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Dealerships Lower Cost and Improve Efficiencies with ARMS® Technology from Enterprise Rent-A-Car

Surroz Dodge Chrysler Jeep in Visalia, Calif., one of the largest dealerships in the Central Valley, was able to lower rental car costs for service loaners by as much as 30 percent over the past year while improving service to customers. The solution was simple, according to Service Manager Jim Steelman, who credits the Automated Rental Management System (ARMS®) application from Enterprise Rent-A-Car.

Two-way technology integrates with dealerships' own technology systems

Designed to integrate smoothly with a dealership's own technology system, the ARMS® application's seamless two-way electronic communications streamlines invoicing and helps Surroz better manage costs by sending electronic authorizations directly from the dealership to Enterprise, including the number of rental days authorized.

Steelman's service department writes between 500 and 700 repair orders a month. He estimates that at least one of every three customers requests a rental car when making a service appointment. Rentals average one day for regular maintenance and three days for a repair. On average, warranty repairs for which the manufacturer covers the cost of the rental car represent only about 10 to 15 percent of his service department's rental requests.

"The ARMS® application makes it faster and easier to provide rental cars for our customers," said Steelman. "We also are able to better analyze and manage the rental activity on every level because the automated application provides management reporting and reduces errors, as well as unnecessary delays that can impact customer satisfaction."

With the ARMS® application, service advisors are able to create an electronic purchase order for a rental car at the same time they are initiating a repair order for service. Because all of the renter’s information, along with the number of days authorized, is sent to Enterprise electronically, the rental car is ready when the customer arrives for the service appointment.

Steelman added that even if the customer shows up without an appointment, it takes only 10 to 15 minutes to have a rental car available because the request is initiated at the same time the service advisor begins writing up the service order.

“We also are able to reduce our costs because the contract is closed as soon as the rental car is returned to our dealership, even if the Enterprise office is closed,” said Steelman. “And, if we need to extend the rental, information is sent directly to Enterprise, eliminating the need for follow-up phone or fax requests. We also can view and print invoice information online within the ARMS® system.”

Easy to Learn Program

The ARMS® application was designed to complement a dealership’s own information management system and can be added at no additional cost or investment. This was important to Surroz, which uses Reynolds and Reynolds’ ERA® information management system.

According to Steelman, learning to use the ARMS® application was easier than he expected. “I am not a computer maven, so it meant a lot to me that Enterprise took the time to have someone come to the dealership personally to train me,” said Steelman. “No one was more surprised than me that it took less than 30 minutes for me to feel comfortable using the application. And I’ve been able to train all our service advisors and consultants myself.”

One of the features that Steelman finds most useful is the “notes” section that enables him to easily customize information about an individual customer’s situation, which is communicated directly to Enterprise.

“I would not want to do my job without the ARMS® application,” said Steelman, “But the bottom line is that what I value most is the personal commitment of each of my local Enterprise representatives to total customer satisfaction. Having this kind of partnership with our local Enterprise office makes a huge difference in our service department’s ability to maintain the loyalty of our customers.”

Read also:
Dealerships' Management Systems Technology is Enhanced
Dealership Reduces Expenses and Enhances Customer Service
Dealership Service Rentals Are Faster, Easier and Better for Business

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