How Transparency and Technology Go Hand in Hand
From customer trade-in appraisals to inventory management, the message is clear: Transparency is good for everyone
The march to transparency is in full swing, particularly when it comes to wholesale operations, and that’s great news for dealers.
Today, technologies have evolved that facilitate transparency, enabling dealers to discover hidden profit areas in their business and win more retail deals at the curb. From customer trade-in appraisals to inventory management, the message is clear: Transparency is good for everyone.
Want to find out what new processes these technologies create, and how to capture the hidden profits they reveal? Here are three critical areas of your dealership that stand to reap big transparency benefits.
At the sales desk
Today’s consumers want trust, and one of the best ways to facilitate that trust is by putting a solid offer on a live trade. But as we all know, valuing live trades at the sales desk is where some of the biggest dollar mistakes occur.
Technology has made it possible, however, for dealers to receive rapid cash offers for a customer’s hot trade-in prospect. Dealers get the offer right on their smartphone from a network of expert wholesale buyers who understand market variances, demand, and other critical factors that determine what consumers will ultimately pay for that vehicle.
The results? For starters, dealers can now implement a consistent and transparent approach to the trade-in appraisal process, which has historically been anything but transparent. What’s more, dealers can “bank” a trade-in with the most aggressive valuation when they have real-time access to much more robust information than traditional valuation guides, which offer only one part of a much larger picture.
Finally, dealers can provide a satisfying customer experience while gaining trust—and earn potential long-term business—in the process. Consistency and clarity builds a dealer’s community.
In the used car department
With front-end margins getting slimmer, managing inventory turn time and the wholesale line of business is more important than ever. Time is money, and money comes from inventory.
From new ways of sourcing inventory to quickly moving and liquidating wholesale units, today’s technologies can help used car managers operate more effectively and better control their flow of cars. Market data and vehicle history tools can hold a prominent place on any dealer’s smartphone, and most of the major dealer auctions now have their own basic smartphone apps too.
Even more exciting technologies connect dealer inventories to other wholesaler buyers nationwide. Dealers can now process rapid inventory movement and liquidation through an easy click on their smartphone.
The same holds true for inventory sourcing. New solutions now give wholesale buyers the freedom to source inventory directly from other dealers, saving on otherwise costly auction and transport charges.
On the bottom line
Imagine following a vehicle through its dealership life cycle—from retail trade appraisal to wholesale liquidation—in real time, all the while knowing the price points associated with each touch point.
Now imagine the new profit line this can create at your dealership, simply by how it enables you to connect with this vehicle throughout its dealership life cycle. Technology has enabled this transparency to happen now, and arguably for the greater good of a dealership’s bottom line.
The bottom line is simply this: By implementing the technologies discussed in this article, dealers can close more retail deals, avoid costly appraisal guesswork, and avoid unnecessary inventory sourcing and disposition costs by delivering a consistent and transparent experience from vehicle appraisal to vehicle exit.
Consistency and transparency will set apart the next generation of successful dealers. Will you be one of them?
Jahon Jamali is director of marketing and communication at The Appraisal Lane, a real-time used car trade network and communications platform. For more information, please visit www.TheAppraisalLane.com or download The Appraisal Lane app from the App Store (iPhone/iPad) or Google Play (Android). For immediate inquiries about The Appraisal Lane, you can also contact Jahon via email, firstname.lastname@example.org.