Retail Anywhere - Business Office - Anchoring a Digital Dealership

Hi, I'm Jonah Newberg, business office specialist here at Reynolds. When most people think and talk about digital retailing, they focus almost exclusively on the vehicle sale and sometimes incorporate a little bit of F&I.  With our Retail Anywhere approach, we are looking at the dealership as a whole, including the business office.

I know you're thinking what does the business office have to do with consumers retailing anywhere? It's more about the business office interacting with outside parties rather than dealership customers directly. Simply put, the business office is what allows transactions, deals, payables, receivables to be completed digitally and by nature, from anywhere.

But there are challenges affecting business office operations today. Paper, collecting and sending funds, closing out deals, and reconciliation are just a few. Let's dive into more of the specifics behind these challenges.

The main culprit in the business office is paper. Documents live throughout your entire dealership service: ROs, parts invoices, deal jackets, cash receipts – paper is literally everywhere. And all of these documents tend to find their way back to the business office as their home. The end results are usually filing cabinets, stacked wall-to-wall, storage boxes in a damp or dirty facility or back room, or worse, staring at you front and center on the desk. All this paper leads to inefficiency and lost time, your associates spend their time filing, locating, and refiling documents. The average document takes eighteen minutes to locate and employees spend about 50 percent of their time simply searching for those documents. Then you have your offsite storage location. What about your other stores? Do you have to drive, mail, or fax documents back and forth? That adds additional costs to the inefficiency problem.

Another challenge is the payment process. As more and more of the day-to-day life is online, consumers expect to pay for goods and services in that way. There's two challenges to this. One, how do you collect online payments in a way that's convenient for the customer and in the way they prefer? And two, how do you make sure that payment is accurate and secure? Not only for your customers, you don't want them overpaying or worse, underpaying, but for your employees on the receiving end as they close out an RO or complete reconciliation. Clunky or manual payment processes hold everything else up.

The same could be said for collecting receivables. Today, many dealers follow manual processes for statements. Your clerks print invoices, stuff envelopes, add stamps, send in the mail, wait for the check to arrive in the mail, and make a trip to the bank for deposits. The same is said for payables as well. Clerks have to find the statement, cut the check, stuff the envelope and add the stamp, drop it in the mail, wait for the check to arrive at its destination and for it to clear. How long do these processes take in your store today?

Now, what about funding and closing deals? They're typically being sent via FedEx versus a digital format, the longer it takes to get to the lender, the longer it takes to get your money, which eats into your profits.

And lastly, consider your reconciliation process for credit card data. Are your employees walking from terminal to terminal to close out the day, followed by manual entry to make sure everything matches and maybe at that point your clerks are forced to say hours after close to find the discrepancy, even if it's a single ten cent mistake? Not only does this eat into your payroll and efficiency, but it takes a toll on your staff as well.

The business office has a lot of repetitive work. It can get clunky, confusing, and frankly, overwhelming. And in a large group with a business office at each rooftop, the challenges multiply. You go from one financial statement to the next creating tunnel vision where you might miss out on profit or money saving opportunities across the board. The room for error also increases, which puts profitability even more at risk.

The answer to these business office challenges is a Retail Anywhere approach. This means giving your dealership a single, seamless digital system to conduct operations. What exactly does this mean?

The first part is control and profit. Deals are accessed and funded electronically. Clerks can access a deal digitally and simultaneously to ensure it gets completed in a timely manner. Sending the deal electronically reduces your CIT time, helping to also reduce fees and holding costs. Customers can pay online when it's convenient for them, and vendors can be paid how they expect to be paid. You no longer have to mail statements or cut checks or wait for payments to be received through the mail. With an electronic process, you receive your money faster and send it easier.

The second part of this is accuracy. Reconciliation can be completed from a single location instead of walking from terminal to terminal. It's as simple as one click closing out your entire dealership in seconds. Data populates and always matches. There's no more going back and forth trying to find where the error is.

The last part is efficiency among your staff. Taking a Retail Anywhere approach in your business office streamlines your entire operation. The digital processes for payment options, deal funding, and even the cumbersome monthly tasks such as reconciliation and preparing financial statements become simplified, allowing you to work more efficiently and essentially do more of it.

When the business office aligns with the processes across the rest of the dealership, the answer is always more profit in your pocket. This is what makes Retail Anywhere so valuable. Thanks for watching. Visit for more information. Have a great day.