IN DEPTH: Technology
Dealers look to gain efficiency, accessibility and mobility as the market recovers and sales, service needs increase.
BY: CRAIG A. SHUTT
As the market rebounds, dealers are learning where their inefficiencies lay and are exploring software solutions to help them improve their processes. They want better accessibility to data, more analyzing capabilities and more mobility. Manufacturers are noting this increased demand and are responding to the need.
“It seems that more dealers are more inclined than ever to take advantage of new technologies to streamline operations and run their businesses better,” says John Maiuri, vice president of marketing and business development at Spruce Computer Systems. “Traditionally, they would have taken a more conservative approach to newer trends in the world of information technology. Dealers today are looking to get more out of their software.”
Dennis Sullivan, senior account manager at Computer Associates, agrees. “We’re seeing a change in mindset overall. Dealers don’t have the bodies to throw at a problem anymore, and they recognize that technology offers a great tool to resolve their business problems. The LBM industry has been slower to embrace technology, but now there’s been somewhat of a 180-degree change of mindset.”
The market’s growth has spurred dealers to move out of their comfort zone. “In a down market, dealers need to be as efficient as they can be, so something that promises to add efficiency can gain attention,” says Matt Hagerty, chief operating officer for Woodbrowser Inc., an online lumber-buying service. “In a good market, they’re willing to try new products to see if they can help them as their business picks up and activity rises. We see it happening every day right now.”