The automotive industry is undergoing significant changes and advancements as it continues to transition towards electric vehicles. Consumer trends are constantly changing, automotive technology is rapidly improving, and vehicle pricing fluctuates daily. These variables—and many others—can cause your automotive inventory management system to become out-of-date faster than ever before. What’s more, nearly 46 percent of small businesses don’t have a system in place to track their inventory.
An out-of-date management system can cost dealerships money by leaving vehicles on the lot for too long while they depreciate in value and require maintenance that can go unnoticed. Conversely, an up-to-date system can help identify sales trends and stock your lot accordingly, while assisting with customer loyalty after the sale is made. Now more than ever, keeping an up-to-date inventory management system is a vital part of running a successful dealership.
Time is Money
A vehicle depreciates in value with every day it spends on a dealer’s lot. A best practice is if a used vehicle (the majority of inventory right now) isn’t sold within 45 days it will be wholesaled, leaving a relatively small window to get it sold for maximum value. An automotive management system puts a strong emphasis on aged inventory and creates goals to help make sure vehicles are sold before they are sent to wholesale. Automotive inventory management also helps track the new and used value of vehicles on the market, helping prevent dealerships from overstocking and overpaying.
An up-to-date automotive management system has benefits beyond aged inventory assistance. As trends constantly change among buyers, a dealership must adjust the vehicles it has to reflect the current market. An up-to-date system not only helps you identify these developments with your recent sales trends but can allow you to source the correct mix of vehicles. This prevents limiting a customer’s options due to a lack of variety or letting an undesirable vehicle sit on the lot for too long.
There are several different variables that a buyer considers when purchasing a vehicle, including size, price, brand, styling, and more. Inventory management can help isolate each of these variables while finding trends within them, and assist in creating and maintaining vehicles with optimal value to the customer. Plus, a system can sync together the inventories of several different lots to create a more comprehensive and valuable database for the dealer. An all-in-one system maximizes profit by ensuring the best-performing vehicles are always in stock and in the location where they can be most successful.
Nailing the Test Drive
On average, a consumer spends 10 hours researching their ideal vehicle before physically visiting the dealership. This means it’s crucial to nail every aspect of the test drive when the consumer finally visits your lot. Nothing kills a customer’s enthusiasm and trust faster than when their prospective car is not immediately ready for a test drive due to issues like dead batteries or low fuel. An up-to-date management system has several features that help ensure the test drive is a smooth and enjoyable experience. This system tracks elements of the vehicle like its battery life and fuel level, ensuring it’s always healthy and ready for a test drive.
Additionally, many consumers today are visiting dealerships already knowing which car on the lot they want to test drive. A management system not only helps manage these online inventories but can also tell a salesperson where exactly the car is on the lot. This seamless transition between the digital and physical environment creates an excellent customer experience.
Keeping the Relationship Alive
A buyer typically spends 15 hours in the purchase process of a new vehicle, and 50 hours servicing it throughout ownership. However, that service typically takes place outside of the dealership, resulting in thousands of dollars in missed revenue from maintenance and services. An automotive management system combined with vehicle health monitoring can nurture customer loyalty with ongoing maintenance notifications that tell a car owner when it is time for service. The customer can then directly book an appointment with their dealership using a service such as CarRx.
Other features automotive management systems offer, such as theft protection and GPS tracking technology, provide peace of mind for the consumer throughout their ownership of the vehicle.
Getting the Most Out of Your Automotive Inventory Management
An automotive inventory management system can be an extremely valuable and worthwhile investment that can help your dealership maximize profits. But keeping your system up-to-date is necessary to achieve those desired results. Taking regular inventory analysis and streamlining communication among all dealership departments are both vital for keeping an up-to-date automotive inventory management system and getting the most out of this sophisticated tool.
Elo GPS enables dealers to track inventory, manage loaner inventory, prevent loss due to stolen vehicles, reduce cost, increase staff efficiency, and increase customer satisfaction through smarter lot management. For more information on how to create the ultimate digital to physical car buying experience and the many benefits of an automotive management system, or to try It out yourself, contact our team today.