Large car lots and vehicle rental services have been known to run into inventory management issues. In light of how expensive the products sold by these businesses are, misplacing merchandise or losing it outright can cost enterprises a substantial sum. As anyone who’s worked at a dealership or rental service can attest, cars are surprisingly easy to lose track of, particularly at businesses with expansive inventories. Auto dealerships and car rental companies looking to make inventory mishaps a thing of the past will be well-served by the following pointers.
Invest in Fleet Management Software
Investing in reliable fleet management software can fortify your defenses against theft and ensure that you never again lose track of your vehicles. The right fleet management software will enable you to see exactly where each of your vehicles are at all times. That being the case, you should have no problem ascertaining the location of any vehicles that are lost, stolen or otherwise unaccounted for. When it comes to keeping track of vehicle inventory, there’s simply no substitute for the aforementioned software. Any business that’s serious about dealership inventory management should start shopping around for suitable software posthaste.
Install Alarms in Your Vehicles
Although many modern-day vehicles come equipped with some form of theft protection, a fair number of them don’t. With this in mind, dealerships and rental services should outfit any cars that lack built-in theft protection with dependable alarms. While this may not stop renters from keeping vehicles past their return dates, it will go a long way in preventing after-hours thefts and make criminals think twice before wandering onto your lot. If word gets around that all of your vehicles are protected by alarms, a reduction in attempted thefts is likely to follow.
Hire Overnight Security
If after-hours theft is a prevalent issue at your business, hiring overnight security personnel may be a wise investment. While responsive car alarms can prove helpful in curbing thefts, they’re not always an end-all solution. For example, if your business is located a fair distance from the nearest police station, the thieves are likely to be long gone by the time law enforcement arrives on the scene. Conversely, hiring overnight security personnel ensures that people are present to deal with unwelcome visitors in real time. While it’s true that overnight security will cost your business money, the added layer of theft protection should prove well worth the cost. Additionally, when searching for the right security firm, look for companies that have ample experience guarding car lots.
Divide the Work Evenly
Depending on how many cars you have, tasking a single employee with managing your business’s entire inventory is likely to place an undue burden on the individual in question. If one person is placed in charge of hundreds of vehicles, the occasional slipup is practically guaranteed to occur. As such, businesses with expansive inventories are urged to divvy up the work evenly by assigning multiple employees specific numbers of vehicles. This can be particularly beneficial to rental enterprises with large client bases. With multiple employees keeping track of multiple rentals, the likelihood of thefts or late returns will decrease considerably.
Invest in Video Surveillance
Instead of serving as a substitute for actual security personnel, video surveillance can effectively complement the efforts of onsite security officers. State-of-the-art surveillance equipment enables your security team to remotely monitor your entire lot from a single location, thereby reducing the likelihood of any unwelcome guests escaping their gaze. Video surveillance is particularly crucial for lots that cover a fair amount of ground. The larger the property, the more likely thieves are to remain undetected, so if your business is massive in size, dependable surveillance equipment is an absolute must.
Managing a business that revolves around the sale or rental of automobiles can present a number of challenges – particularly if you’re tasked with keeping track of a significant number of vehicles. Since most vehicles represent substantial investments, losing a single piece of merchandise is liable to cost your enterprise a princely sum. Fortunately, keeping track of vehicle inventory doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. Putting the previously discussed security measures to good use can provide dealerships and rental services of all sizes with tremendous peace of mind.