Car dealership paperwork is inescapable, but you can increase profits by going digital.
Even as the auto sales industry works to reduce dealership paperwork procedures, it can still feel like you spend a small fortune on paper and ink. Thankfully, there’s a simple way to reduce paper and cut costs – even with changing compliance guidelines and new forms to send home with customers.
Though office supplies aren’t your biggest expense, it’s worth looking into ways you can cut down on paper. It’s not just about being eco-friendly, either, but also keeping expenses low. It’s easy to spend thousands of dollars every year keeping your office machinery in good working order. Now add up all the time your staff spends sorting and filing paperwork, as well as document storage and disposal costs. It truly adds up.
You can’t cut out dealership paperwork entirely. You often need a paper trail for compliance purposes. But there are a lot of processes that work just as well, if not better, on a digital platform.
How to cut back on dealership paperwork in 4 easy steps
1. Ditch the fax machine.
A fax machine is still a staple at most car dealerships, and it’s one of the biggest paper wasting culprits in existence. Switch to a digital fax platform and eliminate paper wasted on auction flyers, spam, cover sheets, and funding notifications. Print necessary pages such as insurance binders and skip the rest. You’ll save hundreds, if not thousands of sheets per month. You’ll also eliminate the need for toner and fax machine maintenance.
2. Use both sides.
Familiarize yourself with the dealership copy machine and make double-sided copies whenever possible. Many reports and forms don’t automatically print that way, but it takes seconds to change a setting that will cut down your dealership paperwork significantly. While you’re at it, check which page numbers are set to print. If you only need the first page of a report or you know the last page is always blank, set your print settings to only print the pages you need.
3. Print less, save more.
Digital financing is increasing in popularity which is great news for dealers that are sick of being buried by endless stacks of paper. There are many sales and finance tools available that link to your DMS and let you create a digital deal jacket. The only forms you need to print beside the car buyer copies are the ones that require a hard copy or a notary stamp. Most of these finance tools also provide you with a signature pad to take digital signatures whenever possible. Not only is paper reduced, but contract shipping costs as well. The information is delivered instantly to the financial institution, and you’re notified digitally once the deal has been approved, received, and funded.
4. Use a CRM to improve efficiency and reduce dealership paperwork.
- Instead of sending out mailers you can set up automated texts and emails. Eliminating traditional mailers also cuts down on postage costs.
- Enter trade information and up sheets digitally.
- Stop printing a daily inventory list; use your CRM to view an updated vehicle inventory list complete with photos.
- Scan licenses into a mobile app and get a legible copy the first time.
- Scan vehicle VINs to ensure accuracy when updating the inventory list and customer file.
- Easily view reports on a screen instead of printing them.
Make the time to analyze dealership paperwork expenses
The word ‘audit’ can be intimidating for most dealers, but performing internal audits can ensure your dealership is running as efficiently as possible. A little mindfulness can go a long way when trying to reduce expenses and increase profits. When you ignore paper waste, you are throwing money away that could be used to boost your marketing campaigns or sales skills.
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