Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Cost of Losing Your Keys

Surprised businessman.
On a normal business day at your dealership, keys pass through hundreds of hands. They're passed back and forth between salespeople, sales managers, porters, servicemen and F&I employees, which can quickly cause disorganization.

Disorganization due to unidentified or lost keys results in impatient customers waiting for a test drive. Many dealerships are still using peg boards or like systems to account for vehicle keys.  With manual systems like this, there are no accurate ways to determine how long someone has checked out a key or even who checked it out. Sometimes employees check out keys and forget to return them, and other times keys go missing without documentation of the last person to check them out.

Mismanaging dozens or hundreds of vehicle keys can lead to unnecessary expenses. Smart keys — key fobs that lock, unlock and start vehicles based on proximity alone — are increasing in popularity and are generally more expensive than traditional keys, costing about $400 to $800 to replace. These costs quickly escalate when incurred in a large dealership. For example, if your dealership loses 10 keys a month, replacement keys can cost you up to $96,000 a year.

Eliminate these avoidable expenses with an electronic key management system. These systems provide full inventory control with extensive reporting capabilities that allow you to better organize and manage your keys. The systems automatically record the employee’s name, along with the date and time the key was requested. If a key goes missing, you can quickly identify who checked out the key and resolve the issue promptly.

Losing a key is not only costly; it disrupts the workplace and can ultimately lead to a lost vehicle sale. Contact us for more information.