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4 takeaways from the Digital Dealer Expo in Tampa, USA

7 minute read

4 takeaways from the Digital Dealer Expo in Tampa, USA

In May of this year, the city of Tampa, Florida, opened its doors to crucial players in the automotive industry as it hosted the Digital Dealer Expo and Conference. Digital Dealer is one of the few companies in the USA dedicated to supporting auto dealers and digital solution providers.

We were strongly drawn towards this particular expo — so much so that several team members braved the long haul flight from Australia to Tampa to exhibit at and attend the event.

It was a magical time of the year in Florida. Topographically, Tampa is stunning, with warm and sunny weather and sandy beaches. It has an eye-catching backdrop of green forest cover looking out on crystal-clear water. With most countries having reopened and eased Covid-19 travel restrictions, the Digital Dealer Expo was a unique opportunity to meet peers in the industry face-to-face, share, and network. People started coming into the Tampa Convention Center by the thousands from throughout the US and around the world.

The venue was a beautiful location off the water, with plenty of hotels and restaurants. The SalesLogs team set up our booth alongside many other reputable auto dealerships that had their booths and podiums spread across the venue.

Team SalesLogs lost no time in setting out to mingle, connect, attend talks, and canvas with other players in a bid to familiarise themselves with the latest industry developments and products. Along with those interactions, we managed to grasp several noteworthy insights as far as auto dealer digital solutions go.

Takeaways from the Digital Dealer Tampa Expo

Here is a comprehensive rundown of what our team gathered from the Digital Dealer Expo in Tampa, USA.

1. Most auto dealers are still stuck with outdated digital tools

From our interactions with the guests, it became clear that a lot of dealerships were sceptical about upgrading to modern productivity tools. More dealerships attested to using spreadsheets and Google Sheets to track their sales deals, profitability, finance conversions, and retail reporting information to the OEM.

However, the SalesLogs centralised business intelligence productivity tool gets a nod over these generalised applications. We designed our software specifically for auto dealers. The SalesLogs online tool is highly efficient and easy to integrate. Most of our guests were awed by how easy and efficient it was to use the SalesLogs cloud-based software to:

  • Track performance
  • Communicate
  • Analyse dealership data

2. Inventory is a challenge

In the wake of the pandemic, we learned that inventory shortage had forced many auto dealerships and production plants to shut down. The shortage of car accessories, especially car chips, has seen a drop in the number of build-to-order cars and a shift to build-to-stock orders. People have resorted to buying ready-made cars already on the dealers' lots. More people prefer walking into a dealership and walking away with the vehicle of their liking.

So, to meet the demands of different buyers, dealers have to stock a variety of models with various customisations and options such as colours. As a result, dealers' lots now have to handle a substantial amount of inventory.

So it’s a good thing that SalesLogs provides a solution to the inventory challenge! It works by managing the vehicle details and customer preferences and tracking the financial processes involved in purchasing and sales.

3. Build-to-order is ‘the in thing’

Today, everyone wants a car customised to their preferences and taste. So it is understandable that build-to-order cars are all the rage. Auto dealers have been forced to adopt new roles as facilitators in the ordering and fulfilment process to avoid being rendered obsolete.

As such, cloud-based productivity tools like SalesLogs software have become handier than ever in monitoring and managing the orders, sales, finance, and aftermarket business dealings. The business tool ensures easy, accurate, and timely transactions, manages cash flow, and helps keep records. Not only that, but the software also forecasts whether the auto dealer met their billing quotas.
From what we gather, up until recently, there have been very few tools like SalesLogs in the US. Therefore, there is a vast market potential for SalesLogs products. Once we get some more pilot sites on board, we will quickly gain traction.

4. There is huge market potential in the US

Our team couldn’t help but notice the vast opportunity for business in the USA. Dealers now face a massive backlog of orders. This forces them to turn more and more to out-of-date productivity tools like spreadsheets to store, analyse and measure their metrics. However, tools like spreadsheets have the following flaws:

  1. They are not automated and cannot manage advanced pricing or financial management functions.
  2. It is hard to learn the syntax and is a pain to use.
  3. Low security makes them vulnerable to fraud and corruption.
    They’re very susceptible to costly human error since most things are done manually.
  4. Spreadsheets are unsuitable for data continuity.
  5. Documents are susceptible to user bias since they are made entirely by a single person.

Final thoughts about the Digital Dealer Expo and Conference in Tampa

Had it not been for our visit to the Digital Dealer Expo and Conference in Tampa, we wouldn't have gathered so much insight. The interaction sessions were enlightening, lively, and fun.

In a nutshell, the main takeaway was that the American auto dealership industry still has a lot of room to grow in automation and the use of specialised technology to track sales, performance, and profit to maximise productivity revenue.

Thankfully, for the first time in ages, auto dealers have an ideal ally built specifically to keep an eye on all the inventory, orders, financial transactions, and profitability of auto dealerships. 

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