The old saying is “hindsight is 20/20.” It feels like “foresight” needs to be 2021. The ongoing pandemic continues to challenge dealers as we grapple with uncertainty. Many dealers are anxiously awaiting how the industry will trend through the winter and post-election. It is a safe bet that the majority of dealers are evaluating every expense, doing more work with less people, and moving rapidly to manage business operations centrally versus locally.

The irony is that many dealers are doing very well right now from a profitability standpoint. Surging demand and low inventory is the perfect combination to sell vehicles at sticker price all day long.

However, we will return to a sense of normalcy at some point. Dealers tackling the above challenges head on now will be prepared when demand settles down and inventory goes up.

Lean, efficient operations benefit you through the good times and the bad. A great place to start cutting the fat is by auditing your vendors. Every dealer should vet their business partners on a regular basis. A fast and simple way to do that is with a platform like Vendor View.

Vendor View is One View’s new web-based contract storage management platform. Dealers upload copies of vendor agreements and receive automated notifications of upcoming contract renewals or expirations. It’s one central place to view and compare all vendor terms and conditions.

This offers several benefits, including, avoiding the “vendor gotcha moment” where a contract automatically renews even if that vendor is no longer a best fit. It also makes it easy to ensure a change in pricing, or duplication of services, never slips through the cracks. The platform offers unique functionality such as expense account allocation, customizable folders by departments, searchable agreement conditions and terms, and email renewal notifications.

Here’s how Vendor View can help your dealership confront and overcome today’s three big business challenges:

  1. Evaluate every expense. Locate contracts based on vendor, and the products and services they provide, using advanced search functionality. In this way you can weed out similar vendors so you’re not paying for duplicate services. You can also compare agreements by department and expense account to analyze spending and pinpoint areas for cost reductions.
  2. Do more with less people. Manage all vendor contracts from one uniform platform with just a few keystrokes. This replaces the manual and time-consuming process of filing paper contracts, and then digging through file boxes in an effort to stay on top of contract terms and conditions. This also decreases the likelihood of losing physical documents or misplacing where certain agreements are found of a network drive. Preventative research that could have taken hours now takes just one employee only a few minutes.
  3. Centrally manage operations. Scan, archive, and manage vendor agreements from one uniform platform. With all contracts for all stores in one place, you avoid unintentional renewals and can compare services from store to store. This helps to uncover price discrepancies and unveil opportunities. Using two vendors for the same service at two different stores? Consolidate under one vendor and you may be able to negotiate a volume discount. Central management also gives insight into who is executing agreements and if the terms are favorable so you can avoid being locked into contracts in the future. This provides transparency on what contracts are being executed at the dealership level so corporate is not surprised by unapproved agreements. Finally, web-based central management means you always have the most recent agreements at your fingertips so a vendor audit is easy, fast, and efficient.

These are challenging times for dealers, but also times of opportunity. Leaning on Vendor View to audit vendor expenses and services can help you cut costs and run more efficiently, so you hit the ground running when business operations return to a sense of normalcy.