INDIANAPOLIS. Work Truck Solutions (WTS) has a new suite of solutions designed for body manufacturers and distributors that the service says is a first for the industry: real-time information.
The new services will give these businesses a detailed breakdown of their inventory across their dealers' lots, alert them when their vehicles are sold, and provide a simple way to search for specific trucks on their dealer's lots. Customers can see a breakdown of their most successful dealers and insights into inventory information, such as average days on lot, days to turn since upfit, and more.
“We now have over 800 dealerships that are using our services to help them help their customers – and as a result we now have enough data to start helping the people that are building and delivering the vehicles to those dealers,” Work Truck Solutions founder and CEO Kathryn Schifferle said during a press conference at the NTEA Work Truck Show.
Historically, body manufacturers and distributors have relied on inefficient, manual ways to locate their vehicles across dealerships or understand how many vehicles they have on a single dealership’s lot, according to Schifferle.
To update their channel view, they would have to send a representative to each dealer’s lot to count the upfits they supplied. While that process can work, Schifferle said, it’s timely, costly, and the information is challenging to share internally. This is especially true because commercial dealerships are often hundreds of miles away from each other.
With Work Truck Solutions’ subscription service, body manufacturers and distributors can now locate specific vehicles across all their dealers’ lots, see breakdowns of inventory types, and understand their market better. This has the potential to save these businesses countless manhours and significant costs in acquiring their inventory data, Schifferle said.
And WTS is looking to ramp up its data as it grows its dealer network this year. “With over 800 (dealerships) today, we’re in position to dramatically increase that number – almost double it this year. Those are some of our goals,” Andrew March, the company vice president of business development, said. “And we’ve learned a lot working with those dealerships to figure out how we can now help the body manufacturers and distributors who are also key components in that whole supply chain.”
The new Platform as a Service (PaaS) suite offered by Work Truck Solutions for body manufacturers and distributors is made up of three separate components: a vehicle locator, inventory movement alerts, and detailed inventory reporting.
Work Truck Solutions’ Locator Service consolidates in-stock inventory on one platform to help a manufacturer or distributor’s sales reps locate upfits on their stocking dealer’s lot. This helps them deliver the right truck for the right job quickly, March said. Those companies can also have their Locator posted publicly on their website so their customers can search for upfitted vehicles on their own.
Inventory Movement Alerts let manufacturers and their distributors know when a vehicle has left a dealer’s lot, whether it’s sold or traded to another dealer.
“This helps sales reps have more informed conversations when they are going to the dealerships,” March said. “So we’ve now saved their time and equipped them to have more powerful conversations so that they can add value to these dealerships and spend more time learning and having conversations than just walking the lot.”
Network Inventory Reporting provides additional backend reporting to help the manufacturer or distributor identify growth opportunities. A complete breakdown of the business’ inventory is displayed in a printable table so they can understand what vehicles they have, where the vehicles are, how their different products perform, and how long it takes on average for their vehicles to move. Work Truck Solutions also offers enterprise-level reporting, so companies can understand their growth in the broader context of their market.
“We have information that has never been available before today – before Work Truck Solutions,” March said. “And we’re taking that information and we’re better understanding it. We’re interpreting it, we’re analyzing it so that we can provide valuable insights to the companies that are making the bodies, distributing the bodies, and ultimately helping them get a better understanding of the lay of the land.”