I have been involved with automotive dealerships since 1985. Almost from the start, I learned a hands-on approach to getting information out of the computer system and figuring things out so that the dealership could be more productive. Starting with learning to program an IBM System/36, I moved on to personal computers, Lotus spreadsheet programming, relational database programming, Microsoft Excel, Visual Basic, and ADP dealership software. Along with ADP came the Reflection emulator that allows one to literally write programs that can automate a great deal of manual jobs and procedures found in most dealerships, from parts to service to car sales to accounting. While being labeled as a "system administrator", I began to realize through my contacts and professional acquaintances that I fit into uncommon category: a computer administrator who can also write programs that can speed up manual procedures and extract information out of the computer system.
One thing I have learned over the years, however, is that each dealership is unique. Although the automotive software may be the same and the jobs accomplished are similar, each dealership has its own way of doing things, many times rightfully so. I try to adapt my services to the needs of each dealership, so that the existing procedures remain familiar and comfortable. But where improvements can be made, I try to implement them and show how they can save time and money. Any time a change can increase productivity by making it easier and faster to do a job, that's something everyone seems to want. Take a moment to browse through the links for Excel, Reflection, and reporting services. See examples of how your dealership procedures can be improved and enhanced.