At a recent visit to my auto dealership for a service appointment, I noted some basic level of automation. The loaner vehicle had a barcode on the windshield. Large screen televisions in the customer waiting area displayed scheduled appointment times and corresponding service advisors. I presumed this tied into some software system that stored my maintenance service records. As I waited for my car, I wondered what a more advanced solution could provide a large volume dealership.
The implementation of an IoT system for vehicle and asset tracking would provide a far greater level of information and reporting. By installing inexpensive readers and RFID tags on new cars on the lot as well as customer vehicles, a dealership would have the ability to know in real-time when a vehicle entered or exited its facility.
For new cars this would provide information as to where vehicles were stored on the lot, if they were out for a test drive, the last time a vehicle moved, how often it was driven off the lot, and even issue an alert, including via a text message, if a vehicle left the lot during off-hours.
For vehicles in for service, a system could provide all the same information, but immediately alert a service advisor that a customer had just arrived, enabling an expedited process to enhance a customer’s experience. For cars being serviced, information as to where the car was in the service process, and how much time remained before it would be ready for pick up could be posted. Metrics measuring utilization of service bays, comparing performance across several dealerships, would provide additional data to improve operational performance.
In the maintenance area, the system could be used to track tools and equipment, as well as parts. Use of mobile readers with a geiger counter-like locating capability to help find missing assets would certainly improve performance, as they have been shown to do in manufacturing and warehouse environments.
Dashboards and analytics would provide a wealth of information regarding how often vehicles went off-site, duration and trends on easily customizable and exportable reports. For new vehicles, reports can be based on a specific vehicle, a specific model, or all vehicles in general. Knowing how often a specific vehicle is being test-driven would also provide insight into customer demand and future sales.
IoT sensors are included throughout vehicles. Let us help you expand use of sensor technology in dealerships and service bays for greater operational efficiency and an improved customer experience.