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ALBANY, N.Y. – April 20th, 2015 – Auto/Mate Dealership Systems (https://automate.com) today announced the results of an informal survey it conducted from November 2014 to April 2015. More than 100 dealership employees responded to questions about mobile usage in the dealership, and it turns out that despite the auto industry’s promotion of mobile tablet software solutions, only 20 percent of auto dealerships use mobile tablets in their sales and service departments. Even fewer dealerships have adopted mobile tablets in the F&I department, with only seven percent indicating they use mobile tablets in the F&I process.
“I think we’re seeing the classic bell curve in terms of dealers adopting a new technology,” said Mike Esposito, President and CEO of Auto/Mate Dealership Systems. “It’s only been in the last year or two that we’ve seen many vendors make their solutions available on mobile tablets, and 20 percent of dealerships are early adopters. I anticipate this percentage will rise dramatically in the next few years as mobile tablet usage in the dealership becomes more mainstream.”
Esposito cites the following reasons as the primary obstacles to widespread adoption of mobile tablets in the dealership:
1) Cost. The hardware and software costs associated with mobile tablets are not the primary cost objection. The larger issue for dealers is the cost of expanding their wi-fi infrastructure throughout the entire dealership, so mobile tablets can be used efficiently even in the furthest corners of a service bay.
2) Change. Mobile tablet usage requires a change in processes, from how customers are greeted in the service lane, to multi-point inspections, to how the salespeople interact with customers on the lot. Many dealers are resistant to change, putting off what they know will be a painful transition to completely new processes.
3) ROI is undefined. Historically dealers have not adopted new technologies until the ROI is made clear; before investing in mobile tablet usage, they want to know what the return will be.
A summary of the key takeaways from the mobile usage in the dealership survey results includes:
1) Mobile tablets appear to be used most often in the sales process:
2) The second place mobile tablets are most often used in the dealership is in the fixed ops department:
3) The third ranked usage of mobile tablets in the dealership is in the F&I department:
4) Mobile tablets are used the least by executives and managers to review financial information:
5) What do you believe are the greatest benefits to using mobile tablets in the dealership? Responses are ranked in order:
6) What mobile tablet platform does your dealership use? Responses are ranked in order:
Esposito said the biggest surprise from the survey was the response to question number five, where respondents ranked benefits of using mobile tablets. “The biggest benefit of using mobile tablets is the increase in customer satisfaction, as it ultimately has the biggest impact on a dealer’s bottom line,” said Esposito.
Esposito also encourages dealers to be more thorough in their vetting process for mobile tablet platforms. “Most dealerships use iPads because of the brand name and general popularity of that product,” said Esposito, “but if your dealership is running its DMS and other software programs on a Windows platform, it might make more sense to use a Microsoft Surface Pro so all data exchanges are instant and seamless.”
For dealerships that are considering adopting mobile tablets, Esposito recommends starting in the fixed ops department. “Service is clearly the department that stands to benefit the most from mobile tablet adoption; from greeting customers in the service lane, opening RO’s, conducting multi-point inspections, viewing recalls and recommended maintenances to pave the way to a better upsell process, the revenue potential in service is the greatest.”
With costs coming down and the growing awareness of the benefits of mobile tablet usage, Esposito predicts a huge spike in dealership adoption rates over the next few years. “The sooner dealers create and embrace new processes for mobile tablets, the sooner they will benefit.”
For more information about Auto/Mate Dealership Systems, visit www.automate.com.
Auto/Mate Dealership Systems is a leading provider of dealership management system (DMS) software to retail automotive dealerships, typically saving dealers thousands of dollars per month from their current provider. Our Automotive Management Productivity Suite (AMPS) is a user-friendly, feature-rich DMS in use by more than 1,100 auto dealers nationwide. Auto/Mate has received the DrivingSales Dealer Satisfaction Award in 2012, 2013, and 2014.
Auto/Mate’s employees have more than 940 years of combined experience working in franchised auto dealerships, the foundation of its “Designed By Car People For Car PeopleTM” slogan. Auto/Mate is committed to winning its customers’ business each and every month with no long-term contracts and free software upgrades. For more information follow us on Twitter @AutoMateDMS and subscribe to our blog at https://automate.com/blog/.