November 16, 2012 by Tom Zeliff Categories: Solutions

U.S. auto dealerships are enjoying a nice comeback, with year-over-year growth for both cars and light trucks over 14%. As a car dealer, you may be considering hiring people to take advantage of this growth. If so, who would you rather hire: a salesperson or someone to handle administrative work? While growth does bring additional back-office tasks, there is a better way.

Taming the Paper Beast

Vehicle transactions involve lots of paperwork. Varying state regulations require that credit applications (including those that are rejected), loan forms from multiple providers, leasing agreements, sales contracts, and DMV paperwork must all be kept for 7 to 10 years. All of this leads to an increasingly complex transactional environment.

As you grow, you may be tempted to hire additional administrative staff to keep pace with your increased sales volume to handle all this paperwork. However, auto dealership document management in the form of software or in the cloud can help do more with the same headcount so any new hires can be focused on revenue generating activities like sales and service.

The Key to Improved Profits

Imagine having complete customer and transactional records at your fingertips. By scanning documents into a central repository, you eliminate the need to ship paper between branches and headquarters, and having to store copies locally. This saves space at the dealership, as well as document shipping and storage costs. Greater cost savings are available from cloud document management implementations with modest monthly charges vs. an initial capital expenditure.

Even if you’re using one of the many dealership management applications, you can benefit from document management software given their well-documented integrations with ADP and Reynolds & Reynolds.

Cross-Departmental Benefits

In addition to the sales, credit and service departments, other back-office departments such as human resources and invoice accounts payable can benefit from the streamlining of new employee on-boarding, performance reviews, benefits enrollment, and invoice processing with document management software.

Where to Begin

While document management offers tremendous value, you need a way to get paper documents into it quickly and consistently. This can be done in one of two ways:

  • Roll out document scanners and capture software to each department and location
  • Partner with a document scanning provider

We have found outsourcing to offer the greatest benefits unless you have a large number of dispersed employees that handle paperwork—then decentralized scanning may be better as well as put an end to a lot of internal FedEx charges.

The Bottom Line Is Your Bottom Line

If you want to put new resources towards growth rather than administrative tasks, then you will want to consider both document scanning and document management. Because these technologies can be rolled out into human resources, accounting and other departments, your initial investment can be leveraged for even greater efficiency and cost savings.