The spreadsheets also allow Jones to manipulate the data in various ways, including side-by-side comparisons by month and year as well as a column for averages. Jones also saves time by not having to manually enter the data.
"This gives us the ability to actually spend time trying to fix the problem as opposed to trying to find the problems," he said.
The amount of time Jones and his staff save from not having to dig for data, shuffle through the numbers and manually input information has been a key benefit of the spreadsheet system.
But beyond improving access to information, the spreadsheets have also helped control unnecessary expenses.
The dealership recently canceled its subscription to vAuto and switched to a less expensive company, as Jones said he was able to create his own spreadsheet that mimics the information provided by the dealership management system. The switch is saving the store $1,500 a month, Jones said.
"I have to add an extra three to four minutes of data input for every used vehicle that we take in on trade, but for the amount of money that we're saving, it's absolutely worth it," he said.
Before implementing the spreadsheets, the dealership took a macro approach to analyzing its departments, asking big-picture questions such as, "How can we increase profits and decrease expenses?"
Now — through the use of spreadsheets and allowing employees to have more access to information — the dealership can focus in on key data and have more productive conversations.
"There's a lot more detail. It's amazing how when you start asking people more specific questions, you get better answers," Jones said. "Better answers, better results."