This year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting wetter-than-average conditions in various regions around the country, which means an increased chance of snow and freezing rain. Harsh winter weather can pose a threat to your dealership, employees, customers, and inventory. For example, two RVs and two cars were crushed after the roof of an RV dealership collapsed under the weight of snow and ice.

Snowstorms generally can’t be predicted more than a week out, but there are measures you can take to mitigate damages from extreme scenarios. To ensure your dealership is winter ready, let’s take a look at how to prepare:

Adopt a Clear Communication System

Communication is vital to your dealership’s success and becomes even more crucial when hazardous conditions are present. During a storm and the cleanup that follows, you’ll want the ability to keep your employees informed and updated. With a comprehensive DMS mobile interface, you can send important messages from anywhere and stay connected during critical situations.

Use an Inventory Management System

Using an inventory management system helps with organization and efficiency regularly. During the winter, this tool can help with the process of locating inventory, noting damage, and providing prompt service to your customers. In the aftermath of a large snowstorm, you‘ll still be able to find the inventory you need even if it’s buried under a few feet of snow.

Establish an Emergency Response Procedure

Dire circumstances call for quick, calm, and orderly responses. Providing winter protocol training to employees will ensure they feel prepared to handle various situations, setting your employees and dealership up for success. Communicate expectations for handling hazardous conditions and the location of necessary supplies such as salt and shovels. Your employees should feel confident to either handle situations themselves or notify the correct point of contact.

Assign Responsibilities to Employees

Determining each individual’s responsibility for handling critical scenarios will greatly impact the efficiency and strength of your dealership’s response. With a complete, web-based DMS, you can easily generate tasks and assign them to specific employees. By defining a clear to-do list, the necessary jobs will be completed effectively.

Update and Inform Customers

After a large storm or emergency conditions, the first step is to confirm your employees and customers are safe. From there, you’ll want to inform your customers about updates to your business operations, whether you need to open later or close for a period of time. You can provide updates via online media or a DMS messaging system. If customers have scheduled appointments, you can notify them of any status changes through this platform.

As fall comes to an end, proactivity is vital to protect your dealership against potential hazardous winter conditions. Implementing clear procedures and using an end-to-end DMS that connects each department can help your dealership respond to serious situations.

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