Tonight’s guest blog on Complacency is from Ross Atkinson. Ross spent his entire 33+ year career in the Heavy Equipment software marketplace with PFW/ADP/CDK. He was the architect and software designer for most of the applications in the rewrite of the core Dealer Management System called IntelliDealer. Having been in many roles with the Company from installation to ownership, he has first-hand knowledge of the system requirements of dealerships and the people who use it. His specialty is the ability to design and create solutions to ensure the best user software experience possible.
Even for the most computer savvy person, the rate of software change can be overwhelming. In many cases, your staff is too busy and is not given the time to understand what the changes are before yet another iteration has been introduced. I guess that could be the subconscious excuse for never venturing beyond the basic functionality and just using what they know to get through the day. Simply said, complacency!
From my many years in the heavy equipment software industry, I learned that there are few exceptions to this statement, however, the dealers that do overcome this self-inflicted shortcoming are very successful, not only in the utilization of their business system but also financially.
How do you make time? Well, it starts from the top down: a commitment from management to the ongoing education of those who use the software every day. You educate your technicians so why not the rest of your staff who use their “tool”, your business system software?
I can also guarantee you that there is functionality that your business system has today that you are not using or are even aware of. You need to understand what’s available at your fingertips. This is followed by the opportunity to test the features and functionality first hand. It’s one thing to sit in a classroom or virtually listening to trainers, it’s another to try it yourself and see it in action; using your data.
Through this learning process, your staff can determine how these capabilities can benefit your day-to-day processes. The goal is to improve efficiency but also the opportunity to gain a better understanding of your customers and the services you offer.
Once you have mastered the commitment to education, challenge yourself and your employees to understand how you can “tweak” or change your business processes to take advantage of functionally and systems you previously deemed unusable.
I recall doing some classroom education many years ago when the dealership principal stood up, interrupted my session, and made the following statement to his staff, “Not changing is not an option!” Imagine if that was your dealership motto?