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How used car dealers can profit from tech tools

Used car dealer technology

Auto Trader i-Control

Auto Trader describes its i-Control software as a data intelligence solution that tracks live market movements, recommends what stock to buy, where to find it, how much to pay for it and how much to sell it for, while taking into account regional differences in desirability.

Taking daily guide prices from 4,500 dealer websites, half a million ads on the Auto Trader website and price data from many major auctions, fleet and lease companies and manufacturers, i-Control aims to provide accurate valuations in order to ensure that dealers’ stock is competitively priced.

A dashboard constantly tracks three vital metrics: desirability, which ranks vehicles on a five-star basis based on speed of sale, consumer demand and the competitiveness of the local market for that vehicle; a market turn figure, which indicates current supply and demand; and price position, which shows how close a chosen retail price is to the live market value of a car, based on competitors’ prices.

Auto Trader claims that i-Control improves stock turnover and that users took an average of just 31 days to sell a car in July this year, compared to a market average of 65 – 52% faster than those that don’t use the data management tool.


NextGear Capital StockMaster

Cox Automotive’s NextGear Capital stock funding arm offers dealers software to let them to view and fund the vehicles they’ve won at auction but haven’t yet been paid for.

The StockMaster platform has been designed to take advantage of the tech we use every day, giving dealers online access to their stocking plan, allowing them to see how much is still available, as well as their vehicles from those auctions with which NextGear Capital has digitally integrated.

This enables dealers to view and fund all pending stock in one place – and fund vehicles straight from their smartphone, tablet or desktop, any time of day or night.

StockMaster also provides dealers with a list of all vehicles they have have won at participating auctions in the last three days. Each entry shows which auction the vehicle was bought from, the total invoice and all necessary vehicle details.

In addition, dealers can see their Stocking Plan limit and available balance at a glance, via a simple fuel gauge-style graphic. They can also fund any pending auction purchases simply with one click.


GlassNet Radar

Using daily live updates of advertisements, GlassNet Radar has become a vital tool for many dealers all around the country, helping them to assess the best price at which to sell their used car stock.

GlassNet Radar uses 8.6m live retail pricing observations every year to help franchised dealers (and manufacturers) find out which dealerships are most effectively selling cars – and how much for. It also offers useful intelligence about pricing, the average time that different models take to sell, plus any local or regional differences.

The software has been up and running since 2012 and currently has around 4,000 users nationwide.

The constantly updated live data enables dealers to search for cars on sale to show prices and availability, with searches returning matches that can be filtered. Results will also show specific (past or current) adverts and dealers can also see how long dealers have had a vehicle and what price changes it has undergone.

In addition, dealers that are part of a network or with multiple sites can use the information to move a vehicle that isn’t selling to a site that has had greater success with similar cars.


Dealerweb React

Responding promptly to customer inquiries is crucial in the always-on modern world. Indeed, Dealerweb – a provider of showroom management systems – last year polled a thousand motorists about their expectations of the vehicle buying process and found that 49% of buyers expect a response from a dealer within an hour: 25% expect the dealer to respond in less than 30 minutes.

These responses have led the company to develop a software package that lets dealers respond quicker to online customer enquiries. React is a web-based system (also available as an iOS and Android app) that captures web leads from a variety of sources and enables sales staff to tailor HTML email responses via simple, step-by-step process. Specific content – such as file attachments and web links – can also be added, to further personalise the response to boost customer engagement.

React can integrate with Dealerweb’s Showroom lead management system or work as a standalone solution, and allows for real-time reporting and analysis, to enable managers to assess the value of different lead sources and individual sales staff.

James Hill, sales operations director at Dealerweb, said: “We’ve developed React to help dealers stand apart from their competition and make the most of the growing online opportunity.”


BCA DealerPro

Instant communication and information sharing are among the most crucial recent tech developments – and they’re functions that BCA is taking advantage of with its Dealer Pro package.

A cloud-based appraisal and valuation tool, Dealer Pro is an iPad-ready app. It helps dealers to manage the part-exchange process and share information in real time, with the aim of maximising profits throughout the process.

Guy Thomas, head of product development at BCA, said: “It’s important customers think and appreciate they are getting the best value for their car. There’s huge competition in pricing and customers are walking into dealerships far better armed than they ever have been, too.”

The app helps sales staff to appraise incoming part-exchange vehicles, creating a packet of data that can be shared within the dealership or group, and using the mobile device’s camera to instantly relay pictures back to the rest of the group. Once the car’s information is in the system, Dealer Pro generates condition-adjusted market values for the vehicle, allowing the sales team to relay accurate prices back to the customer.


Dragon2000

Dealer management systems are a vital tool to help maximise profits and creat efficiencies and synergies that are plain to see.

One such system is Dragon2000’s cloud-hosted DragonDMS, which is used by over 1,000 dealers nationwide. The major selling point is that the system provides a single point of data entry, enabling dealers to save time and run their operations more efficiently.

DragonDMS acts as a dealer’s stock book and also provides a tool that enables them to upload to their website and main advertisers. It also allows enquiries to be taken directly from a website and back into a CRM, while service bookings can be entered directly into the service calendar, avoiding the need to retype.

Dragon2000’s Mark Kelland told us: “It’s about being smarter with data. The one point of data entry gives the dealer back time, time to do the job in hand – contacting customers and selling the vehicles they’re stocking.”

Also, this solution can incorporate a tech scheduler to help workshops be more efficient, an appraisal app that can send video to prospective customers, and vehicle health check software that creates upselling opportunities.

CRAIG THOMAS



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