GlassNet case study – Peter Brooks Honda
Peter Brooks Honda is a successful two-site Honda franchise business located in South Yorkshire. Following the opening of the first Peter Brooks showroom in Sheffield in 1999, the business grew rapidly and, in 2005 expanded with the opening of a second dealership, in Rotherham. Despite the challenges of a fragile economy, both of these sites have flourished, aided by a large and loyal customer base.
The Rotherham dealership – known locally as the ‘Mushroom Garage’ due to its eye-catching architecture – retails around 400 used cars and 200 new cars each month. It manages a significant throughput of part-exchanges, and also acquires stock from open and closed auctions to supplement its used car inventory.
With used car transactions making a significant contribution to the dealership’s profitability, accurate valuation is critical. Since it was established, Peter Brooks Honda has relied on the monthly Glass’s Guide books for its pricing data.
“Glass’s Guide is the industry benchmark,” says Sales Manager Andrew Morley. “We have always used it to underpin our used car transactions and regard it as invaluable tool. It has been key to the profitability of our used car business.”
Late in 2009 Peter Brooks Honda became one of the first UK dealerships to implement GlassNet, the web-based solution from Glass’s that brings together many of the day-to-day processes associated with valuing and appraising used cars.
The dealership started out using GlassNet 100, which provides 100 online valuations alongside a subscription to Glass’s Guide. A very positive experiencing with the online tool led Peter Brooks Honda to sign up for GlassNet Unlimited, which offers a limitless number of valuations. The dealership now employs GlassNet Unlimited to process the majority of its used car valuations.
“We instantly found it very easy to use,” adds Morley. “The interface is very intuitive, and we can access it from any web-linked terminal in the dealership.
“Perhaps the biggest benefit is the speed and accuracy with which we can now value cars, and much of that is down to the VRM tool. Tap in the registration and mileage on the homepage, and GlassNet produces an accurate valuation for the exact make, model, age and specification of car within seconds,” says Morley. This helps Peter Brooks Honda minimise potential errors in vehicle identification – the kind of simple mistakes that can easily cost a business dear when finalising a part-exchange transaction, for example.
“Before GlassNet we would often carry out a provenance check to accurately identify the vehicle,” explains Morley. “Because GlassNet incorporates a VRM identification tool, we now only carry out a provenance check at the latter stages of the transaction. This shift has streamlined the valuation process and also saved us money.”
Making further modifications to the valuation in GlassNet is also possible, and Morley says the damage adjustment facility in particular has been invaluable. “Our salespeople previously made their own assessments about how minor damage would affect a valuation, wherever possible by also drawing on the expertise of our workshop team. This was not as scientific a process as we would have liked. Because it involved some degree of subjectivity on the part of the salesperson, it was also an approach that could be challenged by customers who felt the downward adjustment was too severe.”
These concerns are now a thing of the past, as GlassNet Unlimited features parts and repair data, as well as some core functionality from Glass’s Light Damage Estimator. “Our salespeople can now give the customer a printed valuation report that details how the valuation is affected by specific light damage. The report has the Glass’s name on it, and that instantly gives the customer confidence in the accuracy and independence of the valuation being given to them.”
GlassNet Unlimited has also proved its worth when Peter Brooks Honda buys in used car stock. “When we’re negotiating with a seller we use GlassNet to evaluate how they arrived at a specific valuation, querying specific adjustments they might have made.”
While Peter Brooks Honda has been quick to take on GlassNet Unlimited, the sales team haven’t abandoned their printed Glass’s Guides. “We still use the Guide when out and about, such as when we’re at auctions. But GlassNet provides even broader coverage of the vehicle parc, is incredibly easy and quick to use, and is now our default valuation tool. We love it.”
Vik Barodia, Director – Dealer Sector at Glass’s, adds, “Peter Brooks Honda was one of the first to make the jump to online valuations, but they are clearly part of a fast growing trend. More than a quarter of our customers have started using GlassNet Unlimited just months after the solution was launched. This is testament to GlassNet’s functionality and ease of use, but is also indicative of dealers’ growing confidence in digital solutions.”
For more information about GlassNet Unlimited, click here