12 Volt Tech: Signed, Sealed, Delivered
Tom Malone, president of Audiovox, and a 25-year veteran remembered the good old days but also sees bright opportunities in the future of expediting. “What makes Audiovox unique as an expeditor partner is we have employees in the field who specifically deal with expeditors. We actually send our guys to help close sales at car dealerships.”
Proceed With Caution
Expediting sounds terrific as an extra way for your business to make money, but it does come with its share of problems. “It is always best to test the waters with a dealership or two before you know if expediting is right for your business,” said Malone. “The service level you need to provide is intense. In the industry, it is known as bell-to-bell coverage—when the bell rings in the morning opening up the service area to when the bell closes at night when the overhead door finally drops. You will always need to have an installer on call, and need to respond immediately if you want to continue to do business with the dealership.
“Thirty- to 60-day terms are difficult and you need to float that money, so cash flow becomes a potential problem. Obviously, it is best to start with a friendly dealership to get used to the process.”
Sounds tough, but there is an upside that Malone has noted throughout his long tenure at Audiovox: “People are always buying cars so there is constant customer flow. There are up years and down years, but even in the worst economy people are still purchasing vehicles and want to have them outfitted correctly.”
Depending on your organization, some aspects of expediting sound great. However, Malone gives some words of advice and caution from his years of experience: “Unfortunately, our best expeditor customers do strictly expediting. The most successful people in the expediting world are those who specifically cater to car dealerships. However, there are still some great brick-and-mortar retailers who have a dedicated installer for expediting who do well with that side of the business.”