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New data technologies streamlining vehicle inventory management.

Optimizing Lot Management With Advanced Connected-Vehicle Data

Connected-vehicle data is enabling fleets and dealerships to harness the power of predictive analytics.

For many years, the vehicle fleet industry and auto dealerships have adjusted inventory expectations due to shifting supply-chain constraints and lot-management challenges. These constraints have impacted vehicle acquisition, parts sourcing and transport of new vehicles.

As fleet allocations will only continue to grow, fleets and auto retailers need to identify new solutions via advanced connected-vehicle data to maintain profits and customer expectations.

Fleets and Dealers Face Systemwide Challenges

As with any supply-chain issue, there is no single cause of the problem. The process of transporting vehicles is long and complex and has always depended on multiple parties, including vehicle manufacturers, fleet management companies, transport providers, drivers, customers, customer-drivers, service providers and rail transport, storage location and even the weather. It has many moving parts with uncertainty. For a process to work properly, all elements must work in sync. These problems can cause system-wide challenges.

There are many reasons why these challenges are growing. The well-known driver/skilled labor shortages impact both rail and truck. Transporters are struggling to find Over-the-Road drivers for multi-state moves or trips that are greater than 300 miles (483 km). Railroads also have the same type of shortage of skilled employees. What’s more, hiring new employees requires training specific to each industry. Lastly, the long lead times and delays of new-vehicle orders add uncertainty to the delivery timing, requiring additional follow-up and making scheduling difficult. In addition, staffing at many dealerships remains lower than pre-pandemic levels due to decreased dealer inventory and pre-selling of dealer vehicle orders.

New solutions today are helping to solve many of these challenges. These solutions are built around and are leveraging new data technologies that help reduce costs, improve customer experience and enhance efficiency as well as safety in inventory operations, leading to increased profitability.

Technology Driving Inventory Management Solutions

This starts with the goal of transforming fleet management and dealer operations by offering a seamless and hassle-free solution for inventory management without the need to install any additional hardware. Advanced technologies based on intuitive real-time data integrate with software platforms to receive real-time connected vehicle data from equipped and eligible vehicles to simplify lot management for accurate and remote inventory management, resulting in a contactless experience for fleet and auto retailers. Real-time location tracking capabilities can also streamline the test drive process, reducing waiting times and enhancing customer satisfaction.

Remote access dashboards allow contactless and remote inventory management, making it easier to locate vehicles and eliminate labor-intensive manual operations for tracking and maintenance. These solutions utilize real-time location tracking capabilities, allowing dealerships to establish geofencing parameters to strengthen inventory security and enable quick recovery of vehicles. Further, leading providers also enable vehicle digital keys to seamlessly integrate with the dealership’s authentication server, offering a direct interface with OEMs, to streamline the test drive experience.

Easy-to-Use Dashboards With Real-Time Data

Cross-OEM embedded vehicle information today is giving fleets and auto retailers access to smart insights in a single dashboard to monitor the inventory in real time, by tracking the location of vehicles, vehicle health parameters, streamlining test drives with digital keys and more; hence operating effectively and maximizing profits.

Another key distinguishing feature involves eliminating dependency on external hardware, such as OBD devices, and instead relying on embedded data streams received from within the vehicle in near-real time for highly accurate results and superior data quality.

Predicting customer demand for specific vehicle models is a critical aspect of inventory management for both fleets and auto dealerships. Connected-vehicle data is enabling fleets and dealerships to harness the power of predictive analytics. By analyzing these critical data sets in real time, fleets and dealerships can make informed decisions about vehicle inventory management. This proactive approach helps prevent overstocking or understocking issues, optimizing inventory levels to meet customer demand more effectively.

Kapil-Arora.jpgFrom real-time monitoring and predictive analytics to enhanced customer experiences, fleets and dealerships are leveraging advanced technology to address longstanding challenges in their lot management operations. As the vehicle fleet and automotive industry continue to embrace innovation, the synergy between advanced data analytics and inventory management will likely redefine the way fleets and dealerships operate, ensuring they stay competitive in an evolving market.

Kapil Arora (pictured, left) is the chief sales officer at CerebrumX, an AI-driven automotive data management company.


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