Over the past ten years, the automotive industry has been undergoing a sea change brought on by technology, giving us the power to buy and sell everything from automotive parts to entire vehicles via the Internet. Online auctions, in particular, have revolutionized the way dealers and consignors interact with each other and changed the way they do business. By incorporating added convenience and access to wider inventory nationwide, online auctions also make the buying process more efficient and cost effective by eliminating all the costs of traveling and time spent away from the dealership.
Although using an online auction to procure inventory is beneficial to any dealership, one of the most important services online auctions can offer is transportation. Even if you can point and click your way to buying a car within a few minutes, there is still the question of how to get it to your lot.
The industry agrees that an efficient transportation system is crucial to the viability of an online auction. According to an August 2008 whitepaper by the Boston Consulting Group, transportation is ranked second only to speed of payment in importance to both dealers and consignors when considering an online purchase. Having a solid transportation network in place is crucial for easing the transaction process and building dealer confidence in transacting online.
With new advances in technology occurring daily, the best online auctions now enable dealers to manage the entire vehicle transport route from one lot to another. These new technologies are making the entire process seamless and shaving days off the delivery cycle, especially for cross country hauls. Good transport shouldn’t stop at being faster and more efficient either. Given everything dealers need to worry about these days, transportation doesn’t need to be a headache anymore.
The beauty of bringing transport networks online means that the whole process, from sale to delivery, can be streamlined and more easily managed. Not only is there no more paperwork, but time is saved when your transportation solution is handled in one central location, along with floor planning, damage disputes, and any vehicle arbitration that may be necessary if your vehicles are damaged somehow on the way to your lot.
In today’s economy, the need to streamline is more important than ever. By incorporating an online auction strategy into your dealership and taking advantage of its many benefits like transport technology, the cost and time savings you’ll realize as a result are priceless.
Michael Briggs is vice president of transportation services at OPENLANE and is responsible for all transport functions at OPENLANE and its CarsArrive Network subsidiary. For more information, visit www.openlane.com.
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