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March 13, 2006 – The contributors, their products and their goals

March 13, 2006
Filed under Features

ARI
The company will integrate PartSmart, which S&W uses to electronically look up parts, with MIC Systems and Software’s business management software. “By doing this, every parts and accessory looked up and sold will be recorded, automatically updating their inventory and providing an accurate measure of what’s selling, not selling,” said Jeff Horn, vice president of sales for ARI.
ARI also will build S&W a Web site, which will have a proactive customer communications function that uses a proprietary database.
“Most dealers don’t like to manage their sites, so we’ve equipped it with content management services that will help manage it for him,” Horn said.
The Web site will feature SeasonSmart, which automatically changes banners, products and promotions that relate to S&W’s holiday and recreational seasons. Around September, for example, the S&W site will automatically change, highlighting special prices on camouflage ATVs, gun holders and related accessories. The Web site also will have WeatherSmart, which tracks 10-day National Weather Service weather conditions that could impact sales. When extreme conditions are predicted, S&W’s Web site will immediately adjust with product, services and promotions related to that condition. S&W is located in a four-state area called “Tornado Alley.” The Web site will automatically update to show a tornado alert and offer related products, such as power generators.
Dealership University
The online training firm will be providing workshop and online training and assistance on daily planners and proper tracking techniques. “We think that we can help improve their closing ratio far in excess of the 15 percent industry average,” said Tory Hornsby, Dealership University general manager.
Training also will be given to the dealership’s service and parts people. “We’ll train them to apply their knowledge and credibility, to move customers up to the right products and services,” Hornsby said.
Hornsby said his company also will be assisting the finance and insurance department. “This is the single most profitable square footage in a dealership — and we’ll train S&W’s people to realize a 60-65 percent penetration rate on extended service agreements, instead of the 40-50 percent F&I rate that they currently get,” he said.
MIC Systems and Software
In March, the company will install a business management system at S&W. “From a sales standpoint, the software will help him track prospects the minute they enter the S&W showroom door, and follow them through to the final sale,” said Neil Frame, general manager of MIC Systems. “If you look at Motorcycle Industry Council statistics, 15 percent or less of the people that enter a dealership will buy something. The other 85 percent have to be followed through a tracking system that entices them back again until they eventually do buy. We’ll help Jim Jr. and his people stay in touch with prospects.”
The software system also will examine service department performance and provide routine reports on what parts and accessories are selling and which ones aren’t. “By moving their parts department from a manual to an automated system, we’ll wean them off of ordering on an emergency basis, which is very expensive,” Frame said. “Our business management system will give Jim Jr. the tools to understand his sales and profit performance, as well as cash flow and other operations metrics on a daily, instead of quarterly, basis.”
Polaris
The manufacturer will supply technology and best practices. “The difference between a good dealer and a great one often isn’t in the technology used,” said Chris Wolf, service dealer development manager for Polaris. “It’s how well they use the technology.”
Polaris will be applying a number of technology tools in the service department, including Digital Wrench, a computer-based diagnostics system; Stop Site, online technology training; and Profitability Toolkit templates and forms that aim to increase efficiency.
“If the service department embraces these tools and uses them consistently, we think we can help Jim turn his department loss into a $30,000 per technician profit,” Wolf said. “With four technicians on staff, that could help him see another $120,000 added to his bottom line.”
Yamaha
The manufacturer will play a supporting role for S&W, periodically checking in to see how the dealership is faring with the new technology and practices.
Dan Caviness, assistant division manager of publications for Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA said, “For several years now, ARI Network’s PartSmart has proven itself a superior electronic parts catalog product for Yamaha. Our dealers have fast, easy access to illustrated parts catalogs and up-to-date, accurate parts and pricing information.
“We are glad to be able to be part of this Turning Technology into Sales and Profits program to give our dealer, S&W Yamaha, this substantial advantage.”
Larry Koch
The founder of Tousley Motorsports in Minnesota will be a consultant for S&W. psb

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