Dealer Management System: Craigslist, Websites, CRM, Desking, Forms, Reporting, Export

woman with laptop and car keys

Memorial Day weekend is one of the best times to sell cars. We have been helping our clients get ready for it. We have a lot of enhancements this month. Please read below and Contact us for more info and demonstration.

Reporting and Data Export

Our reporting system is probably not mentioned enough. We have one of the most powerful and easy to use system in the market. When clients realize the power of it they start putting in requests immediately. So, we added quite a few new fields in our reports: buyer name, sales person, service contract, fees, total revenue, cost, etc. Furthermore, it is now possible to quickly export the report results to Excel. We also developed a more comprehensive export utility. There are a lot of specialized systems available and they do not work well with one another. Some companies decided that they needed an open exchange standard so that these solutions can integrate better. Our stand has always been the same. We do not want you to work hard to get different vendors talking. We want to provide a complete solution. For that reason, exports should not even be necessary. However, it is useful to do a quick analysis on Excel. You can also import data from our system to Quickbooks this way. We are planning on building an accounting module that can record expenses, income, generate income statement and cash flow reports.

CRM Enhancements

We finally implemented a feature that was long due: call again date / time for customers and leads. With this, the sales people can set when to call a customer again. Later, when you want to see who you are supposed to call in a day, you can easily see it. You can still filter by customer status, source and account manager. Another long standing ticket that was resolved was the sales commissions. You can now set commissions for the sale of a vehicle. It is recorded as a cost of selling the car. Finally, now all our website forms create leads in the system. This saves time. Some examples are: contact us, sell us your vehicle, schedule test drive, etc. A frequently asked question is, can your CRM create leads from custom emails (for example coming from Autotrader)? The answer is yes. We would need to see the email and set it up accordingly in a mailbox hosted on our system.

Deals and Forms

We have been implementing custom NCR forms for our customers. Currently this is the way we can print retail installment contracts. Since it takes time to setup these custom forms for your printer, we will be charging $50 per form. Clients can also do this themselves. We added a few new fields and fixed some bugs in the deal wizard. We made all fee fields editable in the purchase order form. It is now possible to set all fees as taxable or non-taxable. We now have Michigan DMV forms.

Craigslist, Cars.com and Autotrader

We added a flag for fine tuning which vehicles will be sent to Cars.com and Autotrader. This is useful for dealers that have a certain limit on the number of vehicles they can carry in their accounts. The biggest set of changes was in Craigslist, as it was in the past few months. First off, we have better tracking and reporting of views. It is more accurate. The status of the post can be detected more accurately based on views. We have better error handling. We can now handle craigslist phone verification with ease. When password reset is requested, you can do that on the fly. The new password will be recorded in Carsinia as well. We have better management of ads. You can now generate images for an existing ad. We have more flexible rules for controlling when you can post and delete ads. You can view the posted ads easily. Our DMS can now automatically create new emails and accounts for you.

The single most important part of a post is the title. We now have utilities for randomizing it. We make sure there are no newlines, gracefully truncate it to 70 characters, get rid of repeated words, html encoded characters, double space and we trim it. When we are generating token values, we pick the one that was not used before when possible. The resulting titles are quite random and look very much like written by a human. We also have a few new random tokens that can be used for other vehicles list and links. Even the location is now randomized. The same rules for title apply to the location as well. For the body of the post, we can shuffle the text to be more random.

The images also play a very important role in ghosting. Especially where they are hosted. The hosting server IP and domain name both matter. We started using Amazon S3 for hosting Craigslist ad images. We use new image names for every post. Because Amazon S3 IP addresses change all the time, they are less likely to be ghosted. The other new feature is that we now upload images to Craigslist as well. This reduces chances of ghosting. No other posting software does this. All this information can be seen at our craigslist dealer software site.

Next Month

We plan to start working on even more Craigslist, desking, floor planning and accounting enhancements. It will be possible to preview and override every post. Stay tuned and Contact us for more info and demonstration.

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