Two types of new car inventory management apply to a dealership, depending on its size and needs. A dealership may employ a manager who is responsible for the dealership's inventory. It may also purchase an electronic based inventory management program to help organize inventory, sales, photos and pricing.
A new-car inventory manager is responsible for ordering new vehicles based upon consumer demand and for overseeing vehicle inventory. He arranges dealer orders and buyer locates, or a purchase or vehicle trade with another new car dealer. Dealer vehicles are rarely owned outright, meaning the dealer's financing bank conducts audits to physically check the location of inventoried cars. The inventory manager is responsible for knowing where each vehicle is located. She keeps track of which cars are sold, pending delivery, transferred to another dealer, at another location, currently driven by a customer or used as a loaner or demo car.
Electronic Inventory Management Program
A dealer uses an inventory management system to manage its vehicle information quickly and efficiently. As employees enter a vehicle's identification number into a dealer’s system, the inventory program decodes it for easier reading. Information such as cost, vehicle options, days in inventory, suggested sales prices and other information are queried by the management system for easy reporting and management. Some inventory management companies also provide the dealership with the paperwork it needs, such as buyers guides, which are required by law. Dealer inventory management companies can also take pictures of vehicles to include in online advertisements.
Faster Inventory Reporting
Since the management system is able to decode vehicle identification numbers, or VINs, inventory is quickly and accurately reported. Rather than employees checking vehicles over for options, VIN decoders report vehicle information accurately. This limits also the number of errors in sales paperwork and advertisements. Dealer managers can also review and assess inventory information faster, allowing employees to gauge which vehicles aren't selling, how long each has been in stock, the correct features and colors of inventory and overall cost of dealer ownership. The programs are also able to figure competitive resale pricing based on other vehicle sales in the area.
Dealers can advertise quicker and more efficiently by using an inventory management system. Rather than upload vehicle information and photos individually to each website that the dealer uses to advertise, the inventory management system allows mass uploading to applicable websites. Once the advertisements are listed online, the dealer can obtain information about each vehicle, such as number of online views and customer inquiries. Dealer inventory systems pull information from the dealer’s computer database, allowing it to remove online advertisements once the cars are sold.
Shanan Miller covers automotive and insurance topics for various websites, blogs and dealerships. She has extensive automotive experience, including auction, insurance, finance, service and management positions. Miller has worked for dealer sales events around the United States and now stays local as a sales and leasing consultant for a dealership.