Polaris and BRP dealer Dean Hansen has followed in his grandfather and father’s footsteps by catering to recreational-minded consumers. Over time, the Hansen Sports shop product line has evolved, expanding to include every season. But until last year, the family run dealership had not made similar significant changes to their business practices. Their accounting was largely done by pen and paper, a practice that was passed from grandfather Art down to his grandson Dean. So why did the grandson, now owner and operator of the dealership, switch to a modern business platform?
And why - a full year-plus later after the change - does Dean believe so strongly the change, even with its considerable challenges, was the right thing to do? We asked.
Was it a difficult transition?
“Yes, there were definitely challenges.”
The dealership had to do an inventory of its parts – spread out over some 300-400 bins! – and transfer the information they found into DX1. Because the dealership has a year-round business, there is no down time. So Dean had a part-time person do this task over a two-month period. The dealership had never done anything like this before. Dean himself had tried a physical inventory once in the ’90s. “We tried and finally gave up,” he said. This time, they couldn’t stop. The result? Eye-opening, especially with the amount of obsolete inventory they found. They even found an invoice dating back to 1959.
Knowing everything you’ve gone through, would you do it again?
“Oh yeah, It’s definitely worth it.”
It’s about business clarity. About actually understanding how much you’re making vs. how much you’re selling. The Hansen’s paper accounting system used to only tell them the latter. Dean could pull a 5x7 paper card out of a long, rusty old drawer and tell how many of a specific part he had sold in the past year. But he had no idea how much he paid for that part, nor what he made when he sold it. So there was no understanding of profitability. “I had never looked at percentages before” transitioning to DX1, Dean said. Now he does. And now he’s able to change the outcome of his business because he understands that some part sales lead to higher profit margins than others. Better business, Dean has discovered, starts with better knowledge.
A scary realization
BRP dealer Dean Hansen knows every dealership that relies on pen and paper for accounting is a simple accident away from being forced to close its doors. As Dean said, when they were using pen-and-paper accounting,“If we ever had a fire, what would we've done? We would've said (to our insurance company), 'We had $100,000 in parts inventory and they would've said, 'Prove it.'" The scary realization: They couldn't have proved it. Why? Because there was no current inventory listing, only one record of their business transactions and it probably would've been destroyed in the fire. Noting how DX1 stores dealership data in several remote places, Dean says, “We're more backed up now then we've ever been before.”
Better business security. Better business knowledge. Historic Hansen Sports, with their partner DX1, are on their way to a brighter and more prosperous future.
*With purchase of DX1's End-to-End Platform.
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