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When a customer shows up at your lot and asks to see a specific vehicle they saw online, it can be time-consuming for one of your employees to find that vehicle. If it’s not where you expected it to be or isn’t easily accessible, it can be embarrassing and frustrating for everyone involved. That lost time and revenue can be a drain on the bottom line.
Now imagine that with a few clicks on your phone you could see the location and status of any vehicle on your lot. Imagine that same customer walks into your dealership and asks to see a car she saw online. Anyone on your sales team can quickly locate the vehicle, check its status, confirm it’s ready for a test drive, and show it to the customer.
This isn’t a futuristic dream from The Jetsons. This technology is available today with an intelligent lot management solution.
What is Intelligent Lot Management?
Intelligent lot management uses sensors installed into each vehicle to gather and track useful data such as its location on a dealership lot, battery status, and other mechanical issues. Sensors use GPS, cellular, and Bluetooth technology and can be installed easily and quickly. Information from the sensors is available via an easy-to-navigate dashboard that can be accessed from a computer or mobile device. Logging in to the platform lets you find vehicles, generate reports, and reconcile vehicle inventory in minutes.
Top 3 Benefits of Intelligent Lot Management
Benefit 1: Increase Sales
As vehicle shortages have increased competition among dealers, the customer experience has become even more important to making sales and driving revenue. More and more customers begin their buying journey online, and they expect to see the same vehicles on the website and in person on your lot.
If your inventory doesn’t match, or if it takes too much time to find a specific vehicle a customer wants to see, the customer can become frustrated or begin to lose trust in your dealership. Time and trust are key to a great customer experience.
With intelligent lot management, you can increase sales simply by eliminating the wasted time that comes with traditional methods of searching for a vehicle on your lot. When you can quickly locate a vehicle, you speed up the sales process. Your customer’s experience is also better when you have data at your fingertips to tell you whether the vehicle they want is ready for a test drive.
More importantly, when your sales reps no longer have to physically search the lot for a specific vehicle, they have more time to talk with customers. Dealers with intelligent lot management systems have reported a 1% increase in revenue due to improved customer experience and a 0.5% increase in annual revenue by reducing the time to sale.
For used vehicles, intelligent lot management gives you greater visibility into the process of cleaning and repairing vehicles. When you can fix any bottlenecks in that process, you can shorten the sales cycle, improving revenue.
Benefit 2: Cut Costs
Every business owner knows that inefficiencies are a drain on the bottom line. Bottlenecks in the vehicle intake or repair process and holding on to inventory, for example, can be big expenses.
Intelligent lot management gives dealers more data and greater insight into workflows, so you can see any bottlenecks and take proactive steps to correct them. This enables you to reduce costs and better manage your resources. It’s no wonder why dealers with intelligent lot management have reported a 10% reduction in expenses related to “holding” inventory on hand.
Intelligent lot management also allows you to get alerts if a vehicle moves where it shouldn’t, and you can act more quickly to recover a stolen vehicle. Dealers have reported a 5% reduction in expenses related to liability and theft.
Benefit 3: Drive Operational Efficiency
Time really is money, and the biggest benefit of intelligent lot management is that it can give dealers an 80% reduction in time spent on vehicle tracking and retrieval. Dealers also report a 70% reduction in the time spent on inventory audits and reconciliations.
Intelligent lot management also gives you more data about your vehicles and the workflows on your lot, enabling you to use that additional information to save time and streamline operations to make your entire lot more efficient. You can track vehicles by zone to see how much time is spent in each zone. Historical reports can show where improvements have been made or where changes might be needed.
Automotive dealerships have always been a competitive industry, and that competition has only grown in the past few years due to new vehicle shortages, supply change problems, and increased demand for used vehicles. IoT technology and intelligent lot management solutions are giving the dealers that have implemented them an edge by putting more data at their fingertips. Dealers that can make the vehicle buying process smoother and faster for customers will continue to see revenue gains, and those who rely on old-fashioned shoe leather will undoubtedly continue to fall behind.
If you want to learn more about the benefits of intelligent lot management, download this white paper by Hobson and Company on the business case for a vehicle tracking and inventory management platform.