“We’re starting to see, with availability so tight, guests going online to find that one vehicle that they want because of SmartPath’s real-time inventory. It assures the guest that what the dealer is showing online is what they have,” Bliss said, adding that the system also allows dealers to display vehicles that have been allocated but not yet delivered. “The dealers using this are seeing their turn rates improving by about 1.5 percentage points, and that’s pretty good since we’re already at a turn rate of 91 percent across the country right now” because of ongoing inventory shortages.
The digital retailing tools were expanded this year into the service lane at four pilot dealerships, and that effort is already showing an average increase of $160 per repair order.
The service expansion also includes an online scheduling tool for appointments, which is seeing 80 percent utilization — meaning four out of five service customers of those dealerships made their own appointment electronically through SmartPath or Monogram, Bliss said.
“Service is really starting to take off,” he said. The automaker plans to add another handful of service pilot dealerships over the next few months, and it will have about 20 dealership service operations on the system by year end. “The early results have been great and encouraging,” he added.