There’s no question: Times are tougher than ever for car dealerships. After all, you have a wide array of concerns to manage, including supply chain issues, labor shortages, and rising costs. This challenging environment means you must ring every ounce of efficiency out of your existing equipment, provide world-class customer service to differentiate yourself from the competition, and ensure you’re doing everything possible to keep expenses to a minimum.
One of the ways dealerships can reduce their costs and enhance their customer service is by using telematics equipment. Telematics can help car dealerships track inventory and provide better customer value.
What Is Telematics?
Telematics refers to the equipment you or your dealership can install in a vehicle. Data from that vehicle can be broadcast wirelessly to another source, enabling a centralized location to monitor the data. The potential usefulness of this data is virtually unlimited. At its most basic, telematic data can track a car’s location, ensuring that a central point — like a dealer — always knows where that car is. However, telematics can provide much more advanced features, including:
- Route optimization
- Theft protection
- Vehicle valuations
- Vehicle health information
The types of services your business ultimately uses depend on your fleet. Various firms provide telematics services, but only some — such as Zubie — provide an array of customized solutions that you can alter to fit your needs.
You can use telematics for many purposes, including business fleets and rental fleets. These functions can be highly powerful, enabling your business to track a large fleet. In addition, you can purchase a telematics package that fits your needs. As such, you can alter your telematics functions to ensure that you only pay for services that apply to your dealership.
How Can Telematics Help My Dealership?
Many car dealerships have found extensive value in using telematics services. At this point, most modern and full-service dealerships operate a rental or loaner program, enabling customers to temporarily use a car while their vehicle is in the shop. This reality — combined with the near-constant flow of test vehicles that customers drive — places a heavy onus on car dealerships to monitor how their rental vehicles or courtesy vehicles are being used. Regular monitoring ensures that cars are in good shape, that your financial assets are being protected, and that your customers are happy.
As such, telematics can help your car dealership in many ways, including:
- Tracking: Gives your dealership the ability to track a car by location. This information ensures you always know where your vehicles are and how far away they may be from your dealership. As such, your dealership can monitor your inventory and know how soon a specific car may be ready for the next customer. It also makes sure a customer sticks to the terms of any rental contract and doesn’t travel more miles than allowed or outside of a certain permitted area.
- Accuracy: Eliminates errors with miles driven and inaccuracies in fuel tank status.
- Custom Alerts: Creates customized alerts that can inform your dealership if there are vehicle health issues, if a driver is driving in an unsafe manner, or if there are any other location-related challenges to your car.
- Inventory Management: Provides a vast array of inventory management tools, including the status of a car, exact location, expected return, and more. At Zubie, our Asset Trak system provides this information and gives you a real-time view of the location of your fleet.
- Integrations: Integrates with other technological activities and fleet management software so you have all the latest information about your car.
Can Telematics Save My Dealership Money?
Telematics can save your dealership extensively. Major cost-savings are often tied to preventable problems.
Consider these scenarios:
- Imagine you have a car that needs an oil change, but due to an error in manually tracking the information, no one logs when the change must be made. Thanks to your automated system, you can determine when to make an oil change, saving you an expensive maintenance issue and a very angry customer.
- Many dealers will transition rental cars to a used car sale when the car in question reaches a certain mileage. You can create a custom alert that informs you when that car has hit that mileage threshold, allowing you to convert its use and also evaluate how much the car is worth.
In all these scenarios, the use of telematics either stopped a problem before it became too severe or ensured the overall safety and health of the driver and the vehicle. As such, telematics proved to be an ideal investment: A little bit of upfront spending resulted in major savings later down the line.
No doubt, telematics can differentiate your dealership from the competition. Looking for more information? Read our white paper on how to improve your revenue, or contact us today for a quote on how our state-of-the-art telematics service can help your dealership.