5 Dealer Floorplanning Mistakes to Avoid

Floorplan Preparation at Your Dealership


Floorplan financing is a crucial tool for auto dealerships, providing the necessary capital to maintain a diverse and appealing inventory. However, leveraging this financing option effectively requires careful management and strategic planning. Here are five common floorplanning mistakes that dealers should avoid to ensure their operations run smoothly and profitably.

dealership floorplan mistakes and tips

Mistake 1: Mishandling Cash Flow

Effective cash flow management is critical when utilizing floorplan financing. Dealers must ensure they have a clear understanding of their financial position and maintain sufficient liquidity to cover the costs associated with their floorplan, such as interest and fees. Mishandling cash flow can lead to financial strain and disrupt daily operations. Regular financial reviews, prudent budgeting, and forecasting are essential to avoid this pitfall. Implementing robust accounting practices and possibly consulting with financial experts can help maintain a healthy cash flow, ensuring that operational costs and financial obligations are met without strain.


Mistake 2: Overestimating Sales Projections

While optimism is important, basing inventory on overly ambitious sales forecasts can result in excess stock that ties up capital and incurs additional holding costs. Dealers should base their projections on historical data, current market trends, and economic conditions to make more accurate and realistic inventory decisions. This approach helps prevent overextension and ensures a more balanced inventory. Regularly reviewing and adjusting sales projections based on actual performance data allows for more accurate planning and reduces the risk of overstocking or understocking inventory.


Mistake 3: Insufficient Funding

Securing adequate funding is essential for maintaining a robust inventory. Insufficient funding can limit your ability to stock a diverse range of vehicles and meet customer demand. Dealers should work closely with their floorplan financing providers to ensure they have access to the necessary credit lines and funding options to support their inventory needs. Additionally, exploring multiple funding sources and maintaining good credit relationships can provide a financial safety net and allow for more flexible financial planning. A strategic approach to funding, including maintaining a contingency fund, ensures that the dealership can adapt to changing market conditions and unexpected expenses.


Mistake 4: Ignoring Collateral Audits

Collateral audits are a critical aspect of floorplan financing. These audits ensure that vehicles are not sold out of trust and verify that all units on the floorplan are accounted for. Dealers must be prepared for periodic audits conducted by their financing providers, which involve physically checking and touching each unit. Ignoring or failing to prepare for these audits can lead to serious financial and legal consequences. To avoid this, dealers should maintain accurate and up-to-date inventory records, conduct regular internal audits, and ensure all staff understand the importance of compliance. Effective audit preparation and cooperation with lenders can build trust and result in smoother operations.


Mistake 5: Overlooking Turn Times

Turn times, or the length of time a vehicle sits on the lot before being sold, are a crucial metric for managing inventory effectively. Long turn times can lead to increased holding costs, reduced profitability, and cash flow issues. Dealers should closely monitor their turn times and implement strategies to move inventory more quickly, such as promotions, pricing adjustments, and targeted marketing efforts. Understanding which vehicles are selling quickly and which are lagging can inform purchasing decisions and promotional strategies. Regularly reviewing sales data and turn times allows dealers to adjust their strategies in real-time, optimizing inventory levels and ensuring a steady flow of sales.



Avoiding these common floorplanning mistakes can significantly enhance the efficiency and profitability of your dealership. By managing cash flow effectively, setting realistic sales projections, securing sufficient funding, preparing for collateral audits, and closely monitoring turn times, dealers can maximize the benefits of floorplan financing and set their business up for sustained success.


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