Why Car Dealers Need To Manage Their Own Data

By: Jason Van Rensburg   |   14 Mar 2022
Data Dashboard

Do vendors and solution providers own your data tracking tools? 

Does their reporting have the info you care about? 

Is their reporting clear and easy to understand?

Does the info align with the performance you’re seeing in-dealership?

If these questions spark concern or make you want to email your service provider, you’re probably bleeding money.

I’ve seen horror stories time and time again of dealerships parting ways with a vendor or service provider, only to find out that they’re going to lose all of the data that was accumulated. 

I was so sick of it that I created a checklist to ensure car dealers weren’t being deceived. I’m giving you that checklist today too, but let me explain first!

I understand the dealer's dilemma. You have a dealership to maintain. You may be managing all the incoming reporting yourself or you’ve delegated it to someone who has a little extra time. You trust your vendor partners to give you the information you need, so you can focus on using it to sell more vehicles. Getting more info than you need is often confusing, irrelevant, and unnecessary. 

The problem is… this has let many service providers get complacent and led others to take advantage of that trust by manipulating car dealers’ data.

In our industry, plenty of the big players seems to believe that hoarding data and withholding access is the best way to approach data management. There are probably hundreds of reasons and justifications they could give as to why, but these are the two most common and problematic reasons I see, every day, as someone who manages data:

1. They don’t trust that you won’t go in and break things, or

2. They don’t want you to have access to raw data because they “polish” it.

This isn’t good enough and doesn’t serve you in making impactful, data-backed decisions that benefit your dealership, your employees, and (most importantly) your customers. 

I know it’s easier to let the vendor worry about the data, but you need to have protections in place so you don’t lose tens of thousands of dollars and months or years of data. You don’t have to spend all of your time digging through data if you don’t want to, you just need to make sure that you own it.

Take back control of the data that you’re paying for.

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