Recently, we spoke to a number of large dealer groups about their common pain points around vehicle data feeds. One of them put it perfectly when he said, “Inventory management and data feeds is the achilles heel of the industry”.
For many dealers, the process of managing data, descriptions and images is still a largely manual process. Vehicle data feeds come in from a variety of different sources. And it’s difficult to keep track of them all, alongside the many other systems already in use, from your DMS to your web stock system and advertising partners.
Dealers know they need a solution. But they don’t want to have to develop yet another system to house to manage data feeds in an automated, more efficient way.
The good news is that evolving technology is giving rise to new, easy, automated solutions for data feeds.
An ‘Application Programming Interface’ (usually abbreviated to API) is a cloud based connection between systems.
An API is a bit like a two way connector that allows unrelated systems to talk to each other. This makes it possible for you to integrate your existing systems with any third party system.
For example, let’s say you want to accept an external vehicle data feed into your data warehouse. You don’t want to build a custom data warehouse to store the external data feed. Also, you don’t want to introduce another system for your data manager to have to use.
So, instead you can simply create an API to serve you the external data as and when you need it. This means you don’t need any storage or complex development.
How will this improve data feeds?
API integration is set to revolutionise the process of accepting external data into your data warehouse. Instead of having to use spreadsheets and save large data files to your computer, the API transports any data (e.g. descriptions, images, CAP valuations, HPI data) from the external source, directly into your data repository.
You can set rules for acceptance. For instance, any images that are poor quality will be rejected automatically, so they won’t be added to your data warehouse.
This means, you’ll get the most accurate, up-to-date data automatically imported into your existing systems, and you won’t have to go through each data record manually to decide whether to accept or reject it.
The biggest saving? Your time.
Save time, sell more stock
How much time do you spend managing manual data feeds and assessing data quality? Do you use your existing staff to do this, or have you employed someone in-house to deal with this process?
Imagine how much time and money you’d save if you didn’t need to do this?
The new dawn for data feeds means that the technology will do all the hard work so you don’t have to. We anticipate that API integration for data feeds will save dealers countless hours and pounds. It means sales staff can get back to where they belong; the forecourt.
You won’t need to pay a data manager to spend hours tracking down data and inventory by phoning around, emailing and performing physical searches. Instead, you can accept data from any external source and plug it directly into your warehouse.
Speed to market
With a smooth, automated approach to external data feeds, you’ll be able to prep stock for sale and get it to market quickly. We know that data and inventory management is a major headache for dealers, especially large groups who operate across multiple locations and franchises.
So, the good news is that technology is unlocking opportunities to improve data feeds, inventory management and sales operations too.
Recently, we talked about how we’re automating inventory management in our blog, you can read about it here.
ViHub is a brand new, groundbreaking solution that will simplify, automate and optimise your digital sales operations. From managing inventory to automating data feeds and helping you get stock to market quicker, we’re using experience and technology to lead the way in automotive digital transformation.
ViHub is currently in development with pre-orders from some large dealer groups and OEMs. We’re working closely with dealers to ensure ViHub will solve their problems and simplify their processes.