It’s pretty mean to pick on Bob when you haven’t even met the poor guy. Let’s learn a little more about him. He might be a former service advisor, or your cousin that “knows IT”, or simply a backpack IT guy. Either way, Bob knew enough about computers that when you first got your dealership running, he started handling all of the IT equipment and the technology you needed to run your dealership. Unfortunately, Dealer Owner, there is only ONE Bob. Here’s why that’s bad news.
What if Bob Leaves or Can’t Work?
Over the past two decades, Bob has accumulated access to all of the information that your computer systems need to run smoothly or to let your sales staff login and bring in revenue for you. He also understands the way your computer systems interact with each other. Even though they might not be streamlined, he’s the one that figured out how they work.
What happens if Bob can’t come into work one day? What do you do if he wins the lottery and moves to St. Martin? What do you do if he gets a new position? Now all of those “specialized” (read: ad hoc) solutions will make no sense to any new staff you hire. Worse, you suddenly have do not have access to the passwords to any of the servers, routers, or other devices you need to make your business run.
In fact, if your IT person just can’t come in for a week or two because of vacation or illness, does any potential failure can become catastrophic?
Okay, I’m Scared. How Do I Fix It?
You wouldn’t leave your dealership without knowing how to access the keys to each of the vehicles on your lot, and you wouldn’t run around not knowing how to access your business accounts or HR information. You should be able to access your network and the various devices with ease and you should be able to ensure access to all of your employees.
If you don’t want to increase your personnel spend on a group of employees to try and figure this out, you’re not alone. Innovative dealerships now rely on specialized IT services to handle their networks, helpdesk, and other needs to save time, money, and headaches. Here are some qualifications to look for:
- Dedicated dealership experience – You are not a hospital or a school system. Your needs are based on your ability to communicate with the manufacturers, financing institutions, DMS, CRMs, and doing so while ensuring that your staff is focused on selling cars.
- National service contracts – While experience in the automotive industry matters, focusing on a single region can limit an IT provider’s ability to identify solutions across the country. For example, successful implementation of a new Wi-Fi system in Texas could be a huge benefit to dealerships in Florida, even though they haven’t heard about it because the idea came from companies near Austin.
- Comprehensive solutions to IT problems – You wouldn’t hire a general contractor without a drill, hammers, or a couple of saws. So when you are looking for IT providers for your dealerships, make sure that they are compliant with major standards, have experience with the manufacturers you represent, and can provide more than just infrastructure design and upkeep.
Follow these tips and you will be well on your way to a secure, independent, controlled technology environment that will ensure that you take care of business!
VTech Dealer IT offers turnkey solutions that enable you to focus on what matters: selling cars. We work with dealers across the country to handle their IT needs whether it’s updating systems, performing audits, or complete the design and maintenance of your system. Contact us today for an individualized consultation on your needs.