Between selling cars and servicing them, auto dealers have to keep documentation on every aspect of the business.  Deal files and repair orders make up the bulk of this paperwork, and while a lot of dealerships have good processes in place to manage storing and retaining their documentation effectively, there are still many that do not.   Here are the most common mistakes auto dealers make with their document storage and the risks associated with each:

No Backup –  

Do you have boxes in storage containing years and years of historical information?  This mistake can prove costly. By not digitizing your dealer documents, you run the risk of water or fire damage, theft, or even simply misplacing various files.  By creating digital copies, you create a permanent record that can be easily backed up and recovered in the case of an emergency. You also maintain more effective security and controls of the documentation.  A locked door is certainly still effective, however, in a cloud-based system, access can be encrypted and monitored 24/7. Moving your files to the cloud ensures they are protected and backed up without ever having to worry about items being lost.  

Using Office or Warehouse Space for Storage – 

Do you have office or warehouse space being utilized for document storage?  There are costs associated with this that, in today’s world, are completely unnecessary and avoidable.  By scanning and storing your documents digitally in a cloud-based system, you can free yourself from wasting valuable space at your facilities.  Whether it be a storage unit, an office, closet, warehouse, or basement, this space has a cost associated with it, which is certainly more than the price of cloud storage.  By digitizing, you can free up your space and make better use of your real estate.

No Retention Plan in Place – 

What happens when an old customer comes in looking for information about their deal file?  How about when the manufacturer wants to run a warranty audit? Is your team prepared for that?  With a digital retention system, you no longer have to send people into your storage area to thumb through files and boxes looking for the right document.  That is the equivalent of handing someone an encyclopedia to look up an answer to a question rather than using Google. Digital retention versus physical retention is not even comparable in terms of time spent, and as we all know, time is money…

These are just a few of the costly errors that dealerships make in regards to their document storage. These mistakes can come with unintended costs and risks that many may not even realize.  If you own a dealership, you don’t employ people to be in the business of searching through boxes for various files the majority of the day, but if you don’t have a digital storage program in place, this is likely something you are paying for monthly.