“Which is the best used vehicle management software?” This question emerges at some point in almost every 20 Group I moderate. The simple answer? “Whichever one your team will actually use.” Obviously, there are products that are better than others in certain areas. But, even the best employees with the best tools at their disposal do not capitalize on 100% of what a software has to offer. Does this mean you shouldn’t have a good used vehicle management tool?
If you don’t already use a UV management software, you’re missing out on one of the best asset management tools that modern technology has to offer. For example, take a trip to your local stock broker’s office and talk to them about their suite of analytical and purchasing tools. Ask them if they could do their job without these tools. They will probably say something along the lines of, “I wouldn’t be as effective without this technology.” Not unlike stocks, used vehicles are a market-based commodity, and you are the broker. Whether you’re starting to shop for the perfect software, or you’ve already implemented it, consider these tips to help your dealership succeed.
Back to the Basics
We all know that the zero-cost option in effective used vehicle management is proper daily control of your inventory. Easy, right? Wrong. There are three basic reasons why a used vehicle doesn’t sell—value, reconditioning, or planning. You need a daily management process in place that addresses each of these issues as your inventory ages, not when it ages. Each day, your UV manager should be looking at your inventory and asking one simple question: “Why has this vehicle not sold?”
Is the vehicle priced properly for the market? Value doesn’t always refer to price alone. If it is an old stock unit that your salespeople have become blind to, they won’t give it any more “love.” Then, what do you do? Put a big SPIFF on it and blow up your commission as a percent of gross. That’s a cycle that early intervention, with the aid of the correct software, will prevent.
Is the vehicle reconditioned to the customer’s level of expectation? If it’s a cheap “C car” or an “as-is,” it has a much lower level of expectation. If you have issues in this area, it’s an issue with salespeople over-promising, not a problem with the merchandise. All vehicles should be reconditioned and go through that process prior to hitting the lot. A properly utilized software ensures all vehicles follow the steps necessary to do so.
Are you stocking the right vehicles for your market? Commonly, a dealer will stock far too many high-dollar used vehicles and the vehicles they are actually selling will have a considerably lower average cost. If you have a disciplined daily management process in place, you have the potential to achieve 80% of your goal. However, with a properly implemented UV management software, you can move that needle from 80% to 100%.
Let’s assume that you have that daily management piece in place, but you want to get to the next level and decide you are going to invest in a good UV management tool to make it even better.
You must have a champion that will take complete ownership of the tool. This could be more difficult than you anticipate. This individual must understand the tool, believe in the tool, and engage the support of other managers in its usage. The person managing the software needs to be able to “make it walk and talk.”
If you have your software champion in place to take ownership of the tool, focus now on the vendor to supply the in-depth training and continued support your team will need to make the tool a success. If the vendor is not there for you, find someone else.
No matter where you are in the used vehicle management software implementation process, make sure you follow it through to completion. A properly applied tool is the best asset you can provide to your dealership and your team.