Auto Dealer Software – Deal Jacket Issues/Fixes
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Auto Dealer Software:
In a recent discussion with a large dealership client (35 stores), Binary Office delved into the question “What are a dealership’s worst problems from manually processing paper Deal Jackets and paper Deal Files?” Read about their top issues and a fix for each below:Or, Get our Overview Video Here:
Deal Jacket Problem #1: Back Forth Approval of Deals are Slow
Solution: Today’s scanning software can digitize the contents of Deal Jackets much more simply and inexpensively than ever with the advent of web-based hosted software, aka “Software as a Service(SaaS).” Just like your monthly fee for your Dealer Management System (DMS), scanning software is now available as a monthly web-based subscription. Once scanned, your Deal Jackets become digital versions (PDF or TIFF usually). These replace slow paper routing between your stores, Accounting, Sales, and Finance departments with fast electronic routing. The techy term for this type of software is “Workflow.” BONUS: workflow software can enforce rules, eliminating staff errors and is independent from(but can be linked to) your DMS, freeing you from having all your eggs in one basket.
Deal Jacket Problem #2: Preventing Missing Documents Errors
Solution: Our client wanted a way to prevent Dealer Jackets with missing documents from ever reaching their Accounting department. OCR (Optical Characther Recognition) software is a special kind of scanning software that reads the characters on your Deal Documents. Recent advances in OCR technology now allow the software to identify all the different “types” of documents in a Deal Jacket. The techy term for this is “automatic identification.” Therefore, it is now possible to prevent a deal from moving along unless your required documents are all present. Similary, other rules can be enforced. i.e. “if this, then go here, otherwise go there” – see problem #6 below.
Deal Jacket Problem #3: Required Documents for “Processing” vs “Archiving” Solution: Some dealerships don’t allow a deal to be processed without the full set of documents required for final storage. Others, like our client, allow the deal to be processed with a smaller subset and then add the final documents for archiving later. To tailor your solution to this problem, consider using the above mentioned OCR software to identify your required deal documents. Then, use an electronic “Workflow” routing software mentioned in the first problem to advance a deal only when your requirements are met. If you can find a Workflow software that also offers “Electronic Forms,” then you could even have an automatic, electronic checklist of required documents. The software could then automatically compare the documents in your scanned Deal Folder against the electronic checklist and warn you for missing documents.
Deal Jacket Problem #4: No Single Storage Spot During or After a Deal
Solution: Whether you have 1 rooftop or 35 like our client, this is a top issue hindering both processing deals and archiving deals for dealership compliance. We may be biased, but our client agreed that electronic scanning and storage of both Dealer Jackets and invoices belongs outside of Car Dealer Software in a seperate Document Management Software to solve this big problem. TIP: the key is to scan Deal Jackets at the front of the process, not at the end, thereby allowing you to speed up and automate the entire approval process. Our client’s main fear was not to tie everything to the DMS system, which the vendor controls very tightly. Plus, their auto dealer software charges very high fees. Some DMS systems allow you to store files, but now you’ve got all your eggs in one basket and they usually don’t offer electronic routing which is the key to speeding up your deals. So, for safety’s sake and best bang for the buck, consider a Document Management software that has Workflow and do NOT scan at the end of the process.
Deal Jacket Problem #5: No Way to Centralize Accounting Process
Solution: With paper Deal Files and multiple stores, Accounting functions get duplicated at the store level with no control. Even if you only have one or two locations you’re shipping files around or at least walking them around. A Document Management and Workflow software product will fix this problem for any size dealership by digitizing your Deal Jackets. Once digitized, your files become accessible to Accounting, Finance, and Sales electronically no matter where everybody is located – This allows a centralized Accounting process to enforce your deal processes for as many stores as needed.
Paper Problem #6: Every Dealer’s Process and DMS use is DifferentSolution: Our client’s Deal Jacket approval requires some initial back and forth between Sales and the Finance Manager to make sure all required documents are present before ever getting to Accounting. However, your approval process between your stores, Accounting, and Finance is most likely different. One solution to this is Workflow software, which can electronically route your Deal Jackets once they’re scanned and enforce whatever steps and rules you want. BONUS: this eliminates errors and is independent from your Auto Dealer Software, freeing you to change if desired. Another, lesser known fix is to “image-enable” your DMS screens. Image-Enabling allows you to instantly bring up the scanned Deal Jacket associated with the DMS screen you’re viewing simply by hitting a specially assigned keystroke, like “cntrl-L”.
Deal Jacket Problem #7: My Deal Jackets have Lots of Different Forms
Solution: Our client works with 15 differnt banks all with different variations of the same forms not to mention the other document types in a Deal Jacket or Invoice Scanning. For scanning to work with Deal Jackets, you must have a way to automatically tell the different document types apart. Thankfully, OCR scanning software can now automatically identify your different document types when they are scanned. This is called “Automatic Identification” (see problem #2). There are two ways to do this depending on how many different document types you have in your Deal Jackets. If you have less than 50, you can use “Templates” for each. If more than 50, you can use an “Unstructured” approach which looks at the words on each to decide what it is.
Deal Jacket Problem #8: Must Work with Any Dealer Management System
Solution: Our client needed to connect invoices Dealer Jackets to their CDK (ADP) Dealer Management system but what if you use another system like Reynolds Reynolds, or Dealertrack, or others? Or, what if your DMS system is overly controlling and expensive to customize? The way you solve this is to scan and store Deal Jackets in a Document Management software that can connect to CDK or any other Dealer Management System and NOT storing them in your DMS. This protects you from having all your eggs in one basket and frees you should you ever want to change DMS systems. It also solves the issue if all your stores do not use the same DMS.
Want to Go Paperless for Invoices Too? See our LinkedIn Post HERE