We all know inventory tracking works well during the sales process. A customer comes up, the dealership’s salesperson talks to them about their wants and needs to help them figure out what kind of vehicle they want, and then he or she finds the vehicle. In the past, this would involve the customer walking out through the lot and getting confused or turned around. With inventory tracking, however, the salesperson runs to the exact spot to retrieve the vehicle.
Thanks to alerts, the salesperson knows when the vehicle is found, it will be fueled up and the battery ready for the test drive. This keeps the customer engaged and the sales process smooth.
But what are some of the other uses for inventory tracking? How can it help keep the operational processes of your dealership running smoothly?
Often inventory tracking solutions will have reporting features that show which vehicles need attention, such as low fuel or batteries. One of our customers has about 3,000 vehicles in stock and they can get about 10 or 20 vehicle reports a day. Inventory tracking is an easy way to correct problems in the vehicle before the test drive.
At some dealerships, there can be 600 or 700 recalls — even smaller lots can have upward of 50 vehicle recalls. When that happens, a sales associate has to go out and get a VIN number on each one. If a salesperson or service technician is looking for a specific car, it can take an enormous amount of staff time to find it. With inventory tracking, the runner can find the recalled cars immediately.
Many of the solutions now work with smartphones, allowing the sales associate to look up the specific vehicle desired at their desk or on the lot, and take the customer right to it. It makes the salesperson look more professional when they can go right to the location and find the vehicle.
Car audits take up valuable accounting time. Staff members have to go out and try to find vehicles that the auditor might have missed. In most cases, the auditor will make the dealership pay off a vehicle if it can’t be found in a certain amount of time. An audit that might take an entire day can be done in an hour. Trackers read the VIN and show the dealer the vehicle’s location, making it simple for auditors to know if something has been missed and where to find it.
A lot of the inventory tracking solutions offer exception reports that can be set to whatever amount of time the dealer wants. For instance, if a dealership hasn’t seen a vehicle in five days or more, an exceptions report will pop up and a runner can be sent to find the vehicle. Vehicle tracking is a great way to keep your flooring checks in good shape and, in the end, save the dealership a large amount of money.
While vehicle sales will always be the primary driver for tracking vehicles on your lot, other benefits can only enhance the process for your staff, lending partners and customers alike.