Locating and Delivering the Right Truck Virtually
Photo courtesy of Work Truck Solutions.
For small truck fleets, finding the exact work truck that the business needs on a dealer’s lot can be a challenge.
“Data about work trucks was not displaying on dealers’ websites; we wanted to change that,” says Kathryn Schifferle, CEO and founder of Work Truck Solutions.
The company’s online service, which launched in 2013, makes it possible for dealers to do with work trucks what they have been doing with cars for years: list available work trucks online in a way that is easy for small fleet managers and business owners to find and buy them. The service typically attracts customers with up to 25 vehicles.
And it’s all at the touch of one virtual button that says “Work Trucks.”
“We made the solution very simple,” adds Schifferle. “We provide our service to the dealer so they can put a ‘Work Truck’ button on their own website and show their inventory to their customers. Our dealers can also share their inventory through our dealer trade network.”
Speeding the Process
For many small business fleet buyers, the challenge is finding the exact vehicle they need under a tight time frame.
Either it wasn’t listed on the site, so the buyer wasn’t aware that a local dealer had that much-needed vehicle on the lot, or the dealer — if the vehicle wasn’t on its lot — had no way to find it at another dealer’s lot to help the local customer.
Connecting the right buyer to the right truck became the company’s motto from the beginning, and it hasn’t strayed from the course.
“We’re the digital connection,” says Schifferle. “Our solution simplifies the point of contact and is completely customer centric.”
For instance, Schifferle noted that the company’s dealer network can cut out one to two days of the sales process for the customer.
“Customers not only have significantly more vehicle options available to them,” she says. “They can be up and running faster with their new truck.”
In its early days, Work Truck Solutions worked with Ford products, in 2014 expanding to GM, Chrysler/Ram, Isuzu and Nissan.
“We plan to support all work trucks, including medium and heavy duty,” says Schifferle.
Enthusiasm for the online listing of work trucks has continued to grow. Schifferle says that the company is now adding dealers to its growing network at a double-digit rate per month.
When Work Truck Solutions debuted, it offered simple truck listings, but Schifferle knows that work truck customers have specific needs for their vehicles. Therefore, the company continues to innovate, such as adding a new body manufacturer feature, which shows the brand and model details to the end customer, including spec sheets, rich product details and video walk-arounds.
One of the byproducts of the company’s success is attracting the notice and interest of larger fleets. The company is on track to launch an interface that will allow fleet management companies to have access to Work Truck Solutions’ network of inventory for their customers — many of them large fleets with hundreds of vehicles — who need replacement vehicles immediately.
Schifferle isn’t stopping here. She and her team are working on other features that will keep adding value for fleets. This includes developing a configurator and filters that will help buyers find the exact model that meets their needs. The company is also working on a function that will show truck lead times to customers.
No matter the innovations, the company continues to stick to the fundamentals.
“We’re here to help people get the right truck,” Schifferle says.
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