The original Luddites were workmen who destroyed the new industrial machines of the early 19th Century because they feared that the new machines would cause unemployment and destroy life as they knew it.
Deny it if you will, but virtually all of us in the automobile business have harbored these same fears (to varying degrees) when confronted with technological “progress” that forces us to change our ways.
As I write this I began thinking whether it was OK to be something of a technophobe in the Luddite tradition. My conclusion is that, as auto dealers, we should harbor some rational skepticism until a new technology is well proven. Call us Luddites, if you will. At least our wallets will appreciate our caution!
It is when irrational fear engenders total paralysis that we risk missing the next truly effective technology. In the face of demonstrable and dependable advances that will improve our businesses, we have to be prepared to lay down our trusted sledgehammers and perform the few keystrokes that may achieve the same effect!
In short, we don’t want to miss the technology boat. We just want to check carefully for life preservers before we board.
No one can deny any longer that knowledge really is power and that there is a pretty straightforward conversion between money and information. We all feel that, somehow, if the logistics can be worked out, miracles may yet be possible.
Dare we hope that a dealership miracle may actually reside in the computer’s unquestioned ability to get the right data to those whom the data will do the most good. With the proper deployment of budget and computer time, we may not be able to cure cancer, save ourselves from nuclear extinction or grow food for everybody but maybe, just maybe, we can realize the most wistful pipe dream of every dealer – an accurate DOC!