Technology is all around us, in our pockets, on our desks, even on our wrists. But the car industry has been slow on the uptake. Portable computing has been around for at least twenty years, yet it’s only in the last five we’ve seen the adoption of touchscreens in our vehicles.
Ever more our cars are mobile computing platforms, able to stream internet radio, tell us our diary, update themselves and run any number of apps available.
So now we find it’s the software that’s shaping the car industry, big players have been asleep at the wheel and are now being overtaken or undersold by their Original Equipment Manufacturers.
The likes of Google and Apple are seeing the automotive space as a new place to patent and sell their wares. Long ago it would have been down to an individual manufacturer to build and develop the on-board interfaces that drivers use, these days Google Android will be running the back end, under licence.
Equally the same thing can be said of dealerships, if your using paper and spreadsheets to keep your stock list updated…you’re in the dark ages.
The use of dealer appraisal software has also spiked in recent years. Dealership employees can never be totally clued up on every brand, trim and spec. You want to protect your profit margins and negate the inaccuracies in damage reports when used vehicles hit your forecourt.
As the world progresses to a software driven environment, numerous appraisal solutions have been developed to aid the pricing of used cars. Whether it’s app based, or desktop led these new systems give you detailed descriptions of vehicle condition in large searchable databases, they often have apps to use where there’s no Wi-Fi or cellular coverage and they obviously have the ability to capture pictures and video of damaged areas.
The same goes for dealer inventory, as we mentioned earlier so many companies still rely on paper based or static documents that simply list the car registration, make and model. All this does is increase workload elsewhere in the dealership.
Each car needs valuing, so the whole process of listing stock is carried out again, whereas if this data was simply fed into a used car appraisal software system you’d then be able to see current market prices, historic dealership data as well as having the vehicle appraised.
Over the long term it would help you acquire the right cars from the start, making sure you have the highest margin, best-selling models, while keeping an eye on growing market trends.
Software is king, and a powerful tool no matter what part of the car industry you’re in. Why spend hours of wasted sales time keeping stock lists updated in Excel, or checking the current market price week by week to see if you’re stock is still priced right?
There are tools out there to help, save time and increase profits, it’s worth re-evaluating your whole used car process as it could add hundreds thousands of dollars a year to your bottom line.