Monitoring inventory to boost speed to market and reduce days in stock

Alleviate the pressures in a challenging market

As dealers grapple with difficult used car trading conditions, the pressure can be relieved with an effective inventory strategy which increases speed to market and reduces days in stock.

It sounds simple but complete oversight of stock inventory on a dealership level, let alone for a group, in real time is practically impossible for most dealers. At a cost of around £70 per day for a vehicle in group stock together with holdups in the prep process such as waiting for a part, could mean a vehicle is in stock for 20 days before its even marketed, that’s a hefty chunk of money which could be potentially recouped. 

Understanding a vehicle’s current status – awaiting a part, awaiting images or being in transit enables problems to be pinpointed and solved with immediacy.

“It’s all very well analysing reports at the end of the month,” Autofinity CEO Andy Whitehair said. “But having that level of detail in real time keeps the pipeline of vehicles flowing.”

Once a vehicle is on the virtual and physical forecourt, access to real time information that affects enquiry levels including pricing, images and description is vital. The ability to make amendments such as pricing in line with Auto Trader’s desirability scale or uploading additional images in one place with automated feeds to all online marketplaces saves time and ensures consistency.

“Our customers tell us the market changed in Q323 and has continued into Q124 will be impacted dramatically. It has become increasingly difficult to sell used cars and dealers are having to work much harder. 

“There is undoubtedly more pressure on dealers and as such, they need a thorough focus on stock turn. If, as is generally accepted, a car in stock costs around £70 per day – taking into consideration, stocking cost, loans to buy, depreciation and marketing costs, stock turn becomes more important in a challenging market.

“Dealers have numerous intelligence tools and even the DMS can tell them how long a vehicle has been in stock but there is nothing I know of which can provide information on a granular level which empowers action for immediate impact. There is no real-time insight into how a vehicle is performing in the market and to identify changes for improvement.”

Autofinity’s ViHUB platform collates all the disparate information contained in segregated dealership systems to create one rich data source which in turn feeds integrated online marketplaces. It also highlights issues which reduces its desirability to potential buyers such as images or price. Combined with its ViPREP module, dealers can also keep track of a vehicle’s status the moment it comes into group stock identifying any issues in the prep process for quick resolution.

“Most dealer groups have access to information on days in stock but it doesn’t flag the cause of the problem. A dealer will know the average days in stock will be 42 but will be unaware that half the vehicles spend 20 days in stock and the other half 60 days. 

“Likewise, stock turn information is usually only provided at group level rather than dealership. There is also no sight of factors affecting stock turn. There could be issues surrounding delivery, prep or parts which could easily account for several days of the vehicle in group stock before it is pushed live to online channels.

“If a car has been uploaded and the dealership hasn’t received a serious enquiry for 30 days, clearly something is amiss. But, also, the market would have changed which means dealers may need to reprice to generate interest.”

Granular detail in one place where adjustments can be made and automatically uploaded to all channels is a gamechanger. However, Autofinity is continuing to upgrade its systems. ViHUB is currently undergoing a revamp with stock turn and days in stock information for each vehicle shown on the dashboard making it much easier to identify and fix a problem. Its Auto Trader Connect integration will also make comparing a vehicle’s price with the classified’s desirability scale much easier before and after a car has been pushed live without the need to navigate between platforms.

Autofinity’s vision is to create a system that enables all insights to be actioned from its dashboard with automatic uploads so dealers can easily see not just days in stock and any problems holding up a car’s journey to market but the vehicle’s cost to the business.

Share This

Copy Link to Clipboard