Live data for business is crucial at the best of times, but in a crisis such as Covid19, it could be a matter of life or death.
The arrival of Coronavirus has presented businesses with two serious challenges: how do they continue to work remotely, and can they prepare for the coming recession? To meet these twin challenges, businesses will need to change the way they work and think.
From a dealership’s perspective, you’ll be looking to keep track of assets such as your inventory, ensure all employees continue to have access to accurate real-time information wherever they are working from, and manage new and used cars together with car parts and your sales/after-sales services.
If you want to learn more about how real-time data can be used in business read this article.
At the same time, you’ll need to keep a tighter grip on finances than ever to ensure your business manages cash as efficiently as possible and can capitalise on any unexpected event which comes your way.
To meet these challenges, your dealership will need to get to grips with automation and real-time data.
1) Make decisions in real-time
There’s a huge amount of information available which can help you control and keep track of business operations such as the sale and purchase of cars, performance of sale agents, stock lists and much more. Even though people are no longer working in the same space, they are still generating all these metrics.
If you can capture and analyse KPIs in real-time, you’ll be able to keep track of what’s going on, spot any changes, avoid miscommunication and adjust to events as and when they happen.
In short, you’ll be making business decisions on the best and most up to date information available. In theory, at least, that should help to ensure your decisions are as good as they possibly can be. In a world which is constantly in flux, real-time data will ensure you’re agile enough to cope with any unexpected challenges.
2) Integrated remote communication
One of the biggest arguments commonly made against remote working is the lack of communication and cohesion between teams. The reasons are obvious. Because people aren’t physically present in close proximity, they can’t share information quite as easily.
Accurate data which is readily available helps overcome any communication problems. Automated metrics create a single version of the truth which can be accessed by every relevant stakeholder, to ensure everyone is working on the same data and moving towards the same goal.
3) Better collaboration, live data for business
For a manager, the thought of your entire team working remotely sounds like the stuff of nightmares. How will you keep track of everyone in your own team? How will you see what people are working on and track progress? In an office, you can simply walk over and check on them. The same can’t be done working remotely.
Or can it? Automation means you can monitor the status of each team member, what task they are working on and how they are getting on. Everything is transparent and updated in real-time.
It replaces what remote working takes away, the ability to interact and monitor your team’s progress. There is no delay in response; you can record results, process information and make key decisions as quickly as if your team is there in the room with you.
4) Prepare for the unexpected
Unforeseen circumstances can create all sorts of challenges for your business, but they can also create opportunities, as long as you’re agile enough to take advantage of them. In one instant you may find yourself having to adjust your strategy or relationship with suppliers. Automation helps you do this.
With live data, you can keep track of changing numbers in real-time and maintain a high level of collaboration with your core team. It means you’ll be able to make decisions and execute strategy changes right there and then.
Whether you’re dealing with an unexpected emergency or find yourself presented with a surprising opportunity, live data for business means you’ll be perfectly placed to take advantage.
5) Enhance the visibility of your data
Automation helps you improve operational efficiency in many different ways:
- Information: Helps maintain accurate and factual information in a unified location.
- Cash flow: Improves cash flow management by keeping track of income and expenses.
- Planning: Better data helps you analyse trends and gain an enhanced understanding of what the future has in store.
What this basically means is that every worker, from your desk neighbour to your colleague put up miles away, can have access to and is able to use the exact same data every single time they make a decision.
This level of transparency and use of one single source for accurate information helps you and your employees make clear and positive decisions in real-time.
Beyond the pandemic
Live data for business is a vital tool in helping you maintain operations in the midst of this pandemic. However, that’s just the short term.
Once life returns to normal, real-time data will give your dealership a host of benefits which will make it more efficient, productive and competitive. What might help you cope with the short-term challenge of working remotely, could prove key to business performance in the post Covid19 world?