Using GPS technology originally meant to recover stolen vehicles, smaller finance companies now have a powerful new tool to reduce the risks involved with lending to dealers – essentially through a daily reconciliation of floor plans to aid in timely collection of funds on sold vehicles.
“GPS technology has reached the point where its affordable and practical for finance companies to keep regular tabs on the inventory that they have financed on used car lots,” said Ira Levin, vice president of business development at Guidepoint Systems Inc. in Madison Heights, Mich. “With the ability to run location reports on multiple vehicles in seconds, a finance company can virtually get an updated floor plan on a car lot daily with ease.”
Levin said he will be available to discuss the floor plan inventory system in person with interested individuals who are attending the National Automobile Dealers Association convention in Las Vegas March 22-25, or by contacting him directly by writing [email protected] or calling (248) 508-9707.
The heart of the automated inventory system is the Guidepoint ICU (Inventory Control Unit) device that allows both finance companies and dealerships to monitor where vehicles are from any Internet-connected smartphone, PC or tablet using the system.
Guidepoint’s GPS technology provides a map display with current locations of vehicles, details based on their VIN numbers, history reports showing where the units have traveled and at what speed. Reports can be generated with ease that show which vehicles are located on the dealer’s lot and outside of the lot, as well as whether the drivers may be dealership personnel.
These TRAK services can also be viewed as a high-margin, added-value product for dealers to offer to consumers as a safety and security feature, Levin said. If TRAK services are sold with the vehicle, installation can be handled onsite in less than 15 minutes using an OBDII bypass harness. Otherwise, the device can simply be recirculated to another vehicle.
“A finance company that is looking to mitigate its risk with lending to a car dealer can offer to finance the initial purchase of the ICU devices for inventory as part of the lending terms,” Levin said. “Mitigating that higher risk always boils down to making sure that the lender can pinpoint exactly where the vehicles are – at any day and time – and reconcile the inventory in a much timelier fashion.”
With headquarters in Madison Heights, Mich., Guidepoint Systems has main operational facilities in Fort Worth, Texas , and Mexico. The company owns and operates response centers staffed 24/7/365 to provide a wide range of services for dealerships, rental car companies, commercial fleet managers and individual vehicle owners. Guidepoint customer service representatives personally handle notifications of impact, theft, driver emergencies and concierge services.