The auto industry is still in dire need of more vehicle inventory. While automakers have ramped up production, supply-chain disruptions from the COVID-19 global pandemic — such as mandated closures, limited hours or staffing limitations — are still creating obstacles for dealers looking to fill their lots. New vehicles, in particular, are extremely limited, which is why the used car market has seen such a rise in sales and productivity. Dealers, in turn, are now seeking out and investing in more used-vehicle inventory, helping them to fill their lots with enough offerings for their customers.
But as these dealers work to acquire high-quality used-vehicle inventory, questions around where dealers can find the best-possible used inventory, how they can best transport inventory to their locations and how they can prioritize efficiency and speed to market, as they move these vehicles to their lots.
There are three key ways dealers can go about acquiring more inventory, while also achieving speed, efficiency and overall value.
1. Reliable Vehicle-Transport Providers that Prioritize Your Speed to Market
There’s no doubt that many in the auto industry continue to face challenges amid the reality of COVID-19, but there are some companies, like auction sites, that have fared particularly well. Because these locations are able to fill their inventory with vehicles rapidly, and then quickly turn over those vehicles, they can be a great source of used-car inventory for dealers. But for dealers to be able to purchase such vehicles and then transport them to their respective lots, they need a flexible, reliable and fast option for transporting their new assets.
Fortunately, dealers can gain such flexibility, reliability and speed on their vehicle deliveries when they partner with a trusted vehicle-transport company, gaining access to wide geographic coverage, the ability to transport a vehicle from any location to any location and a streamlined working partnership that grants them quick response times, a dedicated point of contact and readily available carriers.
Additionally, many transport providers also allow the dealer to tap into other service options, as well, helping to further simplify and streamline the process. Services like storage, vehicle home delivery and care and maintenance can ultimately benefit the dealer, allowing them to take advantage of these services and ensure vehicles are road-ready before they’re ever delivered.
Such a dealer-transport provider partnership gives the dealer quite a bit of leverage over their own business decisions and their unique supply chain, as they’re able to tap into a wider carrier network with more availability, flexibility and overall speed.
2. Opportunities to Bundle Vehicle Deliveries
When it comes to sending out items for delivery to regular customers — whether those items be electronics, furniture, clothing or anything else — companies will often choose to bundle those items, knowing that it results in fewer delays, fewer costs and more efficiencies. This same idea is true when it comes to vehicles and those who are transporting them to dealers’ lots — bundling leads to increased speed and efficiency, as well as fewer associated costs. Multiple vehicles can be delivered on a single truck, filling them up more rapidly and leading to less waiting time, faster turnaround times on deliveries and less expenses stemming from the use of another carrier and truck. Such bundling ultimately results in a higher overall value for the dealer and, oftentimes, a better speed to the end customer.
Additionally, many providers are also technology-enabled, where they can deliver accurate and real-time vehicle tracking to all their dealership customers. Tracking like this not only provides real-time data and visibility on all assets, but it also gives dealers the ability to access this information and make well-informed business decisions.
3. Scalable Capacity to Match a Dealer’s Business Needs
A dealer’s needs won’t always be the same, and it must make business changes accordingly. Because business flexibility is crucial for dealers, especially amid ongoing impacts from the coronavirus, any outside transport provider they work with must have a capacity that can scale with the dealer’s business needs. Dealers want to know they can ramp up or ramp down incoming inventory as necessary, with the room to make last-minute inventory decisions, cancel or modify transport orders whenever they need to do so. To accommodate these fluctuations in a dealer’s business, an outside provider must have the availability and the overall ability to scale to meet its dealer partner’s expectations.
As dealers work to acquire more used-car inventory from even farther distances, and as they look to add even more flexibility to their individual auto supply chains, many of them are partnering with third-party providers that can meet these demands. A flexible and fully scalable vehicle-transport provider can deliver a wide carrier capacity and the ability to accommodate changing demands, regardless of where vehicles are coming from or where they’re headed. Even better are providers that have a network with smaller carriers, able to carry just a few cars at a time, or pick up one-off or last-minute transport requests. Such small carriers offer up even more efficiency, flexibility and performance value to the dealer.
Ideally, a single logistics provider can access a large network of carriers with a wide variety of coverage options and capacity levels. With such a network, that provider can eliminate any unnecessary delays due to lack of capacity and ensure the dealers it works with benefit from fast, efficient and performance value-driven vehicle deliveries.