10 February 2017

Sustain a dealer management strategy in an omni-channel marketplace

We’d like to talk briefly about the need for equipment driven companies to open new revenue streams. It’s a given that organizations can only thrive if they find ways to connect. For example they need to connect with customers, suppliers, and employees across multiple channels and locations. “Apps, sites, and portals” are a fact of daily business.

Along with opening new channels, equipment manufacturers and equipment rental and services companies at larger-scale changes. One is adding direct dealership to their business model. If you get the right IT platform in place, selling to customers and partners can fold into your current organization.

Top IT factors for a strong dealer management strategy

The best ERP systems today are built with an understanding that ERP is the heart of every organization. But it needs to accommodate myriad technology innovations and industry-specific requirements. One reason that ERP systems like Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Dynamics AX offer compelling choices is that they’re friendly to ISV industry solutions. They put cloud and mobile technologies first. Why this is important if you’re looking to implement a dealer management strategy:

  1. Dealer management requires a big matrix of integrations

    For example, between manufacturers and suppliers and your back office. You’ll need interfaces and process automation that collect and organize massive amounts of information. This information can range from production to delivery and from contracts to financials.

  2. Dealers also need to jump into data-driven business models

    Especially when it lets them work with customers, employees, equipment, and partners via apps, portals, IoT devices, and other cloud-based innovations. This is especially important for equipment-driven industries and dealer models. Selling, service, equipment analytics, transport, customer communications—we’re moving into a digital landscape where both dealers and customers can manage end-to-end cycles via mobility and the cloud.

  3. Dealers will work with the same technologies and capabilities regardless their industry

    But what construction dealers need and car dealers need from those technologies differ. From our perspective, it’s important that your dealer management solution be expansive, flexible, and easily adaptable to industry-specific requirements. You need to be confident that both your ERP provider and ISVs have the right balance of industry and IT knowledge, and that you don’t get locked out of functionality that you may not use today but might tomorrow.

The 3 points above can start your IT conversation about what you want in a dealer management strategy. You need ERP that’s built on an open platform and designed to welcome ISV capabilities. You want to keep your IT as clean as possible, so look for a solutions set that offers pretty much endless ability to connect your back office, third parties, customers via interfaces, apps, and portals. Make sure that you can define and configure any functionality you need now for your specific industry, and perhaps most important, make sure that your providers have built in the ability to move with dealer market trends. We don’t know everything that’s coming, but if you’re going to plan for your future, it’s good to know that your software is one step ahead of your competition.

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Michiel Toppers,
Michiel Toppers,
Senior Director of Product Management

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