BENCHMARKING WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT?
If you are like most business owners, you want to make improvements and grow your dealership. There is a very important four-letter word that is required to do this, DATA. In order to determine goals and higher standards for your business to reach, you need to track and know where you have already been. This is where benchmarking comes in. We’ve all heard the word bounced around, and may even be practicing it, but what does it really mean?
In a recent article published in the MHEDA Journal, Robin Currie of Currie Management Consultants says that a benchmark is simply defined as “a standard against which the performance of a company can be measured.” Widely recognized as an important business practice decades ago, benchmarking became a standard, required activity for all high-performing companies striving to stay competitive and grow.
According to Currie, financial benchmarking is the cornerstone of a sound company. By tracking, understanding and using data in their dealership management system, owners, executives and managers can identify areas of their business that are running well and those that need further attention.
The ASPEN dealership management system has endless tools to assist owners, managers and dealer principals with the benchmarking process. ASPEN’s VIsion Screens, Dashboard Widgets, Reports and Query Tool supply management with a variety of ways to track and mine data out of the system to get exactly the information needed. Below is an example of ASPEN’s Parts Analysis screen, comparing monthly inventory values that can be used to set benchmarks for the Parts Department.
ASPEN Reports provide detailed information on Customers, Parts, Accounting, Units, Rentals, Sales and Service. Access managerial level information on all aspects of Parts Management, get up-to-the-minute inventory reporting, track open work orders, parts on order, or run detailed reports simplify accounting tasks.
- Separate Reports Console Allows for Multi-tasking The Reports Console in ASPEN runs in its own window, separate and distinct from other ASPEN functionality, so users can generate one or multiple reports and return to ASPEN to work in any other function. If data was updated while working on a report, the report can be refreshed simply with the click of a button.
- Drillable Data Most reports contain content that is drillable to the original record—for instance, when printing a trial balance, drill to the general ledger details, then to the journal entry, and then to the source document (i.e. invoice, parts transaction, accounts payable voucher, etc). On a units report, for example, click on the unit to view the unit’s maintenance screen. Reports are also searchable—search for specific text on a report.
- Reports Are Viewable and Drillable from the ASPEN Dashboard
The ASPEN Dashboard empowers users with a centralized window into their unique business data by providing a high-level, real-time visual overview at log-in of data pertinent to them. Information is displayed in simplified visual representations from which the user may directly take action and drill directly to the related detailed reports or system records.
- Save Report Settings, Share Reports and Export to Popular Programs All reports settings and parameters can be saved for frequently run reports. View reports prior to printing, share reports with other users via an instant message or task with a drillable link. Reports can also be exported to Excel, Word, HTML and other commonly used formats. Reports can be scheduled to run unattended through the ASPEN Query Tool.