A good athlete always mentally replays a competition over and over, even in victory, to see what might be done to improve the performance the next time.

  –  Frank Shorter

 

The following is an argument for an automotive dealer-focused competitive intelligence software tool for the benefit of the industry and our dealers.

In general, dealers have inadequate visibility into local market performance, and thus lack an effective benchmark against which they can measure their performance.

When evaluating performance, dealers typically rely on comparisons to several sources of information, each with its own flaws. For example, dealers most often rely on internally developed annual, quarterly or monthly targets, largely based on improvements over same-period last year performance. In a stable market, such metrics can be valuable, but in the face of fluctuating vehicle sales or a shift in OEM incentive programs offered, such targets can be meaningless. Even in stable market conditions, year-over-year improvement does not provide any indication of potential achievement, especially if local competitors have discovered ways to outperform.

Many dealers regularly scan their competitors websites to examine trends in inventory stocked, pricing philosophy, specials offered and sales. But this typically consists of a lot of manual labor which is prone to errors, and necessarily doesn’t permit any level of analysis or “drill-down”.

As an alternative to this historical way of measuring relative performance, we’d like to propose the introduction of a competitive intelligence tool designed specifically for automotive dealers, that would help bring visibility to relative performance within a dealer’s local market. Replacing internally-biased targets with superior benchmarking of performance vs. a relevant peer group of competitors would provide dealers with the ability to maintain perspective of where they need to make performance adjustments based on external factors and provide them with guidance on where improvements are needed to exceed past (and peer) performance.

The truth is that even well-designed, informative dashboards are insufficient to drive performance improvement. Most dealers do not have experience translating data into action and still more inevitably focus on the immediate issues requiring attention and neglect efforts to drive continuous improvement. So a valuable competitive intelligence software tool needs to simplify a large amount of data down to actionable, prioritized insights that dealers can act upon without needing a sophisticated interpreter on staff.

A successful competitive intelligence tool must identify and prioritize the biggest opportunities, substantiate the recommendations with the quality and sufficiency of data to give the dealer confidence about the recommendation, and provide a roadmap of required actions to remedy the issues and make improvements.

Few dealers have experience determining required improvement activities based on data. Suggesting specific actions is key to providing actionable value to dealers.

The time has come to bring competitive intelligence software to the automotive industry, arming the dealer with a way to benchmark performance and ensure they’re meeting and exceeding their peer group.

About CompetitorPro

CompetitorPro is the industry’s first competitive intelligence tool built specifically for automotive dealerships.

As dealers look for ways to compete more effectively, advanced competitive intelligence solutions provide accuracy, analytics, and actionable recommendations that are missing in the market today. CompetitorPro’s competitive intelligence solutions utilize complex algorithms that summarize insights so dealers can perform at the highest level of effectiveness in today’s dynamic marketplace.

Dealers interested in measuring how they stack up to their competition should visit http://www.CompetitorPro.com.