Paperless Solutions Underpin UK Automotive Retail Recovery
As dealers prepare to reopen and restart operations, digital document software has a fundamental role to play.
The government is easing lockdown restrictions and automotive retail organisations across the UK are working tirelessly to ensure they are in a position to open their doors and start selling cars again safely.
And for good reason.
The UK new car market fell by 97% in April and the SMMT is predicting 1.68 million new car registrations in 2020 – the lowest since 1992.
It’s a tremendous financial hit and shows how important it is that dealers start selling again as quickly and safely as possible to recoup lost sales.
Making the showroom secure
A range of guidelines from the government and industry bodies has seen dealers adjust showroom layouts to help with social distancing and introduce new hygiene requirements – introducing a range of PPE, sanitised handover areas, plastic screens and much more.
It’s a huge effort and investment by businesses that are eager to reopen as soon as possible and there will unquestionably be further adjustments to make in the coming weeks as the car buying public starts to return.
While making the physical environment safe is an important first step, the transition from lockdown will also require dealers to be agile, flexible and innovative in many other ways – which on the face of it can be overwhelming.
Thankfully, automotive technology and software can help make business operations simpler, safer, more efficient and more cost-effective. Which is why demand for MotorDocs products has surged in recent weeks.
Seamlessly integrating with dealer management and third-party systems, iDealFile turns unsecured manual paper-based deal files into secure electronic digitally-signed, visible, traceable and auditable data.
Although a typical paper deal file can consist of up to 70 different documents, iDealFile provides dealers with a single online platform to view and manage all of these items – transforming efficiency for Sales Administrators, Sales Executives and Sales/Business Managers.
Reflecting many of the same commercial benefits as iDealFile, the iServiceFile solution is a secure online platform where team members can manage all documents related to the service and repair of vehicles.
With iServiceFile installed, dealers know that all service-related documents are safely stored in one place and accessible at the touch of a button.
From online document sharing and e-signature capture to remote administration and immediate financial savings, our digital document software can help address a number of challenges as the current COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic evolves.
Digital Document Sharing & Signing
iShare is our electronic document sharing platform which makes it easy to send and receive important sales and aftersales documentation with the ability to collect customer signatures digitally.
Available as an add-on to our iDealFile and iServiceFile products – or in a standalone version known as iShareMax – this secure document sharing platform is a must for those retailers who need a simple, secure and affordable way to share important paperwork digitally.
Especially as, currently, it is available with zero licence fee for three months.
By conducting all sharing and signing online, dealers minimise physical interaction with customers and can offer them the flexibility to receive, sign and return paperwork from anywhere – be it a secure area of the showroom, their vehicles or from their own homes.
All emails sent via the portal are fully customisable with the ability to upload any PDF document to the system. When it comes to security, customers must successfully complete a two-step verification process to be able to download, upload and digitally-sign documents on any device.
Melanie Banks, CEO of John Banks Group, is already seeing the benefits: “It’s such a relief to have access to software like iShare. In the current circumstances it gives us a lifeline – a simple and secure way to share and sign important documents 100% contact-free. The flexibility that this gives us from a sales perspective will be priceless in the coming weeks and months.”
In addition to solving an immediate need for paperwork sharing and approval, our digital document solutions offer the type of productivity and financial benefits that dealers will need to survive, compete and thrive in the coming months and years.
Take iDealFile – our digital deal file solution - which is currently installed at nearly 300 franchise locations - including the estates of three of the UK’s top ten dealer groups.
With iDealFile installed, Sales Administrators no longer need to split deal files for part exchange at month end, travel offsite to storage facilities to retrieve files or hunt for lost documents. Typically, their time savings equate to 1.75 hours per deal file.
Sales Executives reap the benefits too. They no longer have to chase for deal files and, because the documents are easy to find, it’s much quicker to respond to customer enquiries. Typically, their time savings equate to 1 hour per deal file.
Sales/Business Managers are happy too because they can quickly find all documents in one place and can easily review and sign off items. Typically, this equates to a saving of 0.75 hours per deal file.
When you add all of these time savings together, you’re looking at time savings of 3.5 hours per deal file.
When you throw in 24/7 remote access, automated checks and electronic approvals it means we have delivered productivity gains of over 50,000 working days across all sites using iDealFile – an equivalent of nearly 250 man years.
As dealers look at how best to unfurlough their staff and reintroduce people back to work, it’s paramount that teams hit the ground running and are working as efficiently as possible.
With a digital document solution like iDealFile for sales teams or iServiceFile for aftersales teams, people can focus less time on cumbersome manual admin tasks and dedicate more time to generating valuable customer appointments and generating revenue.
As Steve Hutchings, Managing Director of Hutchings Motor Group states:
“iDealFile will transform the speed and efficiency of your sales administration. You’ll be working in seconds rather than minutes or hours.”
Significant Cost Savings
Alongside the time savings, our digital document solutions have an immediate financial impact too.
In every iDealFile implementation we deliver a minimum saving of £4 per deal file, broken down as follows:
- Paper and printing - £1.10 saving per deal file – experience shows that paper usage in the sales department reduces by 80% following the introduction of iDealFile. The reduced printing results in significantly lower printing costs through lower use of toner and printers.
- Storage - £2.65 saving per deal file – printed deal files have to be stored for seven years leading to the costs of external storage and use of valuable internal space.
- Retrieval - £0.25 saving per deal file – often storage is remote requiring time and cost to retrieve files when required.
(Please note: a number of our users report even greater cost savings than this.)
With over 500,000 live deal files currently on the platform storing nearly 5 million documents, this equates to at least £2m of cash savings for our users thanks to reduced printing, storage and retrieval costs.
Given the volume of paperwork moving around a service department, our iServiceFile solution can deliver equivalent – if not more – financial savings for the aftersales side of a dealership too.
In tandem, both products can deliver precious cost savings for dealers that are looking at how to mitigate the impact of lost revenue and boost future profitability.
The Power Of Paperless
In the face of the unprecedented commercial and financial challenges that the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has thrown up for dealers, it goes without saying that every penny counts.
Manufacturers, dealer groups and individual retailers are working hard to get back up to speed as quickly as possible.
It’s a time for innovative thinking, agile working processes and unrelenting efficiency across the motor retail industry.
By embracing digital document solutions you can take huge strides towards becoming a truly digital dealership and ticking all of those boxes.