Compliance: it makes life easier.
If you think I’m being sarcastic, you probably haven’t spoken to our customers. At a few recent events, including the 2017 National Association of Dealer Counsel Fall Conference, representatives from companies that use Compli have come up to me to tell me how our automated workforce compliance platform cuts down on confusion and stress. Better compliance workflows, they’ve told me, translate not only to better business outcomes but better sleep.
I don’t mean to merely brag about our company (okay, I do mean to, a little bit), but to communicate some of the ways in which I’m witnessing dealerships change their expectations around compliance.
Certainly, no one goes into business to run a compliance program, but one prevailing theme at the NADC Fall Conference 2017 was that today’s dealers are realizing how much they have to gain by doing the right thing. Over the course of 2.5 days, we explored topics such as framework agreements, data integration, community service, and financial and legal Issues that arise during mergers and acquisitions—all things that can benefit from keeping your compliance program in check.
The takeaway? Compliance and ethics provide the continuity, consistency, and checks and balances necessary for employees throughout dealership departments to do their jobs. Presenters explained how a culture of compliance stems from tone at the top, why leadership needs to buy into compliance and ethics, and how an automated compliance management system (hint, hint) empowers the human intelligence behind the system. When a CMS handles day-to-day activities such as training assignments and form distribution, executives can fully step into their roles as decision makers.
Plus, as we discussed in a number of sessions, a system like Compligo makes it easy for dealerships to increase retention of critical compliance information. Automation can ensure that employees don’t just have one encounter with, for instance, a harassment video, but that they come across the topic at multiple touch points throughout the training process.
It’s hard to ignore the backdrop against which these conversations occur. Although President Trump’s administration and Republicans in Congress have broadcasted an anti-regulatory agenda, compliance isn’t going anywhere, especially in regards to the automobile industry. In fact, federal and state regulators have increased their enforcement in some cases, and the number of private causes of action has recently escalated as well. Regardless of the future of the Fair Labor Standards Act overtime rule or the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, dealerships will have a lot of risk to manage in the foreseeable future.
For that reason, a number of companies are taking additional steps to develop cultures of compliance. Several dealership representatives I spoke to told me how their organizations tie compensation to compliance: “We don’t pay out on an incomplete or noncompliant deal,” one executive told me.
Yes, in some dealerships, employees get paid based on their commitment to compliance and ethics. It’s another indication of how members of the industry are seeing how treating people fairly is just as important as selling vehicles, and a reminder that there’s a reason for rules and regulations in the first place: they’re part of the fabric of good business.
Other highlights from the NADC Fall Conference 2017 included National Automobile Dealerships Association VP Paul Metrey’s presentation (Paul’s the closest thing there is to a celebrity in the regulatory affairs world, and I’m something of a Metrey fangirl); an update about the CFPB’s arbitration rule, which died on the Senate floor just a day after the conference; and tons of fascinating data and insights about the current state of the automotive industry.
If we met at the conference and you’d like to reconnect, or if you simply want to know how to better manage your dealership’s compliance and ethics responsibilities, feel free to get in touch!