Technology is changing cost structures (savings) in automotive retail and when ordering a beer.


Truth be told, I like beer! 

Usually, automotive and beer don’t mix, but just like everything in the technology age, some things apply across the board.

So, the best place to get a fresh beer is at a local brewery. That’s where this idea was generated as I found myself thinking about how ordering food and beer by scanning a code that opens up an online ordering system could be applied in the automotive industry.

With the right Retail Operating System, dealers can already have their customers buy/order online and set up the delivery appointment.

But as I moved through the ordering process, a few highlights of similarities and benefits came to mind.

I entered all my order data, the food and beer I wanted, and my credit card info, table number, tip amount, etc. I’m sure by now, most of you have had the experience of doing this new restaurant ordering process, a Covid inspired fast disruption to what was “normal.”

It made me think, “I own any mistakes I make in my order.” The server can’t mess up my order as they don’t have to listen to me or write anything down. I entered all the information needed to complete my order from my phone. This is exactly how a customer interacts with the CreditIQ Retail Operating System from a phone, desktop, or tablet. Your staff never has to waste time or risk making any data entry mistakes because the customer is doing all the work. Whether the customer is buying from their couch at home or sitting in the showroom working with a salesperson, the customer can enter all the information into the Retail Operating System.

Why did I leave a 20% tip when I did much of the work? Habit? Ease? No, it was because the app recommended it. It’s something that we see when it comes to full spread financing offers. Customers are much more likely to simply accept the recommended full spread offers and not negotiate on the offered interest rates. 

Then I started thinking about all the paper menus, receipts, and order slips (if they haven’t digitized ordering yet) they no longer have to print/buy. I know my beer cost the same as it did last year (probably a bargain under the circumstances of Covid), but they just cut a decent amount of costs that went into their daily operation. 

This made me think about CreditIQ Retail Operating Systems e-contracting feature. Not only do F&I employees never have to re-key credit applications and other customer data (as noted above, the customer does that work) they can avoid printing and sending the contracts to the lenders. Econtracting saves in many ways.

  1. Printing costs, while a secondary thought, add up. Think about the ink and paper costs when all the contract documents get printed.
  2. Shipping costs, Depending on whether you FedEx overnight or do two days or use a different service, shipping costs real money. A 100 unit store probably spends $1,500 to $2,500 a month on getting docs to lenders. E-Contracting with your lenders would eliminate most of your document shipping costs every month.
  3. Funding immediately – This isn’t a cost so much as a benefit of Econtracting. With eContracting, lenders can transfer the funds to the dealership account instantly. The dealership gets faster cash flow and isn’t carrying inventory costs on sold vehicles. Cash in the dealership’s bank account collects interest for the dealership, not the lender, and is available to buy more inventory to sell.

We all know that customers desire an expedited buying experience. They, as I did for my meal, pay more to enjoy the convenience of online buying/ordering. But, let’s understand that there are definite dealership financial benefits to the dealership as well. It’s important to bend to the consumer’s desires, but it’s even more important to make sure you can increase your profitability while making the customer happy.

If you are interested in learning more about CreditIQ’s Retail Operating System and increasing your profitability while making customers happier, please reach out to us at – sales@creditiq.com

Kent Mihlbauer
Author: Kent Mihlbauer

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