Reevaluating Your Vehicle Transportation Solutions
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Reevaluating Your Vehicle Transportation Solutions

There is no better time for vehicle manufacturers and car dealerships to reevaluate their vehicle transportation solutions.

Despite the global computer chip shortage, the automotive industry continues to produce quality vehicles and sell units to eager customers. The National Automobile Dealers Association reports that based on Q1 data, their forecast for new light-vehicle sales increased to 16.3 million units, up from 15.5 units. This would result in a 12.7% increase compared to 2020 sales and is a strong figure to represent the industry beginning to move past the COVID Pandemic.

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With the ongoing pandemic and most recent Delta COVID variant surging throughout the country, there is no better time for vehicle manufacturers and car dealerships to reevaluate their vehicle transportation solutions. One crucial component to moving inventory quickly and efficiently starts with finding digital solutions that include automation and optimization. 

Vehicle Transporters Need Digital Solutions

With an ever-changing automotive landscape, dealerships have had to pivot and get creative with the current state of the market and the industry. Adapting to consumer trends, which are changing rapidly, is the biggest challenge facing dealerships today. The consumers looking to purchase new or used vehicles have started to do so from the comfort and safety of their own homes. Where there may have been a generational gap in the adoption and acceptance of online purchases, COVID-19 almost forced the older Gen Xers and baby boomers to adapt to this new normal. 

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The coronavirus is not the only reason consumers are more apt to purchasing vehicles online or from their smartphones. Consumer confidence in purchasing vehicles online is typically a direct result of having a great build-and-price experience. Making the visit to the website easy on the consumer, yet informative, is crucial. From running a cost comparison to looking at reviews to exploring various vehicle specs, the more control the consumer has over the end-to-end experience, the more likely a purchase will occur. Empowering consumers with the tools and resources they need to make a decision on their own, without the added pressure of physically being on a lot, has given a boost to this new purchasing behavior.

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A good strategy for this comes from MIT professor Yossi Sheffi, Ph. D., who is also the university’s Center for Transportation and Logistics director. Speaking to Logistics Management, Sheffi said, “Don’t think in terms of what IoT, robotics, blockchain or automated tracking can do for you; think in terms of the problems first, and then look at the technologies themselves.” This means that you should work to fit new solutions into your existing procedures rather than starting from scratch.

Better Technology is Essential for Better Business

With the Covid pandemic has come a litany of evolutions and modernizations in industry-level tech. As technology became more and more essential to doing business, it opened up ways to optimize deliveries, maximize efficiency and keep information easily organized. 

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Ideally, car dealerships should look for a vehicle transportation provider who understands the power of technology and how to find gaps and pain points. No matter the current market conditions, a solid tech-enabled vehicle transportation provider will be able to alleviate immediate needs.  

RPM specializes in concierge door-to-door service and vehicle transportation for our customers. We help manufacturers and dealers sell more cars by providing them with a free transportation-quoting button for their websites, giving potential buyers a seamless experience and the costs to ship vehicles directly to their homes. 

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Evaluating the Right Partner

In evaluating a potential partner for your dealership, you should look for ones who make shipping easier and even provide you with access to their tools so you can integrate them into your workflow seamlessly. This means you should look for someone with an open EDI or API that will provide you with statistical information about your shipments, which will make it easier to track your efficiency. This can also include handy features like automatic shipment creation to require less work from you.

These technical solutions reach beyond the office as well, as connected vehicles can provide you with a constant stream of reliable information through desktop and mobile applications. This means that you can get visibility of your carrier and their equipment on the go. You can even conduct business while out of the office through automated order and payment processing.  

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Carriers and sales representatives should also be able to utilize predictive modeling solutions to maximize freight loads capacity, which will help decrease the cost and time required for shipments. 

When looking at a list of services, these are ones you might want to keep your eye out for:

  • Shareable shipment links to allow an entire team to manage shipments
  • Analytical reporting for easy, company-wide review
  • Real-time GPS tracking for sales representatives to relay up-to-the-minute information to clients
  • Centralized management for ease of access and collaboration
  • Operational efficiency to save you time and money

These are some robust features that help simplify business and provide you with ease of use without bringing unneeded volatility or instability. Without these features, you might find yourself relying on old, frustrating tools that slow you down or make you work harder. 

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Carrier Experience Matters

While not always visible from the outside, the carrier network is one of the most important parts of any shipping operation. Your partner of choice should have qualified, insured and reliable carriers, and there are some important key points to keep an eye out for when evaluating a potential shipper. 

This is where taking time to do your research is truly critical, as looking at just one network won’t always give you a solid idea of how good it actually is. Take the time to compare several, and set benchmarks of how well you feel each one compares, then consider that ranking when making your final decision. 

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You should never feel rushed by sales representatives or overly-earnest partners, so be sure to keep a kind state of mind, and only make a decision when you feel satisfied. 

Conclusion

There are many vehicle transportation solutions for dealerships out there, and doing your research is a critical part of finding the right one for you. It’s important to remember that technology is a tool, not a solution. A tech-enabled vehicle transportation provider like RPM will not only be able to leverage an experienced carrier network, they will be able to find the gaps and supply chain inefficiencies that need to be solved, thus helping dealers sell more cars, move more inventory and find better solutions, even in a pandemic.

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