Control the Controllables

In these challenging economic times, UK automotive dealers must pivot towards smarter, more strategic operations. Cambria Private Capital recognises this necessity, as evidenced by our recent advisory relationship with Carcare – distinct from Car Care Plan – which epitomises our drive towards efficiency and data-driven decision-making in inventory management. Since our fund's launch in October, we've engaged with nearly 300 businesses, uncovering the potential of niche software providers suited for the current climate. A key insight is the importance of comprehensive knowledge of unit and site economics. If there's an area of the business where someone can't provide a straight answer on time or cost, gaining visibility on that area is crucial for control and improvement.

Incorporating Technological Advancements: Forward-thinking dealerships are now adopting comprehensive software solutions, providing real-time insights into sales trends, inventory management, and customer preferences. As supply levels stabilise and grow post-COVID, achieving OEM targets on volume and customer service remains a key priority for dealers in 2024.

Refining Inventory Strategy: Smart inventory management is essential. By utilising predictive analytics, dealers can align their stock with market demands, thus reducing capital tied up in slow-moving vehicles. A notable trend among UK dealers is the shift towards improving their traditional used-to-new car ratio, aiming to increase used car sales compared to last year. This requires investment in the right areas, notably in speeding up stock preparation, a crucial component of accelerating stock turn. Carcare's expertise in this domain is proven, with Nordic dealers consistently achieving preparation times below 10 days, with the best under 5 days.

Customer Experience Focus: Modern dealerships must prioritise a seamless and satisfying customer experience across all touchpoints, from the showroom floor to after-sales support.

Operational Flexibility: Dealerships should strive for a nimble operational structure, capable of quickly adapting to rapidly changing market conditions, from supply chain disruptions to shifts in consumer buying habits.

Financial Prudence: Robust financial management is more important than ever. Effective cost control measures and dynamic pricing strategies are crucial in maintaining profitability amid margin pressures.

Investing in People: Empowering staff with the knowledge and tools to excel in a technologically evolving industry is paramount for a dealership’s success.

Dealers who adopt these strategies can not only withstand today's economic pressures but also thrive, transforming challenges into opportunities for growth and innovation. If you're interested in learning more about inventory management and Carcare's role, please get in touch with me or John, who is tagged in this post.

Have a great week.