September 2023 marked the beginning of an unprecedented strike in the US auto industry—only comparable to the sit-down strike across GM plants way back in 1936. Triggered by a confluence of factors, including demands for fair wages and improved worker safeguards in the face of the industry's transition towards electric vehicle production, the strike has the power to make major impacts through every link in the automotive chain. The shear scale of this strike means that it is not confined by borders; prolonged delays may lead to closures on the Canadian side, mirroring the challenges faced by dealerships across the US.
Impact on Factories, Production, and the Supply Chain:
The strike's immediate impact is experienced in the factories, bringing production to a standstill. This disruption extends far beyond the assembly line, affecting the entire supply chain. From essential components to specialized parts, crucial resources can become harder to find, creating a ripple effect that can be felt across the industry.
Disrupting the Customer Experience: Customers too are impacted by the strike, facing longer wait times for vehicle deliveries and servicing. By employing the right processes, workflows, and leveraging a purpose-built desking solution, BDC, and service CRM, dealerships can provide a seamless experience from inquiry to purchase. When options become more limited, providing the best customer service allows dealers to increase customer loyalty and improve revenue through repeat business and positive referrals.
Service and Maintenance Delays: Service departments face their own set of challenges. Limited access to parts and components can lead to delays in vehicle maintenance and repairs. Tackling this can be a struggle, but using a well-designed and intuitive inventory management system can make a significant impact, alleviating the pressure and ensuring smooth operations. This allows dealers to limit delays and provide flexibility.
Optimizing Operations for Financial Resilience: When dealing with industry disruptions, dealerships must leverage the tools at their disposal to optimize operations. Efficiency is key to driving cost savings and revenue generation. It's about finding the best tools to navigate through challenges, ensuring that every aspect of the dealership functions cohesively and profitably.
Dealerships can mitigate the impact of the strike by exploring innovative solutions. This includes employing technology-driven tools that are designed to function together seamlessly, like Quorum's suite of software solutions. Having a streamlined process from the initial customer interaction, through the showroom experience, to post-sales service and maintenance, is the key to tackling the hardest situations with the best tools available.