Used car sales go mobile on iPad.
Over the past two decades, Tokyo-based Gulliver International Co. has reinvented the way that used cars are bought and sold. With hundreds of locations throughout Japan and annual sales of JPY 142 billion, the company relies on innovative online systems that simplify the sales process. And now that Gulliver uses iPad throughout its business, it’s even easier to connect potential buyers and sellers.
Instead of displaying used cars in a large, traditional showroom, Gulliver assembles detailed electronic vehicle profiles that customers can browse online and at more than 400 dealer stores. Buyers can search through vehicle information and review photos, then bid on cars in real time.
iPad has streamlined the entire buying and selling process, from gathering vehicle data to sharing it with potential customers. “Used car distribution has always been a very domestic, low-tech industry,” says Ho Chol, Gulliver International’s CIO. “By introducing iPad, we’ve brought about a revolutionary change in the way we appraise and sell cars.”
At the core of Gulliver’s business is its huge collection of automobile images. iPad lets the sales representatives easily zoom in on photos and flick between images and descriptions to show customers as much detail as they need to make a decision. The large screen and simplicity of iPad have delivered tangible benefits.
“We believe there is no better device than iPad to show clear, useful image information,” says Yasuyuki Kabata, Cloud Project Leader at Gulliver International. “We use the iPad in every step of the process. The fact that people can start working immediately on iPad has significantly increased productivity.”
With its built-in security features, iPad keeps Gulliver’s corporate and customer data secure anywhere. “We have a lot of information on our customers,” Kabata notes. “But the data is encrypted, and our data communication is also encrypted. Even if an iPad were lost or stolen, we could erase all the data using the remote-wipe function. We believe it is a very secure device to use in the corporate network environment.”
Gulliver’s mobile salespeople use their iPads in every aspect of their work, such as finding directions to customers’ homes, gathering data to appraise a car, or showing the variety of vehicles available. “Once we’re at their house, we collect customer information using a survey on iPad,” says sales trainer Shinji Soeda.
To suggest cars that a customer might be interested in buying, the salesperson brings up an in-house application called Dolphi-net, Gulliver’s fixed-price auction system that allows the customer to see a variety of vehicles currently available to bid on.
Before iPad, Gulliver’s sales staff might make up to 10 sales calls per day. “Now we can conduct 12 or 13,” Soeda says. “And with an increase in sales calls, our sales figures also increase.”
But iPad doesn’t just make the car selection process more efficient, Chol says, “It also makes it more enjoyable: “iPad provides a completely new experience — not just for the sales staff but also for the customer. Using iPad, we can offer our customers greater peace of mind and greater fun in the car selection process.”
Easier Appraisals on iPad
In addition to improving the sales process, iPad has enabled Gulliver to completely overhaul its vehicle appraisal system, resulting in a vastly more efficient workflow. In the past, Gulliver’s staff evaluated the condition of each used car and recorded it on paper forms. Completed forms were faxed to the Tokyo headquarters, where data entry staff manually re-entered information into the appraisal system to determine the car’s value.
“We tried to use PDAs and handheld terminals,” Chol explains, “but none of them worked. Then iPad was introduced, and this problem we had been struggling with for over 10 years was completely resolved, just like magic.”
Gulliver agents now enter and transmit vehicle data directly into the appraisal system, with no faxing or duplicate data entry needed. “Using iPad, appraisal information can be sent to the shop in real time,” Soeda says. “The time it takes for that process has been shortened significantly.”
New Systems, New Opportunities
From mobile sales to main office, iPad helps Gulliver’s staff get more done wherever they are. “We use iPad in a wide variety of work activities,” Kabata says. “Not only for the core system, but also for customer communication, for calendars and schedules. Using iPad, we now have an infrastructure that provides access to information anytime, from anywhere.”
Along with more business, Gulliver expects even more satisfied customers, thanks to iPad. “Choosing a car is meant to be a fun activity,” Chol says. “By introducing iPad, we increase the fun factor while giving quick access to the information that customers want. iPad is a booster for our future business.”
“Using iPad, we now have an infrastructure that provides access to information anytime, from anywhere.”
Yasuyuki Kabata, Cloud Project Leader, Gulliver International Co., Inc.
“By introducing iPad, we’ve brought about a revolutionary change in the way we appraise and sell cars.”
Ho Chol, CIO,
Gulliver International Co., Inc.