It’s no secret that 2020 left us all feeling vulnerable. From the coronavirus bringing business as usual to a halt, to the nail-biting fluctuations in the stock market and – as it relates to the business at hand here – carjacking rates have continued to climb.
Every news headline sparked unease, reminding us of one more thing that was out of our control. Business owners felt the brunt of it, as safety regulations changed weekly and supply and demand became a moving target.
Beyond the changes happening on a global scale, the car dealership industry was hit with a suddenly universal struggle: how to operate a profitable business with a reduced and/or socially distanced staff.
The outdated processes of many dealerships began to feel the strain of unprecedented work conditions and heightened security risks. Between the need for merchandise visibility in a socially distanced workforce and increased security as carjacking spiked across the country, dealerships were looking for ways to take back more control.
With the industry changing with no notice, dealers had one place to turn: technology. 2020 led many to not just embrace new ways of doing business within the dealership, but also rethink lot management and security by introducing IoT technology.
By providing lot visibility, accessible security and even additional revenue streams, dealerships could control the little things through IoT technology and automation and could go on to solve many of the age-old problems facing so many dealerships.
The current process of manual check-ins and paper records may be tried and true, but as demand accelerates and circumstances change, sifting through information in paper records is counterproductive, time-consuming and leaves substantial room for human error.
A streamlined system for collecting and processing vehicle data, vehicle whereabouts and dealer access is a critical element to cutting costs, securing safety and empowering both the dealers and the drivers.
IoT companies are working closely with industry leaders to develop solutions that address many of the industries’ concerns. For example, RecovR, a two-in-one lot management and theft recovery solution, uses IoT technology to enable car dealerships to manage their lots more efficiently, improve the sales process and create a new revenue stream while providing consumers with the most advanced and reliable theft recovery solution on the market.
By rethinking the traditional approach to incorporating technology into their business through theft recovery products, dealerships can track their vehicles in real-time through mobile apps and software that will immediately notify users if theft occurs.
By incorporating lot management technologies, dealers can achieve operational efficiency, streamline workflows and enhance customer experience.
Moreover, increased visibility brings the ability to search/filter maps to locate cars, equipping salespeople with visibility to minimize frustration in finding cars and better serve customers.
WardsAuto’s 2021 Consumer Car Theft Survey reveals 53% of new-car buyers are concerned about auto theft – a number that continues to climb as a result of COVID-19. This, combined with the trusted security solution LoJack announcing its closing, has left car owners unsure of where to turn.
The report says nearly half of customers are unaware of available theft recovery solutions, leaving it to the dealers to educate them on the options available and steer them toward the best solutions.
This also allows dealers to capitalize on revenue that can be generated when they are able to provide their customers with a trusted security device, and with some of the products coming free to dealers, they can provide peace of mind without hurting the bottom line.
As dealers have the responsibility to educate and provide their customers with the best security options on the market, they have the chance to rethink security technology through a mutually beneficial lens.
By equipping customers with a product such as RecovR, they receive more than a security device and have access to key data at their fingertips, serving as a real-time locator that ingests multiple sources of data to build cases across regions and against repeat offenders, ensuring safety for the customer and the community.
As dealerships seek to optimize their operations and send their customers driving off the lot with peace of mind, they must dare to rethink the integration of IoT technology into the modern dealership business in order to keep up.
By enabling effortless adoption and creating a disruptive new business model that generates profitability without upfront costs, RecovR helps dealers do just that.
Patrick Hauert is vice president-product management at RecovR.