Automotive Management Live
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November 7th 2019
NEC, Birmingham

Using data to transform business

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Neil Murphy, automotive data scientist at Real World Analytics, will tell attendees at its masterclass session at Automotive Management Live.

Automotive Management Live is the 'must attend ' expo for the industry. Taking place at Birmingham NEC on November 7th, the event brings together leading suppliers, hosts informative masterclass sessions and expert speakers tackle some of the pressing issues of the day.

Whilst dealers invest significant time and resources to capture data and are mostly successful in accurately recording information, applying it to make intelligent and informed business decisions is not always possible.

One of the major issues is the multitude of disparate systems operating in the dealership, apart from the DMS, there are often separate applications for showroom, CRM, F&I, VHC, digital marketing and used car pricing, making it difficult to see the full picture. However, BI tools can bring all the data together enabling dealers to see the entire business picture and make informed decisions based on the evidence.

Murphy said: "Even a small group would spend time and/or money on extracting data from the DMS and other systems and bring it into Excel, or a database application. We have seen a number that build a SQL database and run SQL queries. We came across a dealer that specialises in commercial vehicles that built a point solution around their CRM needs. It was doing some pretty cool things to measure the effectiveness of their marketing spend, but they didn’t attempt to scale this out to other elements of the business."

In fact, Murphy maintains it would have been far too costly and complex to do so making the building of a bespoke Business Intelligence or data analytics system beyond the means of businesses with annual sales of less £2 billion.

He added: "This is an extremely complex solution, it will tie up management time during the scoping stage, it will take many months to deliver, and often the final delivery falls far short of expectations. Complex IT projects have a high failure rate. It is paid for up front and more than likely is a seven-figure cost, it is costly to keep going and unwieldly to adapt as business needs evolve."

Once a system is in place working alongside internal KPIs, insights might be impressive but often are not applied effectively to make a real difference to the business.

"To be actionable, the data needs to be presented to the people responsible for delivering the KPI performance. For example, an external KPI might show that your margin on new cars is not as good as other dealers. It may show that your leasing option upsell is the problem, but unless you can identify which outlet and which salesperson, in real time, is not performing, it is difficult to turn this insight into money,” explained Murphy.

The session will illustrate how the ability to see the whole business in one place allows issues to be identified and acted upon. Dealer groups with five or more sites whose representatives visit the stand or attend the masterclass can take advantage of a free no obligation data audit to assess the viability of its tools.

Once again free for dealer and manufacturer colleagues, places for Automotive Management is can be booked at https://www.automotivemanagementlive.co.uk/