Welcome to our New Blog, A Personal Note from Dale

December 22, 2009

I just started reading a book called What Would Google Do by Jeff Jarvis.  Although I am not very far into it, Jarvis’ book really makes the point that companies need to create and maintain an open dialogue with their clients and customers.  I guess I got this idea a while ago, and that’s why I started writing this blog.  It wasn’t motivated by a desire to do the latest “marketing thing” of the day, but rather as a result of a genuine desire to listen and respond to the industry.

Jarvis’ book also caused me to do something that I had never done before.  I went to DrivingSales.com, a prominent car dealer social network site, and read what people wrote about vAuto.  It was extremely gratifying to see so many positive responses.  The themes of these responses seemed to be around the two areas of constant product innovation and very strong customer support.  These are really two fine points of distinction for any solutions company, and for this I’m especially proud of our team.

Notwithstanding these positive reviews, I would like everyone to know that we’re not satisfied.  I recognize that these are extremely difficult times for our dealers.  We need to do even more in the coming year to support those that support us.  I recently communicated this message to the entire vAuto team when they assembled last month in Chicago for a company-wide meeting.  Everyone seemed to rally around the message, and I therefore have high expectations for our performance in the coming year.  Count on us to bring you much more new and innovative products and practices.  I’m hoping that my new book, Velocity 2.0:  Paint, Pixels and Profitability will also contribute positively to our mission of improving results from used car operations.  I’m very excited about the new book and I’ll be looking forward to hearing your response.

I also think that success in the coming year will require a concerted effort by multiple dealer partners/vendors.  I would encourage dealers and managers to pull together their various solution providers and request that they work together in a concerted effort to ensure that their various solutions are tied together technically and philosophically.  In an era where headcount is cut  to the bare bone, dealerships must leverage the talent and skills of their vendor/partners.  I think that dealerships should view their solution’s representatives as extensions of their management team.  They should be treated with respect and held accountable to high standards as if they were on the dealerships payroll because, in fact, they are.

As we launch our new Velocity 2.0:  Paint, Pixels and Profitability blog site, I want to renew my commitment to providing the best product and customer service in the industry.  In the past, I tried to stay away from talking too much about the vAuto product, in favor of concentrating on the velocity strategy of management.  In the coming year I will continue to focus on the latest strategies and best practices, but I will also attempt to engage the industry and vAuto users with respect to their ideas and suggestions for improving our software and service. I invite you to please comment openly and candidly on all related subject matter.  I’m not too proud to receive criticism, and I trust that you won’t be shy about providing it.  Of course, anyone can feel free to call me at any time.

My personal cell phone number is 630-343-9016, or I can be emailed at dpollak [at] vauto.com.

Thank you for your friendship all that you’ve taught us and we look forward to being even better and stronger in the coming year.