Blurred photo new red car parked in showroom car dealership

Seizing opportunities for process automation in dealerships

December 21, 2022

Seizing opportunities for process automation in dealerships

Synopsis
4 Minute Read

Opportunities for robotic process automation are abundant in the dealerships industry, and can be a valuable tool to boost efficiency and productivity.

National Leader, Dealerships
Partner, SK Provincial Dealership Leader

When economic uncertainties arise and skilled labour becomes more difficult to find, your dealership may need to modernize some of its internal processes to stay competitive. Making mental connections between process improvement and efficiency will provide clarity as you decide how to allocate your resources.

When you think about industries that are ripe with opportunities for robotic process automation (RPA), dealerships may not be the first to come to mind. Some dealership owners and dealer principals may not even know what RPA entails.

The process is not as intimidating as it may sound; in reality it’s less about robotics and artificial intelligence as it is about automation. RPA is low-code technology that allows your organization to replicate human activities and reduce the need for human intervention in everyday tasks.

How to start thinking about RPA

To understand the potential of RPA to help your dealership thrive, start by asking yourself questions such as:

  • What are the repetitive, rules-based tasks that drain your dealership’s time and resources?
  • What tasks do your staff wish they didn’t have to do manually, so their time could be freed up for more challenging and interesting work?
  • Are you using any legacy systems that could be modernized?

Answering these questions will lead you to potential use cases for RPA. There are opportunities to automate tasks in almost every department of your dealership, back office or front-of-house — HR, finance, sales, service, and more.

As you look for opportunities to automate tasks, start in areas where your dealership has the maturity to handle technological change. To take on multiple projects at once is not always feasible, and focusing on departments with mature technology infrastructure and personnel will increase your chances of success.

Opportunities for automation in dealerships

Consider the following examples of potential tasks in your dealership that could be made more efficient through RPA: 

clipboard icon with checkmark Service

When customers come in for maintenance, RPA can help you set up automated reminders for timeline-based service (e.g. when tires or brake pads will need to be replaced). You can build a profile for what the customer may need, and reach out to them, with less human involvement.

Computer monitor with writing lines and money symbol iconFinance

Your accounts receivable and accounts payable departments can leverage RPA to reduce time spent on manual and repetitive tasks. These could include invoice generation and management, three-way matching, reconciliation, data entry, and more. The software can even be adapted to enter data dynamically, with error handling, without needing supervision.

A circle connecting three people with a star wheel in the middle iconHuman resources

Like most organizations, a dealership is often asked to provide answers to repetitive employee queries, including details about their reimbursements, tax deductions, monthly payslips, leave balance, etc. These processes often require human intervention and thus consume unnecessary time. AI-powered HR workflow automation can action these routine processes, thereby making the processes super-efficient and smooth.

Why invest in process automation?

Like any kind of investment, an investment in new technology and process automation should yield a tangible ROI for your dealership.

Ultimately, the purpose of RPA is to replace human labour. While automation can reduce your costs by enabling you to run your dealership with a leaner team, it can also empower your current team to spend more time on tasks they enjoy. This leads to improved retention and employee satisfaction, and in a tight labour market, it’s difficult to overstate how valuable that investment is.

Your customers expect you to adapt as well. Automating some aspect of the purchase process to happen quicker or more smoothly, especially in a post-COVID economy, will not go unnoticed by your customers.

MNP can help

Finding opportunities for automation within your dealership, and then executing on them, can seem daunting. And you don’t need to go through it alone. Our team of skilled advisors at MNP digital have the experience to map out your RPA journey, from the assessment phase through implementation and change management.

To learn more, contact:

Chris Schaufele, CPA, CA, National Leader, Dealerships at [email protected] or 604.542.6768

Paul Witherow, PMP, Partner, MNP Digital at [email protected] or 613.691.8502

Sean Kosior, CPA, CA, Provincial Dealership Leader, Saskatchewan at [email protected] or 306.790.7939

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