time. They understand the importance of accessing patient records quickly and efficiently that may even save the life of the patient.
The future is clear and dealership service departments will be going paperless. The only question is when and the time is now. Ideas anyone?
Rob Gehring, President
Fixed Performance Inc.
Rob is President and Founder of Fixed Performance Inc. which he began over 15 years ago. His passion for customer care and helping others has assisted hundreds of dealerships with their fixed operations performance. His common sense coaching and training lifts people up as individuals and team members. With over 30 years of dealership management experience, he understands and respects the daily challenges of fixed operations. Placing a strong value in people and best practice processes always provide growth. His articles have been published regularly in national publications and weekly newsletters are read by thousands.