Fear and uncertainty are literally everywhere today. What is the impact of Coronavirus? What if there’s another recession? How do dealers sell with higher margins in this time of uncertainty?
So many conversations about why to be worried, but we want to offer a reason to be optimistic. In every time of change, comes a time of opportunity.
As the industry reflects on all the reasons to be worried, we want to remind dealers that there are new technologies, that are truly easy to adopt, that can make a material impact on your sales and margin. Here are three ways we think dealers can revamp their operations to improve service, processes and drive sales.
First, key tracking can literally save your business thousands of dollars per month and they don’t have to cost tens of thousands of dollars and lock you into a five-year deal. Key lockers have a lot of dealers locked up. Literally. They are actually a pretty neat idea. Just an old one. It’s like the old library loan system. You sign out your book (i.e. key) and then return it to the library (i.e. locker). It works great when the library users (i.e. salespeople) can be trusted to not lose the book and when the buyer of the book or the person who checked it out is willing to replace it if lost. Right? Well, how does that work in your dealership? Do you like paying hundreds, maybe thousands a month in lost key costs? How do your staff like getting stuck with that expense? And if the salesperson does get the bill for the lost key, have you ever thought of all the wasted hours they spent looking for that key instead of doing what you hired them for (prospecting, selling and customer service)? And for all the keys that are eventually found they may not even hit your radar as an issue. But ask yourself how many hours were wasted looking, how many times was a customer impacted as they had to unduly wait. Unfortunately, this is one of the biggest hidden costs at most dealerships today.
And regarding key lockers, quite frankly we believe the solution is failing you. It’s costly, it fails to record keys from time to time, and it cannot tell you where a key actually is when you need it. Sure, someone took it and will bring it back, but if you need that key right now or if the guy that checked it out “can’t find it” you are stuck.
The good news is that location data is now possible in key tracking. All you need is a TrueSpot tag to put on the keyring and you can find that key, it’s exact location, at any time. And, you can do this for literally a fraction of the cost of a key locker and the TrueSpot Real-Time Location Services (RTLS) can pay for itself as quickly as within a single month. You can still get a fancy key storage locker if you like, but you don’t need one that costs up to $60 grand.
Second, adding location data doesn’t have to stop with your keys. Although stopping key loss is a dreamy proposition, if you start tracking your cars (with a groovy and powerful dashboard) you start to find all sorts of ways to save time and money. For example, if you know where every car is in inventory, at every moment with pinpoint accuracy, how quickly does your next floorplan audit go? It won’t take the full day or all the staff time that’s for sure. What is usually a giant monthly hassle has all of the sudden become a simple game of look-up. And what about getting vehicle pictures online. What if your photographer could easily see which vehicles are ready for pics each day, then go directly to the key and car. No wasted time for them our your porters running wild to track everything down. Imagine the productivity savings when floorplan days are not lost sales days and th benefit of getting pictures online more quickly.
Also, if you know where all of the cars are at all times, what does that do for customer service? Expedites it. When you can find any car’s exact lot or off-lot location with a fast mobile app or desktop dashboard, customers who come in looking for that exact car they saw on your website (or Edmunds, or KBB, or Cars.com, etc.) you can pinpoint it and put them in it for a test drive in a manner of seconds. How many more cars do you sell, and not just via the internet sales team, when the time to test drive is cut by 80%? And yes, this service is also affordable. No expensive hardware. Just a tag and the TrueSpot dashboard. You’ve already got the computers, all you need is the TrueSpot RTLS service for cars and keys.
Third, with location data available on your cars and keys, recon becomes a geo-validated process. What? Yes, geo-validated. Meaning, your recon process can not only be mapped from step to step, but every single car in the process can be pinpoint mapped in that process. Wait, what? Imagine your recon process, laid out step by step, and a detailed report of each car, specifically, at each vendor location and the exact amount of available margin on that vehicle since it landed on your ledger. Yes, you can literally stop calling from shop to shop to find the car (you hope) and the key (you pray), the dashboard shows you who to call, how long the car has been there, and whether you need to expedite it to saver your profit. No other recon solution can geo-validate your recon process. Lots can map it, none can do what TrueSpot can.
You see, it’s not all doom and gloom. There are three ways you can let location data control loss, expedite processes, protect margin and provide for better, faster service. And, these solutions are ALL more cost-effective than any other solution on the market. It’s fast, it’s easy and, as we take a deep breath during the coronavirus slowdown, there has never been a better time to rip out bad solutions, and drop in the one solution that really saves time and money.
But hey, don’t just take our word for it. Check out these testimonials from real RTLS and TrueRecon customers. See what they have to say about what TrueSpot can do for the dealership model.
The number of cars or keys you have in inventory
The average cost of a key
Average holding costs, etc.