Friends And Family First Port Of Call On Unaccompanied Test Drives

Cooper Solutions survey reveals that 89% of people would buy a car if their friends and family gave it the thumbs up

The latest survey from Cooper Solutions puts the spotlight on the importance of extended and unaccompanied test drives in securing sales and enhancing attitudes towards dealers. With the average test drive lasting just 20 minutes*, 49% of 200 used car buyers said they would feel more positively about a dealer if they were offered an extended or unaccompanied test drive and would welcome the opportunity to make a more informed purchase decision.

Whilst 43% said they would use the opportunity to show the car to friends and family to gauge their opinion, the vast majority (89%) admitted that a positive response would likely swing a sale. A further 15% would take it to show off to colleagues at work, for that all important second opinion, with more men (18%) than women (13%) saying they would do this. Nearly a third (32%) said an extended test drive would increase the chances of them ‘falling in love’ with the car they were test driving and 20% said it would increase the probability of them buying that make and model of vehicle.

Women (25%) are more likely to do day-to-day errands in an unaccompanied test drive car, compared to 23% of men. However, it’s clear that both genders like to test a car to make sure it fits their lifestyle, whether it’s doing the supermarket shop, packing for a trip or fitting in the golf clubs and yoga mat.

When it comes to testing the driving of the vehicle itself, overall performance was rated the most important factor, closely followed by visibility and ease of parking. Whilst 42% of men tested a car for motorway driving, women were more likely (38%) to make sure there’s enough space in the boot.

“The test drive process is a vital element of the customer purchase journey and substantially increases the chance of securing a sale. This is significantly heightened when a customer has the opportunity to bring to life the benefits of the vehicle, particularly when considering an upgrade.
“Being able to drive on familiar roads allows time for the customer to test out comfort, equipment, and the way the vehicle handles and performs, as well as being able to trial the car without the pressure of a salesperson accompanying them.” explains Dean Pipitone, a Director of Cooper Solutions.

“However, our survey findings do suggest that dealers need to keep a watchful eye and more importantly, be adequately covered in the event of an accident or incident. Motorists test-driving can be tempted to push the vehicle’s speed, particularly when driving on the motorway; Dealers need to consider both quality short term insurance cover, in the event of an incident, as well as the tracking of traffic offences or charges. Dealers have a duty of care in validating their customers’ driving licences, enabling them to offer unaccompanied test drives with confidence. Crucially, this means dealers can enhance the customer experience and boost their bottom line, by making the most of new sales opportunities.”

FullCover, from Cooper Solutions offers insurance on test drive vehicles, starting from £2.83+IPTper day with a £250 excess, ring fencing the risk to a dealer’s motor trade policy. Claims are handled quickly and efficiently and traffic offences or charges monitored, putting dealers firmly in control.

Automotive Systems UK Partners With Cooper Solutions

Harnessing FullAppraisal to streamline the sales process and deliver an enhanced customer experience for retailers

Cooper Solutions has chosen Automotive Systems (UK) Ltd to help users of its mobile vehicle appraisal tool, FullAppraisal, to deliver a faster and more professional part exchange process to boost the customer experience.

FullAppraisal integrates seamlessly with ASUKL’s existing software, eliminating the need for multiple data entry and reducing time during customer transactions. Retailers using ASUKL’s platforms can now input customer details and vehicle data whilst at the vehicle side, using their mobile device. Crucially, the integration of FullAppraisal with ASUKL’s software means retailers are fully compliant with FCA Regulatory Treating Customers Fairly guidelines, ensuring best practice in people and systems. The robust software provided by ASUKL also tracks sales, reduces time spent inputting data, helping retailers sell more and boost profits.

Tim Sherriff, Director of Automotive Systems (UK) Ltd says: ‘Working in partnership with Cooper Solutions and integrating our systems has a number of benefits to the retailer. The platforms fit seamlessly into retailers’ existing sales processes, delivering a more streamlined and professional customer experience. Now sales executives have to input customer details just once online, via their mobile device, creating a slick and professional impression.

“FullAppraisal also delivers data through digital appraisals, allowing it to be easily transferred to the ASUKL platform. This means we can track sales and collect data in one simple reporting system. Using both systems together means our retailers have peace of mind that their FSA compliance is robust whilst offering clear and concise advice to their customers.”

Simon Whicher of Cooper Solutions, adds: “We are looking forward to working closely with ASUKL in this exciting new venture in our joint mission to streamline retailers’ sales processes. FullAppraisal helps motor retailers embrace electronic appraisals, for faster, more accurate data collection at the vehicle side which, together with FCA compliance, creates a modern, professional image for the business and enhances customer experience.”

September 2017

Top Selling Tips For Online Auctions

Helping dealers get the best price for their stock and boost their bottom line

Motor dealers looking to sell an entire fleet, a single vehicle or a regular supply of part exchange vehicles need to make sure they’re maximising their opportunities at online auctions, urges Cooper Solutions. FullAuction, its trade-only online vehicle auction site, makes selling easy and more profitable. To help dealers sell better, Cooper Solutions offers top tips on professional remarketing.

An accurate listing and full description of the vehicle is the most important aspect of selling a car online. It enables dealers to understand what they are buying and have confidence in the seller. A car described honestly will maximise bidding opportunities and will encourage engender more sales. Key to attracting a good level of buyer interest, which in turn helps dealers get the best price, is presentation. Vehicles that are well prepared will retail quickly, improving stock turn and cash flow, so doing a proper valet will add more than an extra level of polish.

Barry Cooper of Cooper Solutions comments, “There’s a lot that dealers can do to help their vehicles achieve exceptional values at an online auction. As ever, honesty is the best policy, buyers are unlikely to be put off by a scratch or dent – they must be able to rely upon the listings so they know the true condition of the car they are bidding on. Sellers should also make sure they have a complete service history, V5 and MOT certificate. FullAuction allows sellers to indicate when the MOT expires and whether there’s a spare key available, as well as listing all the key documents.

“Armed with our top tips and the speed and accuracy of FullAuction, dealers can sell with confidence to attract strong bidding and boost their profits.”

Vehicle Listing should include the correct registration number, mileage and number of owners. Vehicle descriptions must detail the colour and condition, highlighting low mileage and any interior features, which may help to sell the vehicle. Photography is essential to enhance the description. Wash the vehicle before taking pictures and get shots of the interior and exterior, plus a photo of the service book. Use the best pictures first, using a full shot of the vehicle as the cover image.

FullAuction is an alternative route to market for franchised dealer trade cars, which attracts hundreds of validated buyers and is quick and easy to list, sell and deliver. User analysis confirms that many dealers are selling their stock before a physical auction house would have even collected it.

Cooper Solutions’ Top Tips for Sellers At Online Auctions

• Accurate Listing and Description – make sure the description includes, colour and selling points such as low mileage and factory fitted optional extras
• Vehicle Condition – Damage markers must be noted on all listings
• Preparation – Present vehicles in the best light by valeting to remove rubbish, excess dirt, stains (particularly those that look like they smell!) and personal belongings
• Presentation – Take lots of photos of the exterior and interior and select the best ones. Remember, good lighting is key to showing off your stock at its best.
• Tyre Tread Depth – Make sure you measure across all four tyres
• Service History – Ensure you have a complete service history, V5 and MOT certificate- a vehicle with service history will be more profitable than one without and am image off the service book provides evidence for buyers
• Photo Gallery – You should provide a minimum of ten shots of the vehicle (taken in the same location). Aim for four images of the exterior and three images of the interior including the speedometer with the engine running and the dashboard
• Vehicle Checks – Include a vehicle provenance check, which verifies whether a vehicle is clocked, stolen or still on finance
• Start Price and Reserve – Carefully consider the reserve price (this is only disclosed to buyers once the auction has finished) and set a realistic figure. Start your vehicle at a low price to attract early bidders and watchers

September 2017

TrustFord Partners With Cooper Solutions For FullCover

Daily rate insurance offering for vehicle loans enhances customer experience and unlocks revenue opportunities

TrustFord, wholly owned by Ford Motor company, is entering a new partnership with Cooper Solutions. Under the new agreement TrustFord’s aftersales force will benefit from access to FullCover, the fleet management system that delivers automated daily rate insurance on courtesy and test drive vehicles.

FullCover delivers centralised data on over 300 courtesy cars across the groups 40 dealerships, giving users access to detailed reporting and maximising revenue opportunities through loan car cost recovery. “FullCover offers us a streamlined process that automatically validates driver’s licence details, allowing the courtesy car loan administration process to be faster, more efficient and following best practice. We can reserve, start and finish a loan in less than 30 seconds,” explains Stuart Creswell, Service Director at TrustFord.

“Crucially, FullCover allows us to maximise revenue opportunities by recovering costs across the Group. Customers can opt to reduce the loan car insurance excess by purchasing excess cover with us, driving efficiencies and providing customers with greater peace of mind that they are financially protected in the event of an accident.”

Marking the partnership as one to drive technology advancements, TrustFord is the first to benefit from Cooper Solutions’ FullCustomer, a new solution that removes the need to duplicate customer information entry into the FullCover system. The pilot of FullCustomer with TrustFord has seen a reduction in wasted administration time and significant improvement in data accuracy.

Dean Pipitone, director of Cooper Solutions adds, “We are excited to be working closely with TrustFord to bring them the latest in fleet management solutions. FullCover is designed to put dealers in control of their business and deliver an enhanced customer experience, and for TrustFord it’s proving to do just that, acting as a framework for the entire group. Crucially, not only does it deliver a fleet management offering and effective short-term insurance for customer loan cars, it helps businesses like TrustFord maximise profit opportunities.”

46% Of Consumers See Smart Technology As A Vital Part Of The Showroom Experience

Cooper Solutions survey highlights the benefits of technology for dealerships looking
to boost their customer journey

With the showroom car buying experience continually evolving, a new poll by Cooper Solutions reveals just what are today’s consumer expectations. 46% of consumers surveyed said that dealers who use the same smart technology that they use in their own homes on a daily basis, such as touchscreen TVs and tablets, offer a far more ‘positive customer experience’.

Over half (56%) of those surveyed believe that dealers who use smart technology offer a more ‘efficient’ car buying process, whilst 73% said that those dealers who don’t use technology for the benefit of the customer are not being as ‘professional’ as they could be. Therefore, those dealers that are embracing the latest innovations available to them today, are benefiting from a perceived higher degree of professionalism compared to those who don’t.

The ‘swapper’ – the customer who part exchanges their car – has particular expectations when it comes getting a vehicle valuation. Over a third (33%) of consumers surveyed revealed they would be more ‘confident’ if a dealer provided an electronic valuation; 67% of all those surveyed believed a more traditional type of valuation wouldn’t be as accurate.
Barry Cooper, Managing Director of Cooper Solutions comments: “Our research shows that as many as 68% of car buyers believe that dealers who are not using smart technology in the showroom are not being as transparent about the sales and services they offer as they could be.

“Take for example the vehicle appraisal process; it’s crucial the way this is conducted, calculated and communicated to the prospective customer in securing a sale. Those dealers who take a ‘Wizard of Oz’ approach to appraisals – disappearing behind closed doors to produce a quote – seriously underestimate the impression this leaves with the customer. One properly appraised vehicle will return the cost of an iPad, and offer greater reassurance to the buyer that they are getting the best market price for their part exchange, plus it could engender a greater level of trust.

“Today’s tech savvy car buyers expect a seamless experience, from initial research using a dealer website through to the visit to the showroom itself. As our research demonstrates, those dealerships utilising the latest smart technology such as tablets, TVs and smartphones to assist with the customer journey, are one very large step ahead of the competition.”

July 2017

As FullAuction embarks on its 7th year, Cooper Solutions reveals the secret of success for online auction selling

Cooper Solutions’ FullAuction has helped retailers increase their profits on used cars with almost 1 in 3 (28%) cars sold on the trade-only online vehicle auction site achieving in excess of 100% CAP Clean, despite the fact that 90% of those cars were in fact CAP average or below.

Barry Cooper explained: “June was a typical month for retailers selling through FullAuction with respect to where they made a significant proportion of their profits. Since 2011 it has become clear that around 30% of a retailer’s trade stock is highly desirable and if these cars are well described and set at a reserve price that encourages competitive bidding once the reserve is achieved, extraordinary profits and CAP performance follow.

FullAuction boosts average £PPU and CAP performance by optimising the mix of well described stock, a large pool of buyers and low transaction costs. The result is outstanding profits for sellers.”

FullAuction minimises transaction costs, has hundreds of validated trade buyers. It is quick and easy to list, sell and deliver. Many retailers are selling their stock before a physical auction house would have even collected it, and to buyers paying considerably less than they would at physical auction.

July 2017

Robins & Day Stays In Control Of Costs With Cooper Solutions

FullFinancials reduces debtor days by 201%

Robins & Day, the largest Peugeot and Citroen dealer group in the UK, with 42 sites nationwide, is enjoying the benefits of Cooper Solutions’ FullForecast and FullFinancials. Celebrating a partnership of 10 years, FullForecast, a financial management system, which has increased staff efficiency, forecasting accuracy and the financial culture of the whole business and FullFinancials, a cash management system, have helped to reduce debtor days by 201%.

Richard Garbutt, Sales Director at Robins & Day, explains, “FullForecast is a fast and easy to use digital solution that has made us, as a business, more robust and our reporting more accurate. Prior to FullForecast we were using Excel spreadsheets which had to be manually filled in by our managers – this was extremely time consuming for them and more crucially, less accurate. It also meant our head office then had over 40 spreadsheets to collate and consolidate each week. With a web based system like FullForecast every level of report is produced automatically, by department, by dealer, by division and group. We now spend time acting on the data, rather than producing it.

“Our line managers also find that using FullForecast enhances their understanding of what’s happening in their departments as they can see exactly what’s happening in real-time, rather than having to extract it directly from the dealer management system. At a glance, they can see revenue, expenses and performance against budget, creating a faster and more streamlined process. The consolidation and transparency of the information it has given us means we’d struggle to operate without it today. It’s at the heart of our forecasting and has become an integral part of how we run our business.”

Complementing FullForecast, is FullFinancials which Simon Lawrence, Director of Finance & Group Strategy for Robins & Day, sees as a key tool for the business. He says, “The FullFinancials Debtor analysis module has had a dramatic effect on our credit control performance. The increased visibility afforded by this solution has helped reduce debtor days by 201%. Our credit control teams now spend more time doing what we need them to do; collecting debt, not collating data.”

Andrew Whicher of Cooper Solutions concludes, “We offer a full suite of tools, which are designed to help businesses like Robins & Day streamline their processes and focus on day-to-day operations. Both FullForecast and FullFinancials collate crucial data into web-based reports that support businesses as they focus on strategic growth through tighter management of revenue and costs.”

Cooper Solutions Strengthens Team With Three New Appointments

Barford-based business, Cooper Solutions marks its continued investment in experienced and specialist professionals with the recent appointments of Ian Batchelder, Account Executive, Adam Trinder, Internal Account Manager and Paddy Chadderton, Account Manager.

Ian joins the FullCover and FullCompliance teams which marks a career change from his previous role as a chemistry teacher. At Cooper Solutions he will draw upon his communication and organisational skills and be responsible for building strong client relationships and long term retention enjoyed by Cooper Solutions. Ian will also be responsible for overseeing the implementation of FullCover and FullCompliance for new users, as well as supporting clients following installation.

“Joining Cooper Solutions, with its strong reputation in the motor retail market, was a chance to join an engaged and well established business,” says Ian. “I relish the opportunity to try something completely new but which will make the most of my communication and organisational skills. This is an exciting challenge in a thriving company that is completely new territory for me.”

Adam Trinder has been appointed Internal Account Manager for FullAuction, having gained experience of working with dealerships in his previous role at a marketing company with a focus on utilising dealers’ customer data.

“Having worked alongside dealerships of all sizes in the past, I am keen to learn about all the systems Cooper solutions offer, whilst continuing to develop my knowledge of the industry,” comments Adam. “Cooper Solutions is known for its ability to deliver innovative solutions that go a long way in helping dealers with the day to day running of their business and I’m delighted to be joining its team.”

Paddy Chadderton joins Cooper Solutions as Account Manager for FullAuction and FullAppraisal bringing over 18 years of prior automotive industry experience. Paddy previously worked as a business manager and sales executive with dealer groups such as Hartwell & Listers. More recently, he worked on account management and new business sales at ABAX and Jaama Ltd.

Paddy comments: “As Account Manager I will be building on my previous experience and sound knowledge of the industry. I know first-hand how Cooper Solutions’ products can make a positive impact on the day to day running of a dealership and I look forward to developing strong productive working relationships with the dealer groups we partner with.”

Barry Cooper, Managing Director, Cooper Solutions adds: “Our products have been developed based on years of experience within the motor industry, matching retailers’ needs with our innovative software solutions; it’s therefore crucial that our team recognises and understands the ever changing challenges faced by retailers.

“We’re always keen to ensure our team is made up of a diverse range of people with different skills as they will naturally have different, creative ways of approaching their work and challenges. Ian, Adam and Paddy bring with them a wealth of knowledge to the Cooper Solutions team and a strong appreciation of the positive solutions our systems bring to customers.”

June 2017

MSH Ltd Never Misses A Sale With E-Bidding From Cooper Solutions

Bidding on the go with FullAuction helps dealers move quickly on quality stock
from trustworthy sellers

FullAuction, from Cooper Solutions, the trade-only online vehicle auction site electric trade-only auction site is helping MSH Ltd maximise its margins. Thanks to its remote bidding capabilities and access to quality sellers, buyers such as MSH can stay one step ahead when purchasing in a competitive market. buyers can trust, it allows MSH to buy with confidence for stronger profits in a competitive market.

Matthew Hall from MSH Ltd explains the benefits of FullAuction, “The mobile bidding function is vital for me, as it means I can still use FullAuction, even when I’m abroad for months at a time. Crucially, this allows me to keep an eye on sales, meaning I never miss a deal on great quality stock. All the sellers on FullAuction are proven and trustworthy trustrworthy, giving me the confidence to buy knowing that vehicle descriptions and photos are accurate. This is essential, as I buy vehicles unseen and have them delivered straight to retailers, so our reputation depends on buying and selling from people we can trust.

FullAuction is now compatible across web enabled devices including Apple, Android and Windows, bringing users access to hundreds of validated buyers on the move. FullAuction makes it easy to list, sell and deliver vehicles for a faster, seamless buying and selling experience.

“I am more likely to buy from FullAuction than from its competitors because it allows me to cap my budget when bidding so I can avoid eroding my margins. Unlike other users who may be retailers with a large forecourt holding lots of stock, I have a very quick turnaround and therefore my margin is much tighter.

Simon Whicher, General Manager at Cooper Solutions, comments, “We continue to invest in the quality of our service to provide a fast efficient, solution help customers like MSH Ltd maximise their profits with a fast, efficient solution. With mobile bidding, buyers like Matthew Hall, can trade quickly and efficiently, even when away from their desks. FullAuction also minimises transaction costs, which combines with e-bidding to make it easier than ever for traders to snap up the best deals from sellers they can trust.”

June 2017

Stephen James Beats The Used Sales Race Against Time With FullControl

Cooper Solutions FullControl increases productivity by 20%

The Stephen James Group, an authorised BMW and MINI Group with 7 dealerships across London and Kent, has seen a significant reduction in preparation time after adopting Cooper Solutions’ FullControl.

FullControl is a web based used stock management system and works to give dealerships complete control over used car stock. Analysis by Cooper Solutions has found that 40% of all used vehicles are sold for less than the budgeted profit per unit, and with retailers having just 45 days to make budgeted profit levels on used cars it means they are effectively in a race against time. It is therefore essential that dealers ensure that processes are in place to optimise speed and quality of preparation, helping them to turn stock around efficiently and quickly.

Using FullControl has helped the Stephen James Group successfully reduce its preparation time turn around as well as reducing time spent reporting, which for many retailers can be the difference between successfully achieving better than budget profit per unit or not. The system helps retailers stay on top of business developments with CDK extracts providing automated stocklists and controls at the click of a button. Stephen James benefits from an awareness of what is unprepared, prep statuses and measurement of how long it takes to prepare vehicles. CDK cannot give an indication of when a vehicle is fully prepared, so Full Control helps by providing retailers with a framework to track used stock from day 1 of it landing.

FullControl also helps retailers by reducing unexpected preparation costs, highlighting overage vehicles, providing sale price action history and reducing average order to delivery times. Iain Mackay, Used Car Stock Manager at Stephen James BMW, Enfield says: “Anyone who works in the used car industry can appreciate that there’s always one car that takes much longer to get out to the forecourt. There are many factors affecting how long a vehicle takes to be prepared and sometimes, it really is as simple as a car being blocked in somewhere on the dealer premises. FullControl helps us effectively manage preparation times by telling us the exact date a car came in enabling us to quickly focus on any cars that need to be prepared whilst avoiding overage stock.

“FullControl updates in real time, storing all the information we need for reporting as well as for producing comprehensive stock lists in one place. Using this system has significantly improved productivity and proved a big benefit to how we run our business.”

Andrew Whicher of Cooper Solutions says: “FullControl removes the need to manually maintain stock lists, instead benefiting from a much more accurate and timely stocklist as a result of CDK extracts. Changes made in CDK are reflected in real time in our solution. Newly adopted stock appears on For Sale stocklists sooner, and conversely, confirmed orders are removed immediately, price changes updated and it is quick and easy to differentiate between whether a car has been prepped or not. A general rule of thumb for all retailers should be a 3 day turnaround increasing to 5 days for a car that requires bodywork. It can be a struggle to measure this aspect of used stock.

“FullControl helps in various stages of the sales process. A good example of this is the integration of the FullCover fleet management system that provides date rate insurance for demos against retailer or group stock. Whilst providing management with real time actionable MI to increase stock turn and improve profitability of their used car business.”

June 2017