Product, Shipper

Shippers: Preparing Your Auto Business for Slow Season

by Kacie LaCombe

Sweaters, scarves, and the scent of pumpkin spice usually means that a season of change is in the air. And while many look forward to the many benefits that accompany fall and winter, these changes also include the chilly air of a slower business season. 

Between hazardous weather and scores of holiday travelers clogging up the highways, car haulers know that old man winter doesn’t look too kindly on the industry at large. But even though there may be a reduced demand for auto hauling services from late fall to early spring, that doesn’t mean your business should remain in hibernation — seasonal periods of downtime present a great opportunity to modernize your business. 

While your competitors sit idly by, waiting for the groundhog’s prediction to unfold, top auto businesses and auto transport shippers can take advantage of a slower season by streamlining workflows, trying out new software, and carrying out other time-intensive tasks that can be tough to accommodate when business is in full swing. 

Here are three ways to winterize your shipping or auto business to better withstand your slowest season:

 

Digitize your Business

Whether you are considering building your in-house transport or looking to optimize your existing strategy, digitizing your business is no longer a question of “if”, it’s “when”. Invoicing, reporting, and other back-office tasks can be time-consuming and difficult — no matter what time of year. Digitizing manual, time consuming processes allows auto auctions, car dealerships, online car retailers, and auto transport brokers to replace these outdated practices with simple automated solutions that can be accessed by the at your fingertips. But rather than waiting for the “right moment” to explore how to make your auto transport business embrace a digital transformation, why not commit to carrying one out at a time when business is traditionally sluggish?

Once it gets cold enough to see your breath, explore the different ways by which your automotive business can make the full switch to digital. Zapier integrations, for instance, work with popular solutions like Quickbooks and Google Docs to create a seamless invoicing process. And in Super Dispatch, support for API (application programming interfaces) functions can help deliver highly-customized digital functions to completely eliminate phone calls and manual processes. This gives back precious time to your team so they can focus on your more business critical workflows while also improving your customers’ experience with real-time, accurate information on their vehicles.

 

Onboard to a New Platform

Just as it’s virtually impossible to change a tire while in motion, adjusting the way you run your company in the middle of peak business season can be an incredibly daunting challenge. This is especially true when it comes to the automotive industry. As the auto industry rapidly goes digital, more online car retailers, auto auctions, car dealerships, and other shippers are starting to take the transport of their inventory in-house. Now is the time to strategize, plan, and execute on the tools and software your business needs to take your business to the next level in 2022. Would you want to jump directly into a brand new software without taking a moment to get acquainted with it? 

Fortunately, seasonal downtime presents the ideal opportunity to transition to a new auto transport platform like Super Dispatch. Rather than adjusting to a new set of tools at the moment you’re swamped with loads or right before peak season, taking advantage of the slower season can give you plenty of time to know your needs, identify a trusted partner, learn the platform, and ensure a smooth onboarding process. 

 

Focus on Customer Service

Cold weather doesn’t necessarily mean that there aren’t any customers — on the contrary, cars still need to be transported throughout warm and cool climates alike. But the holidays bring vacation days, which can often translate to fewer drivers able to haul loads in place of spending time with family, potentially creating disappointed customers who remain cool year round.  

No matter what your business’ holiday availability looks like, be sure to let your customers know what the transport of their vehicles will look like. Keeping a clear line of communication can help avoid any unexpected delays or developments, and with Super Dispatch’s comprehensive customer portal and real-time status updates, you can help ensure that customers won’t be left out in the cold.

And as 2022 approaches, know that the “Amazon” experience for your customers is no longer going to be a bonus, but an expectation. Do you have the tools in place to ensure a white glove service when it comes to the management of your inventory and the transport of vehicles? Now is the time to explore auto transport platforms that can take away the headache of transport while assisting you in building constant repeat business. 

 

It seems strange to already be preparing for a new year, but it’s more important than ever to not get left behind by your competitors or more modern businesses entering the market. For auto transport, the season is already slowing. For car sales, the slow season rapidly starts in January. Now is the time to build your digital and competitive strategy. 

For more information on how Super Dispatch can help your business, request a free demo today!

Published on November 10, 2021

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