June 2021 Edition

Not Worried About Cyber-Attack? Remember, It’s a War Out There

It’s not about who you are––it’s about how easy you are to hack.    Ok, admittedly you’re not a Department of Defense supplier, but your risk for cyber-attack is still a legitimate threat that could shut down your business for weeks––a disaster from which 60% of all small companies never recover, according to “Cybercrime Magazine.”   If cyber criminals get hold of your business system, they can literally hold your company hostage till you pay a ransom.   “The biggest thing that people don’t realize is the ability to physically lose control of your assets. To me, that is the scariest,” said Federico M. Sciammarella, president and chief technology officer at MxD, a nonprofit public-private partnership in Chicago that is designated by the Department of Defense as the National Center for Cybersecurity and Manufacturing.   For hackers, it’s all about opportunity – finding vulnerability, and then exploiting it as far as they possibly can.   Here are 3 simple ways to protect your business:   (1) Train employees not fall for phishing schemes. All it takes is for them to pick up the phone and call the person who appears to be sending a suspect email. It costs nothing but could save your company.   (2) Incorporate multifactor authentication. This requires anyone who’s signing in to your system or equipment to get a code they must then use to verify they are who they say they are. Microsoft offers this type of tool and there are free apps available, said Sciammarella, which add another level of protection to make it harder for hackers to penetrate the business.   (3) Require [really] strong passwords. Not the usual “one number, one symbol” kind of strong, which hackers can now break through. Sciammerella recommends something complicated like a long sentence or phrase, even with spaces, such as, “I like to take walks.”   [Editor’s Note: We liked this tip so much, we are creating new passwords with phrases about our family – something like: “Ihave*4*coolsons2865” (kids’ birth months), or even a favorite Bible verse, mantra, or celebrity quote!]  

What Does ‘The Digital Dealership’ Look Like?

Recently, IEDA’s own CRM manager, Mets Kramer, authored a blog at Learningwithoutscars.com—here are some excerpts from his relevant ideas for dealers. Editor’s Note: Mets will be at the upcoming Midyear Meeting in September – spend some ‘quality’ time getting to know him and asking him questions about the performance of your website and marketing strategy. Additionally, perhaps the “digital dealer” concept below  applies to more of an OEM authorized dealer model, but see what you can glean from these thoughts:   The digital dealership looks at how information flows through the business, from marketing and sales to service and support programs. It looks at how the information of a customer’s engagement or transactions flow into the business, and then, it does one very important thing. It looks at where that flow gets broken or disconnected.   Discontinuity, in our digital information flow, kills transactions, so the digital dealership makes sure it doesn’t happen.   In a practical sense, this means the digital dealership looks at how marketing efforts lead to sales, then to initiating and even closing a sale.   … On the parts and service side, information powers a digital transaction [like this]: The digital dealership no longer asks its customers for the machine serial number when they call for parts. The digital dealer recognizes incoming calls, remembers the customer’s equipment, offers them a digital purchasing option, or creates automatic parts carts for common jobs.   In service, the digital dealer has analyzed what is the likely problem via telematics and service history to determine a possible cause, and solution, prior to driving to see the machine … How many of you are working out how to make it happen?   [Digital dealers offer] online chat or a button to get a call back immediately so they know someone will be on the line to help them.   In the end, the digital dealer connects all the information about a customer and their business together in a seamless process that captures the customer needs and makes it easy. The dealership’s customers appreciate it, because they get the same treatment in so many other interactions in their personal lives. READ FULL BLOG HERE>>