By Scott Thompson, Vice President, Automotive, Retail and Distribution Solutions, Epicor Software Corp.
When was the last time you took a good, hard look at your business management software? If you’re still using a solution that dates back to the 1990s, you are undoubtedly working longer and harder than ever, simply trying to hold on to the business you already have. Moreover, your employees probably lack the tools they need to be more efficient and productive and your customers might already have noticed that your range of services doesn’t quite stack up with larger competitors. None of this is good news.
Of course, you’re not alone; many parts store owners understand they need to invest in new technology, but just haven’t taken that final step in identifying and implementing a new system. Why? They’re worried about the cost, complexity and “pain” associated with changing the way they do business.
Here’s the unvarnished truth about these concerns – cost, complexity and pain are already affecting your business. The automotive parts industry is becoming increasingly complex due to rising capital requirements and SKU counts. By relying on outdated technology, you’re likely already costing yourself money in the form of lost opportunities, added workload, sub-par operational efficiency and unnecessarily high customer turnover. And, unless you’re finding it easier to win new business from the national chain location down the street, you’re also feeling it in the form of a competitive disadvantage.
No wonder, therefore, one of the comments we hear most often from business owners who have invested in new software is, “If I knew then what I know now, I would have done this years ago.” This sentiment is based on measurable improvements in business performance that commonly result from the use of new technology.
A recent survey of Epicor customers revealed that a parts store owner investing in a new business management solution can expect a 10 percent increase in sales, on average. Nearly nine-in-10 survey participants indicated that new software can increase customer loyalty. And, 77.2 percent reported being better able to retain their best employees by providing them modern tools at the point of sale.
Here’s one more for those of you who have been thinking about a new system for the past few years: Epicor survey participants reported that their new solutions paid for themselves within three years, on average. So now you know why they wish they had made the jump earlier.
Modern technology is a proven path to sustained growth and improved profitability. Your customers and employees prefer it and most consumers expect businesses to continually improve their services through technology-driven convenience.
It’s time. You know it. Your customers know it. And more and more of your competitors have done it. The future is entirely in your hands.