TIMONIUM, Md. — Information technology (IT) isn’t just a department to pay attention to when the computers aren’t working or there’s an issue with the servers at a dealership, or so Erik Nachbahr, president of Helion Automotive Technologies, aims to prove in his upcoming workshop at the 2016 NADA Conference and Expo in Las Vegas, Nev.

The workshop, titled “Five Technology Musts to Drive Sales and Service Revenue,” will cover how to leverage an existing IT infrastructure to increase productivity and gain a competitive advantage that will translate into greater profits.

“Most dealers view the IT network as a money pit, as something they have to spend money on and aren’t getting a whole lot in return,” Nachbahr said. “I would argue the exact opposite is true. Technology can actually be used to gain a competitive advantage and drive revenue in both sales and service. It’s just a matter of knowing which technologies are worthwhile, where it makes sense to spend money and where it doesn’t."

There has been a dramatic growth in the number of devices connected to the Internet and amount of business applications hosted in the cloud. In his workshop, Nachbahr will explain how this trend is increasing data requirements and affecting operational efficiencies.

The workshop will go over the types of Internet services available and which are best suited for certain business applications, the types of Wi-Fi networks that will work best with the number of devices at a dealership, collaboration tools that will improve communication at a dealership, the latest security recommendations that will keep a dealership safe, and how video technologies can save money in travel as well as improve the customer car-buying experience.

The workshop will be presented on Thursday, March 31, from 3:45 p.m. to 5 p.m. in room N115-117, and Saturday, April 2, from 10:15 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in room N261.