The traditional pegboard system is a relic from when car keys cost $7. With modern FOBs costing $200+ to replace, the pegboard system is a gaping hole. A dealership’s pegboard system results in lost productivity, wasted money, and reduced security. Here are three reasons why an electronic key control system is essential to any car dealership:
Reason #1: Where are the Keys?
The primary problem with pegboard systems is missing keys. Missing keys are a huge source of stress and conflict at any dealership. Why?
- A customer is waiting to demo the vehicle. You might lose the sale if the key hunt takes too long. “I’ll come back later,” will likely never happen. Lost sales hurt your monthly sales report.
- An employee needs to move the vehicle. It needs to go to service, be moved to another part of the lot, get cleaned, get moved off the lot, or it’s blocking another vehicle. Every minute spent searching for the key kills productivity and wastes money.
- Employee resentment builds when keys go missing. Everyone dislikes the exhaustive search, PA announcement, running from room to room, and regular interruptions looking for missing keys. Unhappy, frustrated employees are more likely to quit. Hiring and training new employees is expensive; the value of a contented workforce is priceless.
Dealerships that use an electronic key control system versus a pegboard system are more efficient for those reasons.
Reason #2: Accountability
When there is no accountability, it is easy to shirk responsibility:
- An employee is working on a sale. Someone interrupts and asks where keys are. It’s easiest to say, “I don’t know” and go back to the task at hand. If the employee shifts attention or starts rummaging around for keys, he or she might lose the sale or do the paperwork incorrectly. Looking for keys is inefficient.
- That key might have been accidentally taken home. Best to keep one’s mouth shut and quietly return it the next day. Or the next time one is scheduled, which could be in a couple of days. Otherwise, a trip back to work to return a key will take away free time.
- Someone forgot to return the key and it’s in a desk drawer or left on a random countertop. This person is out on the lot, on lunch break, or got called away. Digging through the desk drawer or office will violate privacy; not digging will mean a lost sale or lost productivity.
- Key might have been left in the vehicle, unlocked. This is an invitation for theft.
- Mystery mileage shows up on a vehicle. Who did it? No one knows. This hurts the vehicle’s resale value.
- A vehicle gets damaged. No one owns up. This costs money to repair.
- Keys are truly missing. The dealership has to pay for a replacement, wasting money.
An electronic key management system can instantly reveal who last checked out a specific key. The system can also run a report of the key’s checkout history. Instead of hassling everyone, only this single employee is contacted. Employees will immediately understand that they are responsible for all keys and all vehicles they have checked out. A key control system creates a culture of accountability. A pegboard system doesn’t.
Reason #3: Management Reports
Management reports eliminate guesswork about slow movers and employee demo performance. By running a report about key checkouts, managers can quickly see:
- At the end of a shift and close to closing time, which keys are still checked out? Go round up any that should get checked in!
- Which vehicles are fast movers? Slow movers?
- How many times has a specific vehicle been demoed? Who has checked out this vehicle’s key, and when?
- What is a specific employee doing? How many demos do they typically do? What is their ratio of cars sold to cars demoed (look at your sales report).
- Does an employee have more than one vehicle out on loan right now?
Managers will be more knowledgeable and able to make better decisions. Pegboard systems do not provide any of this information.
Key Control Systems offers several excellent electronic key management systems. Ask us for a quote and build a culture of accountability at your dealership today!