DEALER SUCCESS: The Ever-Changing Face of Technology

By Shawn Horswill, Work Truck Solutions

Isn’t technology wonderful?  It can be if you’re on top of it, or it can bury you in frustration and befuddled futility if you let it.

In 1965, Gordon Moore (co-founder of Intel) stated that the number of transistors on a microchip doubles about every two years, though the cost is halved.  Simply put, “we can expect the speed and capability of our computers to increase every couple of years, and we will pay less for them.”  Additionally, Moore asserted that this growth was, in fact, exponential.

These ideas – though never formally codified by Moore – are collectively known as “Moore’s Law”.

For several decades the world has seen this law proven to be true.  And, while the digital community is now stating that Moore’s law will end by around 2025 for hardware, end-users of software – you – are still faced with new tools and changes to existing processes on what can seem like a daily basis.

SaaS (Software as a Service) businesses – your website, data feeds, financing systems, service department systems etc. – exist to help increase data management efficiency across departments…  Work Truck Solutions is here to help you move more metal, more often, and for the long haul.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t address any of the confusion, frustration, and headaches that you – the end user – are likely to encounter in using these systems.  

It’s hard to commit to memory the nuances of a half a dozen or more platforms. Moreover, the frequency and complexity of changes made to these systems can seem to serve as a series of stumbling blocks even if they were specifically designed and built to ultimately help you save time and be more efficient.

Thankfully, your providers usually know how to explain the value of the change.  I have a lot of experience working for multiple software companies. It is a rare thing indeed to see a provider roll-out an update or new tool that changes your daily procedures without prior notice.  At the least, there’s usually an email that explains the nature of the changes and roll-out date, with contact information to answer any of your questions. Sometimes they  include literature, links to video walkthroughs, and a very few may even offer individual/group training appointments.

So the question is, if they are sending these notifications, are you receiving any of them?  

Consider your email inbox.  Are you included (or perhaps the main POC) in communication with all of your SaaS providers?  Are you notified when changes are made to your tools?  If not, as a first step, I’d recommend reaching out to your key software providers to make sure that you are added to their master contact list.  

If you are on their respective contact lists, the next step is to take a personal accounting and ask yourself – “Am I actually reviewing what they are sending me?… All of it?”  If the answer here is ‘no’, then I see two possible main reasons:

Reason 1:  Just not enough time in a day

Reason 2:  Too many automated or inconsequential emails to go through to find what’s really important.

If the primary issue is time, my advice is to look at how to restructure your day.  Allow yourself to fully review these communiques, maybe even bring in additional help from your department. It’s to your benefit to make time to understand your tools and there will always be benefits from learning new efficiencies and ways to solve new problems.

If instead you’re buried in (what seems to be) junk emails, then this can be easily and quickly solved.

Your email system likely has the ability to set up automated folders, filters, rules, etc.  More importantly, you have someone (Email/IT Manager) who can help you.  Those tools are there to keep the top of your inbox full of the emails that actually matter.  You decide in advance what matters, and why. Tell the person helping you what you need to see. They’ll set it up, and you’ll never fall behind again.

And that’s really the point. Help can keep you in and ahead of the game. Ask for help there at your dealership, and you can always ask here at the company that supports you. If “you don’t know what you don’t know,” asking for help is the best solution. For myself, I’ve dropped all pretenses of pride; when I need help, I generally start by saying “Hi.  I’m dumb, and I need help.”  It usually gets an empathetic chuckle, and helps to set the tone of the conversation to the level of “the basics”. From there, what needs to be learned/understood and what needs to actually be done can all be discovered, prioritized, planned, and then finally, implemented…correctly.

Your providers never want to stop improving how they can help you. This means you will alway have notifications and updates to review.  Don’t allow yourself to drown in unused information. Reach out to resources at your dealership and to your software providers; make sure your providers can reach you, let your fellow employees help you get your inbox working for you.  Catch up and you may soon find yourself with that long-lost “free time” everyone keeps talking about.