Connected Podcast Episode 123: Amplifying the Automotive Retail Experience

Hi I’m Greg Uland with Reynolds and Reynolds and this is connected uh today's a little bit different of an episode four so I'm pretty excited about it so hang with me and uh let me know what you think but we're gonna actually piece together a few conversations that we've had over the last few years um our producer Mollie Swygart actually went through and and found some topics that are are kind of Evergreen and they're coming back to the surface now so I wanted to share them today we also have our Reynolds retail Summit coming up uh September 25th and 26th and a lot of these topics are still top of mind and they're evolving uh so some of these speakers or some of these people will be speaking at the conference as well so I wanted to share some of these uh today and and we'll dive right in so the first one uh is is a pretty well-known guest Brian Pasch Brian was on the podcast not too terribly long ago but one of the things that he was talking about and he's been talking about for quite a while is the the idea of a customer data platform and and what to do with it I mean first of all what it is but also how do you act on it and Brian has some really good ideas on this Brian will actually be speaking at uh at our Reynolds Retail Summit he'll be on the second day on Tuesday at 11 A.M so if if you're interested uh should be a great conversation in an interactive session with him but for now take a listen to this uh this conversation we had a few months back

no that's good and you mentioned you know modern retailing conference is the name of it MRC um you mentioned connected retail there's a lot of words out there we you know and I think I want you to define this for me a little bit but I think it's it's similar to what we call uh internally and externally uh being able to retail anywhere that's right so I think it's a lot of the same philosophies but in your words what when you say modern retailing or connected retailing what do you mean what's important about them sure so people have put digital retelling tools on their website but for the most part they have not uh used the same tools inside the showroom so as nice as a digital retelling tool could be online when the consumer walked in typically they were shown an Antiquated desking system or a different visual tool or newspaper yeah or a piece of paper right and so uh the trust breaks down so knowing that we are not at a point to transact completely online because the consumers don't want that they nine out of 10 consumers still want to come in touch feel the car and and get advice um we at least should be making sure that whatever we present online the look and feel the numbers the accuracy is the same tools we use in the showroom and I think that connected experience builds trust um accelerates the transaction and allows the time to be focused on the things that are really important like finding the right vehicle for the consumer and not you know jumping around the Hoops with numbers so I think a modern retailing process is consistent it's transparent and it values the consumer's time and what we were we started with was tools to expose on the website was what was once only available in the in the showroom or in the f+i office that was phase one digital retail I'm going to bring out to the outside world the stuff that we kept secret which was the payments basically right I think connected retellings out okay now that that didn't blow up our business because some dealers thought that's the end of the world we don't talk about payments outside the four walls of the dealership now it's let's make sure it's the same experience and then the future which would be as you mentioned retelling uh anywhere is the idea of a single source of Truth a single sales process that can be executed on mobile it can be executed on tablet desktop at work in to the degree that the dealer and the consumer are comfortable where that including would be electronic signatures and e-contracting right I mean that would be the anywhere piece would mean yeah nine out of ten might like it today but in the future will more and more people feel comfortable of just signing and delivering right okay when all of that happens then it's not only a connected retail experience but it can be done anywhere yep absolutely and I would layer into that too I mean I think you're spot on but I would layer in we talk a lot about um and we all do the consumer experience right enabling that consumer interaction but that's only half of the equation right and the other half is the person that's in the store or even frankly they could probably be anywhere too but the dealership employee and making that process easy and seamless for them did you ever work retail growing up or is it I did but not in automotive sure yeah so so I grew up in a parts store auto parts store um worked retail and then I worked at uh Target too in in college so I had a decent amount and then coming out of coming out of college did retail I actually started a a parts company long long story but uh worked retailed a pretty decent amount of uh time and I can tell you just in that experience I'm sure you've had the same experience it can be really stressful as somebody that's trying to deliver a good customer experience trying to deliver a good guest experience but you got two people on hold on the phone you got three people standing in front of you and for me at that time trying to look up parts in a catalog like an actual physical catalogue you know and finding the right part um there's just a lot of a lot of stress on you too so it's really difficult to provide a great experience so I think as important as the the customer experience is the dealership employee experience and making that seamless for for both sides of the equation right and and I think even the movements in the industry to offer consumers a single point of contact okay is along the lines with hey if the tools are really consistent and what's what the consumer saw online is the same that the sales associate is presenting if it's a guided tour if it has some workflow logic if it has some bumpers that the sales associate can't go off the rails on uh isn't this a better experience for them both the consumer and the sales associate and we're finding it is and so even though there's not one modern sales process it is very different than the traditional sales process and that's what we're going to highlight in November at the Modern retelling conference what does the modern retelling process look like if you're you're a single point or if you're a traditional you know f+i manager but what's different about it that is worthy of saying this is a modern Refresh on something that has worked but no longer is relevant to Consumers

man Brian is so good and I always appreciate his thoughts and insights for sure looking forward to seeing seeing him again as always and and I think he's got a conference coming up in the fall as well so we'll have more on that later but one other small snippet from the same conversation it was a little later on though check this one out

so I think the future is going to look something like this the outside of automotive multi-million dollar companies and billion dollar companies some of these groups are are building customer data platforms or customer data engagement platforms where they're making sure they have a single source of Truth for their customer data and all the interactions for car dealers today it's really hard because they have too many cooks in the kitchen they have five or six or seven vendors on their website and then they have a separate email marketing company for service and a separate email marketing for sales then they have a separate text messaging company and a direct you know okay so the the future I think is going to be the automotive industry is going to look to Tech providers who can create and maintain and securely store their customer data in a way that larger dealer groups might leverage for their own digital marketing platform execution or others are going to look for companies who can do it for them but I think the days of having 12 companies in and accessing customer data with disconnected marketing messages we've we've had this problem for years right but what's going to change I think it's the new privacy laws I think when dealers realize that they sent their gave their DMS access to this two email companies and two Direct Mail companies and this this this this and then they start getting lawsuits because when someone filled out the form the dealer didn't disclose well these 10 companies are going to get a copy of your data well then it's gonna you know money is gonna move to what the bigger dealer groups already know I gotta own my data I have to have a single source of Truth and I need to leverage that single source of Truth to power personalized marketing how we get there and how fast we get there I don't know but the larger dealer groups are working on these projects they're called CDP projects or cdxb for experienced platforms but that is uh the future and you know in my viewpoint Reynolds and Reynolds uh is gonna be a key player in that space only because of all the touch points that you can see and the data security that you already have in place right so I think we're going to move in the future to try to lock down our data a little bit more not from using it but from making sure we don't get lawsuits because we are sloppy with it well and and if you want to I'll say terrifying experiment create a create a Gmail address just some generic one that you don't give to anybody fill out a form on your website and see how many emails you start getting and who they're from right that that is really enlightening um you know when after three weeks you're getting emails from companies that have no interaction with and it wouldn't even necessarily make sense for you to be getting an email from there's only one place that you entered that email address right so try that and just see what happens you know we have we have a platform available to our dealers we call it interface dashboard and they can log in and see exactly where every anybody that's accessing data that they've approved to send data to they can see you know what's going there and and how often and who it's going to so there's tools that are in place today for people to check these things out but you know if you just want a quick uh it's not fun it's the word that keeps coming to my head but a terrifying experiment create a create a fake email address put it in and see what happens oh yeah and you know I occasionally put my email address in LinkedIn you know and and just in an article contact me oh man the scrapers they go crazy you know okay uh that's deliberate you know you put on the public you get what you get but I I think that um what dealers are going to need to realize if we look at the future and this is where more collaboration has to come in we need as an industry to understand that outside of Automotive CDPs are how multi-million dollar and billion dollar corporations value their customers and increase the lifetime value and somehow in some way the Auto industry has to wake up and saying spray and pray spray and overlap double mail or send outdated messages to people um isn't smart and maybe it's because we had unlimited cars to sell and we were always selling cars and always profitable but with the changes in the future I think the local dealership ownership of the customers can become even more important and anything they can do to protect that customer uh relationship and to enhance the customer relationship instead of maybe watering it down I think it's important

I always love talking to Brian it's just a fun conversation to have looking forward to seeing him again obviously as always another topic that has been around for for a while has been evolving for a while but it seems like it it is just getting more and more in the forefront of things going on is is the idea of cyber security and and the FTC safeguards amendments went into play here last June they were obviously delayed for six months or so uh heading into that but uh these type of cyber incidents and phishing incidents continue to pop up over and over again so we're lucky enough to have uh have talked with Brad Holton who is the founder of proton Technologies proton is a company that that focuses on it management cyber security among other things but Brad is is a real wealth of knowledge when it comes to these these pieces of the industry and why it's so important and really a fundamental part of your business and and frankly table stakes so take a listen to this conversation it was definitely a fun one

so where are you seeing the biggest gaps between what dealers have today in place and what they need whether it's for insurance requirements or for the FTC safeguards rural amendments what what are the areas that you see them honing in on or maybe when you come in or your team comes in we're the biggest gaps uh you know well the biggest gaps that we focus on and that were you know kind of immediately just alarmed about when we walk into a dealership that's a brand new opportunity uh is is the low hanging low-level stuff that's not even being done okay you know we'll walk in and see computers that are running Windows 7. that add any kind of you know security support in three years right you know they don't have antivirus so they have Legacy antivirus that doesn't really work against anything modern that's the part that amazes me so when you get into this antivirus software and just endpoint protection in general so putting something on a PC or on a phone or whatever how quickly that stuff changes and becomes obsolete the updates are just it's almost constant yeah I guess I mean there's you know any of the brands that existed you know I can't name brands but just stuff that was common five seven years ago does absolutely nothing for any of the current stuff and the reason why the very high level is the way antivirus typically works is it looks at a database and it looks at a file you're downloading and it looks at the signature of the file and says you know I've seen this before because it's in my master database that's a bad guy I'm going to block it that's typically what antivirus does and not much more the problem is that now the the bad bad guys for lack of matter where the hackers are generating files on demand so when you go to click a download link it actually generates the file adds a little bit of content to it maybe changes one digit somewhere in a file so the signature is brand new it's never been seen before so would you download it your your antivirus that's traditional Legacy version has never seen that file before every single file becomes a zero day exploit and as a result it gets passed antivirus all day long so the modern stuff uh called endpoint detection or manage detection response it uses a totally different process called heuristic modeling okay that I don't want to get too deep it basically injects itself into everything so it can see literally what's going on and then we can see every single computer simultaneously so you can see that you know one computer is attacking another computer on the network or scanning the network or doing things it shouldn't be doing so it gives you a much more kind of broad holistic approach to the environment able to kind of see things that are activities that shouldn't be happening regardless of whether a file is brand new or not so having tools like that in place we're not seeing much of that either walking in and just seeing you know like we did a security audit I flew into a flew across the country did a it was going to be a cybersecurity audit and I was done in seven minutes oh and I mean I walked in I sat down I said just take me to a computer's not being used and I sit down to Windows I have a computer with no security at all no password on it no you know I said oh let's just try one more just take me to another computer that's not being used let me take another one it's Windows 10 but it's not much better yeah and I said okay I'm done you know I've been here seven minutes and you guys don't even have like the first 10 things I would audit you don't have any of them so there's not much point in me spending a lot of time here writing a big report because this is just pointless so they signed up and we started you know kind of getting getting the basics done in the building of you know platform on top of that to getting home you know 99 hardened up yeah so so once you have that Foundation then what are the next pieces so if you're honing in and you go into a store and it's like you got nothing right uh you get the you get the nothing to something so then what's next biggest concerns in the security world like the big three events that are going to take a dealership uh into a really bad place going to be a data breach where we're going to lose customer data and we're going to have to you know deal with the fact that we've lost customer data we're going to have to go out and inform all the consumers we're going to have to deal with legal issues we're gonna have to buy credit monitoring software I mean all that stuff that sets number one so we want to protect against that second is ransomware and shutting down the entire dealership right that's the one that terrifies me when I hear about that it's just you have no idea how many times this happens it's it's like the the loudest secret you could possibly have the dealership world right I mean everybody used to 20 groups everybody knows this happens every single week but nobody ever talks about it I promise you our phone rings every week with some you know some dealer group that's been referred to us or some dealer that we already have that has a buddy that's you know under ransomware attack right now it's just constant so that's the big second one and the third one is wire transfers uh just getting access to you know fishing and getting into systems and getting information and and getting illicit funds so those are the three things that we really focus on FTC if you do all of this you're going to get pretty close on the FTC then you'll just have to tack on like vendor assessments and and written information security plans and incident response plans but if you get kind of all these other things knocked out you kind of hit most of the FTC stuff so that's that's something we come in we focus on ransomware protection first let's get secure let's get the manager texture response let's get you know some Sim solution and we're monitoring everything we're getting alerts uh let's get backups in place right so if something does happen we've got really good backups of everything so it's not that big a deal we can always restore from backup right um you know let's get the data breach locked down to make sure that there's no way anybody's getting any good access to our information and then you know the wire side it's it's protecting everything that's best for you but it's also doing a lot of business kind of process Consulting and saying okay guys you know if someone sends you an email that you've been buying cars from for 10 years right and they say you know what we're going to change our wire instructions and here's to do wire account you know for those it's 10 cars you're buying from us right now and your person doesn't stop and go wait a minute I've been wiring for 10 years to this account now I'm getting an email that says to wear here how do I handle this right you stop you call the dealership you talk to the person you know you don't call the number on the email right you don't go by the email you verify in three or four different ways you know because it's a big thing right we're changing where we're sending money well it's a lot of money yeah it's not we're not talking about 20 bucks you would be absolutely amazed how many times we get calls where you know or we get to be brought in as you know kind of Consultants on a legal case where you know someone has just gotten an email that changes the wire instructions we had one one group up in oh that's a single kind of high-end store uh that that got two different emails the same day to change wire instructions and they've been wiring funds out to these two different you know ones they were buying from for 10 years yeah and they just changed the account wired off eight hundred thousand dollars to a hacker um so you know Consulting business processes and financial controls and then kind of hardening up the environment and preparing for the worst to make sure we don't have to  deal with the worst

I really enjoyed that conversation with Brad always has always has great ideas another founder that we got to have on the show and had a really good conversation with actually a couple different times but uh going back through this was one uh from NADA a couple years ago um I got to sit down with Todd  Marcell uh who was the founder of Go Moto and talk about the customer experience and the customer relationship through the lens of the the service department really enjoyed this conversation so take a listen to this one too.

so when you think about that uh what are the biggest changes you've seen in and how a service advisor operates what their job is and how would you kind of Define the characteristics that make a good service advisor today yeah so let's take that question two parts because I think it's really important I think there's been an evolution in service technology so 10 years ago you know customers would just show up and very few would actually schedule an appointment right then scheduling software came in and that kind of transitioned our business from a wild wild west to a plan type of business where you know we started to see 20 then 30 then 40 then 50 you know most dealerships now run at you know 70 80 some 100 capacity on appointments and have very little ability to service kind of the the walk-in type of customer right so that's been a big evolution because it's forced us to change the way we we do business but more importantly it's also given us more intelligence about the customer because when a customer walks in you don't know what problem they have now when they set an appointment you actually have a process by which to understand and decipher kind of what what the initial problem is or service we have a BDC that actually calls and confirms and asks some key questions and It prepares our advisors and the technology frankly that we want to select to be much more curated to the process that we want to have and so then it goes into okay what does that mean for the service advisor well you know 10 years ago the service advisor was the mean conduit so by which you know we had a relationship with the dealership and that still hasn't changed what has changed is ultimately the way that we want to treat our customers because you know COVID good or bad right has created a convenience experience for our customers that they expect everything you know frankly on demand when they want it how they want it right and so that's forced us as dealers and as a technology partner to think about what do we need to do to ensure that we offer an omni-channel experience to our customers right so I break customers into kind of three sets now right you have the old school customer right that still wants to come in and have that one-to-one relationship with the advice right you then have kind of the newer age consumer right that is think EV customer right that all of it is technologically leading right so the older set of customers about 20 the um kind of newer customer you know the EV type of customer that's all about ultra-convenience right is you know 20 30 and they want to literally not talk to anybody phone or text message that the car is done do everything electronically and then pick the car up you know at their terms right and then you have kind of the middle of the road that are now adopting that kind of mode where they've kind of transitioned into I like convenience I want to be able to come in I don't want to wait for 30 minutes right I want trust I want transparency and I want convenience and that's the majority of our customer base today and so what's happened with the advisors is that um kind of that opening end because life has just gotten busier has moved away from kind of that trust building that used to happen 10 years ago when you walked in and spent 20 minutes it's now happening post MPI so a customer's want is a fast convenient experience but they still want the trusted relationship of advisor to call them or text them or email them for example an electronic NPI where once they've had the opportunity to actually look at the vehicle inspect it and share those results with me as a consumer that's where the trust is is because you know I think there's an old school debate about you know when that customer walks in I do that you know dedicated walk around and spend 10 minutes try not to them customers are still skeptical right about that process what they're not skeptical about because they've learned the buying habits from kind of e-commerce is that I'm willing to make the investment to come to you as a dealer yeah

always love getting to talk with Todd great guy and really good ideas about the industry you know going back to that same NADA it was the first NADA that we did interviews at the show I also got to sit down with Maxine Olson from Volkswagen credit we had a really interesting conversation about e-contracting and it's it's fascinating to see how fast things have progressed over the last year and a half or so since we had this conversation we're really you know across the industry going all in on e-contracting and it means a lot of different things to a lot of different people but listening on this conversation some of the things that Volkswagen was doing then and they're continuing to do this will be a conversation that we definitely have a follow-up on sometime soon because so much is changing so fast so take a listen

all right so Maxine I get to talk to dealers a lot about the Contracting process from their perspective um I don't get the opportunity a lot to talk to lenders about the Contracting process from your perspective so I want to get into that uh with this conversation so to start can we talk a little bit about what the traditional Contracting process looks like so from a dealer right they sign paper they step it in a FedEx envelope and they ship it off and then at that point it comes to your you know your team the Volkswagen credit um what happens once it gets there well from that perspective from the paper perspective it is sorting through the mail pulling out all different kinds of paperwork which can be several different pages several different folders and then manually entering all that data looking at it auditing it and then finding out that there's something wrong with a contract and now mailing it back to the dealer and saying look there's a problem we have to have it fixed the dealer takes time gets the customer back into the office then it gets mailed back to us which of course is Weeks Later yeah and then it gets finally funded and it's worked sometimes several different times before it's funded so obviously it's not sustainable right right and it's people heavy right you have somebody physically reviewing the paper how many deals can a person do in a day you know how many it seems like it's got to be very resource intensive when it's paper yes there's not that many deals that you can do in a day and the problem is is when you have to redo that same deal over and over it's that's where it becomes difficult so it's not even so much how many can you do in a day but how many times do you have to do the same deal in a day yeah yeah it's done um so fast forward to today's world and we're we're really pushing into e-contracting right and not just not just digital signing not getting something signed and then you know scanning it in and and reviewing it in an electronic format but rather e-contracting so maybe to start from from Volkswagen credits in your perspective can you define e-contracting when you say Contracting what do you mean sure that is a really good question because it does have different meanings in the industry so e-contracting for us is going through what we call the Vault so the Vault system so electronically signing all your document and with VCI you can sign all of the paperwork through the electronic signatures and then it goes into and sent over to us electronically into the Vault and the contract is secured so that to us is where it's very important we do understand that there are certain documents for the DMV that need to be printed out for the customer but for us none of that has to be it can all be electronically signed and electronically sent over to us and if you can think about that versus paper you can already see where the efficiencies are yeah yeah and for a dealer obviously a lot of it lies in contracts in transit right being able to to get a funded deal and just get cash in Bank quicker when you when you're doing a decent amount of deals if you have any amount of volume and if you have multiple stores that number gets really big really fast really big yeah so being able to speed that up and reduce that amount of money that's just kind of sitting out there because it hasn't been funded yet is a big deal and it can really help with cash flow what about for you guys from the lender's perspective what are the benefits of moving to email Contracting where do you you know where do you see the benefits wow there are so many benefits on our end as well if you think about what I talked about for the paper process versus electronic process so now it comes into us and it is all on a screen and it is all actually input already so we don't have that mail process of sorting we do not have the scanning of the documents we do not have the manual entry so it actually takes us about a third of the time to process one document or one funding package as it would for paper it's already in there and most of the time the fund it right the first time is a lot higher up to 23 percent higher so now we've cut and 23 percent of our reworks out so the other part that's extremely important especially since the pandemic is our funders can fund from anywhere they do not have to physically be in the office because it comes directly to their computer and they can fund from home so it is extremely important to us to keep our productivity as as we go forward and move forward to be very process driven we have to have a high productivity and not have to hire other people especially when you have the seasons where sometimes it can be very manual intensive during your hot selling season and that's when CIT gets bad is we can't fund those deals so it does make a huge difference for us yeah so are you able to then um you know maybe take some of those resources and people right and expand them and either do more deals or or help them do other things to make an impact for your company or for the dealers you mentioned your organization is a very wide-ranging organization and field training and all kinds of things that you're doing in the dealer Community too um what is that meant to be able to be more productive when it comes to funding the actual deal and employing those resources to to accomplish other things sure sure which is a really good question because we are we're not looking to make our funding staff smaller right what we're doing is we're trying to be more efficient so we can help the dealers in those areas where they need help so the problem deals where they really do need our assistance and we can help them we are available for them now versus hey you know what we have 100 deals that we have to get through and we don't have time for our dealers so it's really about servicing our dealers and making sure that when we process their paperwork it's efficient it's done right and we can help


I still love that conversation with Maxine she's she's great and has great ideas and enjoyed her sitting down and talking with us another one and probably our last one for today that I want to share is as a newer conversation that we had um but one that I'm I'm really excited about so I got to sit down with AJ McGowan AJ's the founder of autovision a company that uh we actually acquired not too long ago and I'm excited about what they're doing in in the used vehicle space and vehicle acquisition and Merchandising a lot of really interesting things it's one of those areas that it seems like we've accepted the status quo for so long because quote unquote it's not broke right that uh it's really time to take a new look a fresh look and what AJ and his team have built and what they're doing at Auto Vision uh is is pretty interesting so take a listen to this conversation you can also see AJ at the Reynolds retail Summit here in September he'll be there uh kind of engaging in conversations but also just showing off what what he's built so make sure to see him if you're there

and and dealers have been doing this for a long time right on a lot of different levels um been been buying cars and selling cars and and making pretty decent money especially over the last handful of years um and honestly margins are staying pretty decent right now um so what you know when you think about uh the problem right and you mentioned like solving problems um what is the problem with pricing right now I mean what what are what are you able to fix or what did you set out to fix I guess uh with autovision and what you're doing

well so you really hit the nail on the head when you said that you know dealers know what they're doing um and know how to price cars and you know we looked at um you know when we looked at the industry what we saw was that there were there were a lot of folks that were bringing data to bear in automotive yeah but they were very opinionated um so you know if you look at the way the cars are traditionally priced you know you can get down to specifics in terms of you know what zip code is it in and you know what options does it have on it you know some of those sorts of things um but the thing that's never really taken into account um is you know that dealer's you know specific view of the market you know a Buy Here Pay Here lot looks very differently at a car than a franchise dealership who looks at it very differently than you know Big Block retailer um on the on the use side and a large franchise group looks at it much differently than you know a two or three rooftop group and you know that perspective of really understanding your local market um is something that is you know wildly in value people and sort of the the secret sauce in a lot of ways to you know many dealerships operations and so you you know our goal without a vision was to use you know technology that's available now to do real-time processing which allows dealers to really set the their view of the market into Auto vision and then we use our tools to analyze the data that's there and show them this is what this vehicle is worth to you so we we you know try very hard not to have an opinion about what a vehicle is worth what we try to do is leverage you know these big Tech tools to do a lot of analysis of data in real time but then really just to automate and help to streamline and turn into a process the things that dealers already know

yeah so go a little deeper for me then what what um I guess maybe give me an example right of how would a vehicle be priced differently either when being purchased or being sold um for you know picture example but you know a buy here pay here a lot versus uh uh you know 20 Store franchise dealer group like what what are those differences when you say their view of the world or their view of that vehicle what variables come into play

sure yeah so let's so kind of step it down from so if you're talking about like a big you know big dealer group that has Geographic preach when they're looking to buy a vehicle they may not you know in all dealer groups will operate a little bit differently but they may not necessarily need to retail out of that vehicle with the story in which it was picked up right they've got a story in Colorado they've got a story in Los Angeles you know four-wheel drive jeep that they pick up in Los Angeles it's probably going to sell a lot better in Colorado um or it might not if that particular model is you know sort of flooded in the marketplace there and so being able to analyze you know in real time what are the geographic conditions and you know where where might I be able to best retail out of this based on the local market conditions and how much it's going to cost to actually move the vehicle um you know being able to look at all of those factors are really important if you have the geographic reach take advantage of it

what are some other examples I mean that's a good example right that's a good realistic variable so what as you're as you're going on that path where else were you heading

sure so if you look at and this is true of really any franchise um you know let's say that you're a Toyota dealership and you know you get a 2020 Prius that comes in as a trade well you may look at that very differently than the Ford dealer across the street you know you might only want to see when you're looking at what market pricing is you might only want to see other CPO cars from other Toyota dealerships or you might only want to see other franchise dealerships and you don't care as much about you know what some of the Independents are doing so your view of that vehicle being the Toyota dealership is very different than other peoples will be and our Tech again allows you to you know look at that and sort of slice and dice it and say for my dealership when I'm looking at Toyotas that are within a couple years old with these parameters I want to look at those differently I want to look at a different set of competitors and maybe for other vehicles you know being a franchise store I don't care about what some of the online retailers are doing or some of the you know sort of Nationwide franchises and we can even allow you to exclude more specifically include specific competitors automatically again as we're calculating prices for vehicles and and everything that we talk about we don't we don't ever make a distinction between appraised time and price time um so you can set up different parameters if you want within the system but all the capabilities are the same so you can look at that vehicle whether you're appraising it or you're following that you know down the chain and pricing it later and say how is the market actually shifting around me and so one of the other things that we do that's very different is we add a lot of automation because we can get to the point where we're really encapsulating that dealer's view of the universe and that allows us to then automate processes like when we go to Price cars we can update that retail Market on a daily basis because we know all of the parameters that go into making that market and then sort of stepping down from there from a franchise dealership or really sort of any franchise dealership he starts talking about independent Dealerships um you know there's a huge variety of independent dealerships yeah I mean they all have different needs you know a you know a large Indie that's carrying two or three hundred cars very different than you know somebody that's got 50 cars very different than one that has 10. Buy Here Pay Here different than non-buy here pay here and again when you look at all of that customization that goes into it they might have the opposite view where they don't care what the franchises are retailing it for or you know for an on-brand Late Model Toyota they don't want to see what the CPO cars are retailing for because that's not really their Market that's not who they're appealing to and so just you know kind of using those you know kind of three examples um you know I think hopefully that gives you a little bit of context those are three you know kind of high level examples of how you can use automation to find hey here's how I look at the universe or here's how I look at the universe for these specific cars and and that's now baked into your praising your pricing and you can control that consistently throughout your store

really enjoyed that conversation with AJ I hope you liked that clip too it's again it's just fascinating what he and his team have built and what they're doing in uh in that used vehicle space so a quick reminder uh Reynolds retail Summit is coming up here September 25th and 26th if you haven't registered make sure to do so now uh you can do that at amplify uh and and I hope you enjoyed this this format that we tried again special thanks to Mollie Swygart for finding these topics that are really Evergreen and uh and are standing the test of the time and actually getting more interesting with time looking forward to maybe doing this some more in the future definitely let us know what you think uh before you hop off don't forget you can watch or listen to all episodes of connected on YouTube apple and Spotify podcasts and make sure to subscribe so you're notified every other week when new episodes are released thanks so much and we'll see you in two weeks thank you