CVBSummit: The Time is NOW
If you’ve been thinking about your commercial business and ways to improve it – increase your number of customers, boost your bottom line, add new products and services – that’s great. But if that’s the only step you’ve taken, then you might want to take heed of this quote:
“You may delay, but time will not.” – Benjamin Franklin
In other words, don’t wait; take action today.
If you attended the Commercial Vehicle Business Summit Spring 2023, hopefully you were able to sit in on the session presented by Karen AG Krodel, FordPro Commercial Business Manager, where she talked about how she helps dealers, customers and upfitters grow their commercial business. Regardless of whether or not you carry the Ford brand, she presented takeaways you should consider, and perhaps the biggest one – or at least an excellent starting point – was this statement, “We try to make FordPro a one-stop-shop for our fleets. We want to help them manage their fleets and their total cost of ownership… and take their pain points off the plate…”
For all commercial vehicle dealerships, and really anyone in the commercial vehicle ecosystem, this type of one-stop-shop approach can have a tremendous impact because it’s at the heart of helping customers in many different areas. However, one of the keys here is to not just think about adopting this way of doing things, but actually taking the action(s) necessary to implement it across your business.
Said Krodel, one area of focus for FordPro has been to “accelerate their [customers’] productivity and improve their vehicle uptime. We know uptime is critical to our commercial customers because if they have a down vehicle, they’re not making money.”
FordPro offers software for fleet management, as well as telematics, offering key insights for the vehicles they are using. Additionally, they offer services to assist commercial customers with properly maintaining their vehicles, as well as financial services. At the heart of all of these services according to Krodel is “Finding the right solution for that customer.”
She went on to say, “All of these products and services continue to evolve as the future becomes the present.” Put another way, this means time doesn’t slow down and neither does the arrival of the future, so it’s critical to always be looking at ways you can improve, but to also then be sure to put those changes into practice to stay current.
If you find yourself saying, this all sounds good, but I carry other/additional brands, beyond Ford. Well, not to worry. All of the major OEMs have been rolling out solutions to help dealers and dealer customers with the various aspects of their commercial vehicle business. If you’re unsure where things stand with a specific OEM, reach out to your OEM contact to get the details.
The reality is, the more you can help your business customers focus on what they do best – and here’s a hint, it’s not purchasing, financing, maintaining and managing the vehicles they use every day – the more they’ll see you as that essential business partner who’s helping them grow their business.
Finally, here’s a list (not all-inclusive) of some of the products and services you should consider when looking at how to expand your commercial vehicle business:
- Fuel efficiency analysis
- Mobile maintenance
- Alt Fuel education
- Fleet management
- Preventative maintenance plans
- Other OEM offerings, such as connected services
- Charging maps/guidance
No matter what you decide, have a plan and put it in place, because as noted at the beginning of this article, time does not delay, and chances are good your competitors don’t either.