Dealers have to expand their horizon to find the “right” cars to feed their inventories. This means visiting a greater number of auctions and reviewing a larger number of vehicles to find the cars that fit their local market.

Because of the finite number of hours in a day and the distance between physical auctions, many acquisition managers are struggling to keep up.  The time on the road is impacting their home lives and the pending work load waiting for them back at the dealership.

 

Dealers Buying Online“In today’s environment, it’s not uncommon for…. dealers to buy 70% of their wholesale vehicle acquisitions from online auctions.” –vAuto.com

It has become obvious that dealers who rely on physical auctions are being left behind. Why?

Because driving from auction to auction is not a high return activity.

Some buyers will spend 16 hours a week driving from auction to auction all across the country.  Now they spend that time online making better buying decisions because they’re not in the fray, listening to the unbearable noise and breathing exhaust fumes. I like to call it

Used Cars Ahead Cockpit of a plane

“From the Dashboard to the Cockpit”

For years I sat behind a desk with multiple monitors reviewing my groups performance and marketing strategies. My now retired co-director, John Macy would swing by every so often and ask, “How is steering the ship going today?”

Think about it, that is what modern directors, managers and analyst’s offices look like today; a cockpit, not a desktop.

I believe, the modern acquisition manager should sit at his desk with two 24” monitors running multiple simulcasts. Before him or her is a “wish list” of cars that was generated with feed back from his/her used car managers and using advanced marketplace software to insure the list makes sense based on their understanding of local seasonality

Instead of staring at a dashboard on a 3-hour drive to Cleveland listening to sports radio. They should manage their inventory, interact with their staff and buy twice as many cars, with awesome tools and not letting emotion or exhaustion get the best of them.

Beyond Simulcast:

Simulcast is great, it allows you to watch multiple auctions and bid as your chosen cars come up. Some even allow proxy bidding so you can place your bid and move on to the next car.

Now with the growing trend towards dealers holding their own bid sale auctions, it has become even easier. With software like AuctionSimplified.com,  buyers can view cars online, take their time researching the cars and place their bids without time pressure. When the silent bid ends they are sent the list of cars that they one along with payment instructions.

The 7 Key Questions

  1. How many cars could I have bought if I avoided that 6 hour round trip drive?
  2. Do I have to actually go to that auction? Is there an online version that I could attend from my desk?
  3. What online bid sale auctions are available in my area?
  4. Do I have the right desk top setup? Dual monitor, fast processor etc?
  5. Is it a weekly process to call my managers or staff and ask, “Which cars are customers asking for?”
  6. Do I really understand how to create a wish list with the tools I have? If not call your rep and ask them to show you how.
  7. What am I going to do with the extra time I have, now that I am not driving as much? Spend time with family, one-on-one’s with my sales staff, inventory walks with my GM or work on my health? Maybe all of the above?