Norton Way MD spells out data and systems challenges for dealers

By 4 Min Read

Dealers need a business strategy for a digital world to beat the challenges of fragmented data and inadequate legacy systems.

That’s the view of Jason Cranswick, managing director of Norton Way Motors, expressed during a special webinar organised by The Lead Agency

Cranswick, who has held senior roles at Cinch, Audi and Jardine Motor, said: “Digital, up until recently, has meant filling the sales funnel and transacting.

“However, the digital transformation of our industry is around codifying and simplifying our businesses. Most of us have very fragmented data, and that’s because legacy technologies sit behind it.

“Our ability to become an e-commerce business is impeded by these fragmented systems and processes.

“We talk about a digital strategy but what we need is a business strategy for a digital world. That is the awakening that dealers like us are having. OEMs are realising this too, as are new entrants to the market.

‘The old way of doing things is not compatible with a codified method of omnichannel retailing. That’s what we have to address.’

Turning to customers’ increasing levels of online activity, he added: ‘What the internet has done is give consumers the ability to determine what they want, when they want it and how they want it.

“At Norton Way, we’re aiming to create an omnichannel route for the consumer through our business – using aligned systems, platforms and processes, whether they’re in our hands or the hands of the consumer.”

Cranswick also said the move to a digital environment required the addition of new skillsets to dealerships: ‘We still need the very best salespeople of course, but also data analysts and systems specialists… colleagues we wouldn’t have had, pre-Covid.’

Acknowledging industry discussions around connected cars, he said he wanted Norton Way to become a connected dealer group.

‘My mission is to make interacting with Norton Way Motors easy, useful and surprising. If I can make life easy for our customers, do things that are useful and deliver good surprises, the likelihood is that the customer will be converted and retained.

‘As we go through this transformation to a digital world, we need a clear vision, extremely strong values and a real growth mindset. Ultimately, resilience is what we need.’

Norton Way Group represents brands such as Nissan, Kia and Peugeot and operates dealerships across Hertfordshire and West London.


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