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AUTOFINITY has launched its new consultancy service to provide dealers with a definitive guide to optimising data flow through system integration after identifying a series of commonplace issues in dealerships.

As part of the new Autofinity Transform Consulting service, its in-house experts undertake a systems audit to identify how to optimise the data collated from unconnected platforms as well as providing advice on those which best suit dealer requirements.

By working alongside dealer groups to integrate systems and create a single source of truth for each vehicle in a group’s inventory, Autofinity’s team discovered a series of typical obstacles characteristic of most dealerships.

The most commonplace problems were overly complex processes; gaps in processes resulting in key dealer employees papering over the cracks; gaps in data; legacy processes; complexities surrounding mandatory systems which were often not integrated with other third parties or the dealer’s own suppliers; and lack of DMS integrations.

Autofinity Chief Executive Andy Whitehair said: “When dealer groups talk to us about our ViHUB platform (which captures all vehicle data creating one definitive repository of information) senior executives are often shocked at the sheer volume of systems in operation in their business.

“It became apparent that we needed to offer a service to take dealers back a step and identify the various systems at work in the group and understand the different roles platforms undertake together with their limitations.”

Many dealers have evolved processes over the years which can result in cumbersome and unnecessary elements and are often duplicated. Autofinity commonly find a few people within groups manually intervene to ensure the smooth running of processes but when these are automated, the gaps become apparent.

Whitehair added: “Dealerships are busy places and sometimes stock updates can be missed, orders are not setup correctly, or vehicles are not priced in key systems. Our work with dealer groups has allowed us to quickly identify these gaps and help groups adjust processes and train their teams to keep information and procedures updated. Often third-party systems were put in place some years ago and our audit clarifies data usage to understand if the provider is adding value.

“We don’t just talk to groups about the technology solutions we offer but we provide an unbiased holistic audit of all the systems working in a dealership and a group. By so doing, we can help dealers understand the role each system plays and how they can work together to improve processes and efficiencies.

“Over and again, we see groups using people power to create data for the business such as dealers entering stock manually onto OEM sites or parts managers adding products to online websites. We work with several partners to source information digitally which we combine automatically into stock and product listings. These are then delivered direct to consumer facing online platforms reducing errors which inevitably arise from manual entry and avoiding inconsistent information appearing in different marketplaces.”

Once the consultation has taken place, dealer groups can easily apply Autofinity’s suite of products which has ViHUB at its core and creates a single view of each vehicle in group stock. Utilising this ‘single source of truth’ ensures an update made in one place, such as a change of sale price, populates all integrated systems.

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