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Derrick Woolfson

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Inventory Management Starts With Your DMS

No one ever said it was easy to manage your dealership's inventory - everything from the floorplan, selection, cost, recon for pre-owned, to managing your days to market supply. All of those facets of managing your dealership's inventory are critical components. However, this all starts with the inventory being entered into the DMS. With the notion that the DMS is the heartbeat of the dealership; having the correct information regarding the vehicle is essential, not to mention ensuring that it is marked correctly to be listed on the site. 

Here Are The Top Things to Consider When Managing Your Dealers Inventory! 

Who Enters the Inventory into the DMS? This is Arguably One of the Most Critical Steps in the Process. 

While there are so many tools out there to manage your inventory, having to go back to edit a unit can be a hassle. That said, whoever is entering the inventory into the DMS has to ensure that the information is correct; everything from the year, make, model, color, trim level, mileage, etc. All of which is then sent over to your inventory management tool. And while the inventory management tools in many cases will decode the VIN for you, the trim level information is not always correct. Hence why it is so important to make sure that all features are entered into the CRM. The next step(s) regarding this process is to ensure that the fields you have entered the information into in the DMS are mapped correctly in your management tool. In doing so, it can save you a lot of time and hassle. 

Do You Have Accurate Vehicle Descriptions On All of Your Vehicles - Especially Pre-Owned? 

Sure, the vendor you are using might provide you with canned, generic responses to place on your VDP. But in all reality, do those canned descriptions truly describe the car you are trying to sell? Take a minute, or two and write descriptions for those pre-owned units that not just fit the car you are selling, but ones that will sell the features on the car! For example, if the vehicle you are selling has a unique feature than be sure to mention that in the description. Or another example would be if the car is a special trim level. This can and will clear up any confusion for the customer who is looking at the car online but is unsure as to what features actually come in the car! And I am sure you have at one point or another received a phone call from a customer who is inquiring on that vehicle, confirming if it comes with the features listed from the VIN decoder. 

We Are All Playing the Pricing Game. Forget the Game, Use A Strategy. 

Most of today's inventory tools provide you reporting with regards to your average days to market supply. That report can be beneficial when it comes to pricing your vehicles, especially when it comes to pre-owned. If you know you have a vehicle that is a saturated model - with a high level of days to market supply - take the time to make yours stand out! That starts with the above regarding the description of the vehicle. Think about it, if you are searching for a car and notice that the one down the road is less expensive, but does not explain the features or has decent photos - aren't you still going to call the dealership that does, in fact, provide the features, and has good images? Most likely. This is not to say by any means that you will sell it for the price you are hoping for, but what it does do is build value in your vehicle - setting you apart from the competition. 

The Bottom Line: even if you tackle one of the three items above, it can have a positive impact on your bottom line. Knowing that for every day that unit sits on the ground, unsold, it potentially costs your dealer thousands of dollars. Dollars that have to hit that bottom line with profit margins thinning. 

Do You Have Your Pre-Owned Sales Manager Write Custom Vehicle Descriptions? If Not, Do You Edit Your Inventory Tools Canned Descriptions? 

John Finucane

Clean DMS data is the 1st & critical step in time savings for everyone involved at the dealership with inventory management including outside vendors, not sure I've ever seen a dealer write descriptions in the DMS because typically it's an accountant putting in the information but that'd be pretty awesome. Great article! Thanks for sharing!

John Finucane - CarData, Inc. | @cardataus on IG |

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