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3 Common Obstacles in Your Digital Reporting

Article Highlights:

  • Some digital tools are just as manual as a paper process.
  • Make sure your numbers truly represent your business.

The importance of reporting cannot be underestimated. Between seeing where the dealership stands, evaluating where there’s opportunity for improvement, and helping your dealer make decisions, having an effective reporting process is part of the foundation for a healthy store.

When compiling reports, relying on a digital process filled with obstacles can easily make an already tedious event even more of a headache if the proper precautions aren’t addressed. To ensure your store has the business’ best interests in mind, make sure you are addressing these three common obstacles:

Compiling Data

Do you have to contact an employee, drive to a store, or go out of your way to see the numbers? When comparing digital processes, it’s important your technology does the work for you instead of relying on employees to manually input the numbers. If you cannot easily reference your data, then your access is limited, and money is wasted on an employee manually fixing errors and formatting data.

If you need to know gross profit, you may have to contact an employee to do the compiling for you. This requires them to dig through your solutions for the numbers, manually pull the data, then format the data and clean up errors and spacing issues. Meanwhile, your data is becoming outdated, and your dealership is wasting money on an inefficient process. Plus, your employee is spending time compiling the data rather than completing other tasks.

Data Upkeep and Activity Tracking

Depending on the reporting solution you utilize, digital reporting can leave you with numbers, yet no real conclusions or actionable answers. Often, with data in digital formats, there is no way to track the last time action was taken. If your reporting tool cannot help you see when you or other employees were last in the system and trying to finish capturing profits, then your digital tool isn’t providing your store the added benefits it needs to keep cash flowing.

Strategic Goal Setting

If your reporting has no ability to strategically forecast, then is it truly helping you make decisions? Forecasting is a critical piece of the financial decision making process, and can be difficult and time consuming. If you can’t accurately forecast, you can easily end up staring at numbers on a sheet and hoping to find answers. Or worse, you task an employee to do the digging, and you have to gamble your business decisions on their analysis.

How do you know your goals are realistic for your store so you can accurately forecast? Being able to compare your data with other stores in the market, and even other stores in your group, and see how you compare is a major plus when it comes to getting an accurate analysis.

Conclusion: Do More than Digital 

Going digital is always a good step for your business, but you want to make sure that your processes work with you, not against you. By using a solution that goes beyond digital reporting, you can easily see numbers that accurately represent your business, and you can put your data to work.

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Product Planning Manager, Reynolds and Reynolds

Todd Polak is a product planning manager with Reynolds and Reynolds. He is currently responsible for business employee management applications, GAS, security management, and general systems. He joined Reynolds and Reynolds in 2012, working with the remote software implementation department specializing in accounting and payroll products and installations.

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