ReconPro mobile app 2.18.7 for iOS devices

Add services to service requests by answering questions, re-send data to Back Office and send the mobile database to support without logging in

New Features

  • Question services for service requests
  • Access the Status screen without logging in

Improvements

  • Saving team inspections has been improved to prevent simultaneous editing by multiple users
  • Service list scroll position remains the same after updating or removing a service

Fixed Issues

  • Some actions were not available for inspections of the Direct Assignment sharing type.
  • An issue with overlapping app interface texts when a larger font is set in device settings
  • Damage modes were not shown on the Visual screen of inspections
  • Unnecessary validation of paint codes when editing team work orders

See the details of the new features here.

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How Vehicle Color Affects Depreciation

According to a recent study from https://www.iseecars.com/ on 1.6 million vehicles that are three-years-old, the car’s paint color has a significant effect on how long it takes to sell and the vehicle’s depreciation. It may come as a big surprise that orange and yellow are the top 2 vehicle colors that depreciate the least after the three years are up. How is it that these vibrant colors, often seen on sport or exotic cars, depreciate the least? After all, they only make up 1.5 percent of the market. Are we missing something, despite their flashy colors?

Simply put, the reason why these two colors are the ‘least depreciated’ is that they are not a color we’d normally see for the daily drivers. Orange and Yellow cars are for those monthly day trips down the Pacific Coast Highway or a day in Beverly Hills. You’d never see a Yellow Bugatti at a grocery store parking lot. If you do, then the owner is clearly loaded and may have a few more like that back at the mansion.

That said, the top 5 colors making the lowest deprecation rates are listed below in no particular order:

  • Orange
  • Yellow
  • Green
  • Brown
  • Red

As far as the colors that are the most common paint choices and with average depreciation rates, you can probably imagine what made this list. They are:

  • Gray
  • Blue
  • Black
  • White

Beige and silver used to be the most in-demand colors back in the 90s and 00s, so they have an even higher depreciation rate than the ones listed above. However, the color that has the worst depreciation rate (just shy of 34%) is also the third-fastest-selling color: gold. Nevertheless, beige vehicles take the longest to sell and are on the market close to two months before they sell.

Vehicle colors are just part of what contributes to the depreciation. It’s only standard that the value of cars lessens over time. Whether you have a yellow Lamborghini or a beige Hyundai, take care of your vehicle, and you’ll be able to have a better value for your car. Make sure you take it to get its regularly scheduled maintenance and don’t neglect any repairs. If you are a dealership, be meticulous in your reconditioning operations, paying attention to paint correction and matching, regardless of the color. Brighter colors may have the lowest depreciation rate, but a well-maintained car will always have more value than a car that is not.

5 Marketing Tips for Dealerships

  • Website Improvements
  • Online Chat
  • Video Content
  • Ratings and Reviews
  • Social Media Versatility

 

We live in a digital age where consumers are coming to their conclusion about a business before they even step inside the front doors, all because of how they present themselves online. According to a NADA DATA report, US dealerships spent just over $8 billion in advertising back in 2014. That figure rose to a peak of nearly $10B in 2016 and has had a slight decline each year since.  

We’re nearly halfway through 2019, and although a lot has changed, traditional advertising like commercials and radio spots are still valuable to dealerships. However, salespeople at dealerships notice that the majority of car shoppers are on their phones while they’re on the lot to compare with prices and other options. Overall, US dealerships allocated just over half their 2018 advertising spend on digital channels, which is a significant sum and reflects the trends in shopper behavior. How do we adapt to the changes and market ourselves to remain relevant?

Here are 5 marketing tips, just for dealerships:

  1. Give Your Website A Face Lift: When was the last time you updated your website? According to marketing expert Marcus Sheridan, 70% of business is conducted online with a decision already made by the consumer before they even make contact. Your website is the first impression, so is it good enough to have the consumers make the next move and contact you? Is it mobile friendly? Does it have a sleek and professional look to it that is easy to read on any device and is a good representation of your brand? These are all things to keep in mind when revamping the website for your dealership.
  2. Use Live Chat: When a potential customer is exploring your site, they are searching for answers to several different questions. Having someone to communicate with via live chat is similar to holding their hand through a complicated process. Live chat is there to answer any questions they may have about scheduling, inventory, location, and more, and your chance to capture their information and begin the sales cycle.
  3. Create Videos: Videos are a quick and immersive way for a customer to get an inside look at your dealership. Not to mention, they are a representation of your brand. Over 50% of marketing professionals say that video brings in the best ROI. Whether it’s a commercial, filming a test drive with a customer, or just talking about your summer clearance event, videos are a sure way to bring in new customers.
  4. Customer Reviews: Any potential customer is going to want to see what other people have said about your dealership, as they offer a personal experience. Look at social media and review sites to see what people are saying about your dealership and highlight some of these on your website. If you don’t have any reviews, reach out to past customers and ask them to give a testimonial of their experience at your dealership. You’ll also find this is a great way to see how you’re doing and where you can improve in areas that you may have neglected. After all, the customer is the most important aspect of the entire decision-making process, and their decisions will be influenced by independent endorsements.
  5. Social Media: Nowadays, with Facebook Pages and Instagram business tools, social media has become an increasingly popular way to engage with new, potential, and previous customers. People who engage on the social media pages for businesses have the same expectation for responsiveness as they would on a telephone call. They could inquire about any number of things, like asking about a service, inventory, or even sharing their personal experience at your dealership. Additionally, social media is a great platform to advertise promotions and events happening at the dealership. This is the best part of social media, as you’re able to connect with users who are looking for a variety of information. Your job as the dealership is to know your customers, what they are looking for, and provide the answers. The more of a reliable source you are, the more you’ll appear as a knowledgeable, trustworthy dealership and the place they’ll want to take their business.


Marketing is all about connecting with your audience in as many ways possible, in order to be there when they choose to engage. Luckily, there are so many resources available to you to make your content engaging and fun, while also being the best representation of your brand. Focus on who you’re targeting and what makes your dealership the best choice to serve their needs. When you do that, you succeed in marketing your dealership.

Make Your Inventory Pop With These Photography Tips For Dealerships

In the automobile industry, your dealership’s website is just as much a first impression as when a potential customer walks inside the dealership doors. But this isn’t about what you should and shouldn’t have on your website. This article is about the photos you have of your dealership’s inventory. Only having pictures uploaded with the vehicle information just doesn’t cut it anymore.

Your inventory photos need to grab the attention of a potential customer who’s looking to buy a new car. If you have just cellphone quality shots of your inventory, it lessens the quality of your overall dealership. At the same time, if you use stock images of the vehicle but not actual photos of the car on your lot, it’s just as bad as using cellphone quality shots, if not worse.

Here are some ways to make your inventory pop, from actual professional photographers:

Lighting: Every professional photographer will tell you that light is everything. Direct sunlight will create strange shadows, whereas the shade could hide details of the car. The time of day is a good indicator of how harsh the sun will be, which is why shooting early morning or early evening is usually a good time to shoot. Also, overcast days act as a natural “diffuser,” which means it lessens the intensity of the sunlight. It’s optional if you’d want to use any additional lighting. But the same rules for working with sunlight apply to using artificial lights. Even a flash can sometimes be too intense and detract from the overall picture you’re trying to capture.

Background: Your background is just as important as the lighting because you want to make sure the vehicle is the only focus of the picture. Not only is it distracting to see other cars in your inventory in the background, but it will ruin the picture if you have anything else be the focus other than the car you’re capturing.

Take Lots of Photos: The more really is the merrier. The more photos you have of the vehicle, the more a customer can get a real feel of the car ahead of the time. Not to mention, having multiple photos for the customer to look at online makes them even more ready to make a purchase once they come inside the dealership.

Get Inside: When you capture the car’s interior, this shows any future buyers that you really care about the driver. They want to see the condition of the seats, what the car looks like from the driver’s POV, etc. Perhaps they want to see if there are any additional features such as heated seats or a USB cable for their phone. Let alone the fact that they may not want a cream interior or leather seats. All of this plays a vital role when someone is interested in a car. If they don’t get an accurate visual of the vehicle before coming into the dealership, they’ll feel like it was a waste of a trip if the car isn’t exactly as it’s pictured.

Experiment: Sure, you want to make sure that you or your photographer is capturing the images possible for your car. But what about capturing it away from the dealership? Depending on the type of photographer you have, it might be cool actually to capture the car in motion on the streets. Or if you’re near a scenic spot, take the car there to get some really epic and cinematic shots. People are all about the image of what looks best, so why not create some content that adds a unique flair to the typical dealership photos of your inventory?

Another way you can experiment is with the angles. Shoot from below to make the car look more powerful. Or cut off some of the car for a shot if you’re getting a real close-up shot and nothing else is going to detract from the focus being on the vehicle. Shoot vertically as well, since many people will be checking out your dealership’s website while on their smartphone.

Have Fun: It sounds a bit cliché, but having fun with taking photos of your inventory will show to any potential customer. People want to do business where it’s a welcoming environment, full of people who genuinely enjoy what they do. Not to mention, you represent a car dealership. You want the customer to have an enjoyable experience from start to finish because then you earn their customer loyalty (which is something money can’t buy). You might as well give them something they’ll never forget, starting with the photos.

Recon Vendor Management – Multiple Moving Parts and People

For those who manage multiple vehicles through a reconditioning process, like dealerships, fleet managers, auto auctions, and rental companies, employing multiple vendors and employees on top of the administrative duties of running the business can be difficult to manage. There are a lot of steps to getting a vehicle through the make-ready process. To help ease the pains of so many moving targets, AMT developed ReconMonitor™, smart workflow management software for auto reconditioning.

This software is specifically designed to assist in your execution of auto remarketing at maximum speed and efficiency. ReconMonitor improves the ready-for-sale process by giving the user visibility into each of the many steps in the recon process. It also provides a detailed look at how each of the steps and technicians is doing from an efficiency perspective. Let’s look at an example:

Let’s say your dealership acquires a car at auction. The initial inspection indicates that the vehicle needs some mechanical work, PDR, a bumper replacement, paint touch-ups, and of course, photography. Then the next day you acquire 5 to 10 cars through trade-in (wouldn’t that be great), each with its own list of needed repairs. For the recon director or manager within your operation, it can be dizzying tracking numerous vehicles at different stages of the recon process. If your facility employs its own mechanical repair resources in addition to outside vendors for specialties like PDR and other sublet work, keeping track of everything can be stressful and things can slip through the cracks. You not only have administrative tasks to complete but have to manage multiple workflows and stations to make sure the right employees and vendors are matched to the right jobs for the most efficient turn-around.

Capacity management and knowing where each vehicle is in the process becomes complex and the entire process can become bogged down from a single inefficient step. Vendor management in ReconMonitor means the ability to plan, schedule, and evaluate vendors for improved efficiency. For the example above, it would make no sense for the dealer to have the photographer come on a day when a car wasn’t cosmetically ready for its close-up. Knowing where each vehicle sits in the process, and planned time until it is ready for the next stage is a critical ability that will set your business processes apart from any other dealer without this type of visibility and control.

With ReconMonitor, you can watch your vendors and employees complete the designed order of tasks in real time, contact them if needed, make changes where you see fit, and analyze the quality of work. ReconMonitor will also automatically create and distribute vendor work orders, and generate vendor invoices when the completed work is approved, giving you full control.

Dealerships can lose around $35-$50 every day a car is stuck in the reconditioning process. ReconMonitor increases the visibility and control you have over the end-to-end process of reconditioning any vehicle. It’s a great way to get rid of disorganized paper orders and antiquated whiteboards and keep everything in one centralized management solution. With ReconMonitor, your reconditioning process is transformed with vehicles efficiently made frontline-ready in record time.

ReconPro mobile app 2.18.6 for iOS devices

Replace multiple services of the same kind with a generic service which name can be clarified when adding this service to inspections and work orders

New Features

  • Generic Services

Improvements

  • Improvement in tech split for additional price matrix services

See the details of the new feature here.

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Advantages Of Management Software For Your Used Car Dealership

  • Faster Turn Times
  • Improved Vehicle Volume
  • Better Coordination

For used car dealerships, management software is an excellent way to increase your efficiency both in the back-office and front-end operations.  Having a system in place not only reduces your overall cycle time but also increases your throughput– maximizing profit and minimizing overall costs.

Employing a management software solution for your fixed operations and reconditioning emphasizes your commitment to making your dealership run as effectively as possible, that you care about making tasks more streamlined for your employees, prioritize customer service and sales readiness, and you’re willing to adapt to the newest technologies out there for dealerships.

With management software in place, back-office administrative tasks that used to take hours can be cut down to just a few minutes. It allows all of your departments to be connected and work together, while also improving productivity on all fronts. Instead of relying on one employee or vendor at a time during each stage of vehicle processing, the operation becomes a more team-oriented environment. There’s a clear and organized structure that doesn’t rely on a back-office spreadsheet or whiteboard to get done. If a team member updates a vehicle’s status in the software, all relevant team members have access to the information, instantly, on their desktop or mobile devices. This lets the team know what’s in the pipeline, and lets both your technicians and your sales team plan for when work is coming.

You can see what vehicles are being reconditioned, where they are, the stage they’re in, and who’s working on them. You can also track and anticipate bottlenecks or delays during the reconditioning process, and improve resource planning based on vehicle volume and where they are in the recon process. The goal, of course, is high-quality work at optimal speed. Workflow management software can get your cars from acquisition to front line sales-ready in as little as a few days. Dealerships lose an average of $30-$50 per day when cars are stuck in reconditioning, so each day you can shave off your recon equals more profit per vehicle. And that savings adds up!

Workflow management software will make your used car dealership faster and more efficient both in the back and front-end of operations. You can create and refine your processes to make the back-office, reconditioning, and retail side of things work better together.

Automobile Technologies Can Help

AMT offers software solutions designed to make your used car dealership and reconditioning process as efficient as possible. We also provide you with better visibility and get your vehicles frontline ready in the shortest possible time.

ReconMonitor™ is powerful workflow automation for auto recon, dealerships, and auto remarketing companies that integrates with Dealer Management and Accounting Systems to ensure seamless operations across the enterprise.