Jeff Bittancourt, Director of Operations, on the Buying Matrix
The Buying Matrix is one of the most powerful features on the CarOffer platform. We spoke to Jeff Bittancourt, Director of Operations to hear why this solution is so unique.
What is your background? Are you a lifetime automotive industry professional?
J.B.: I am in the 20th year of my automotive career, and this is my third year in the automotive technology space. Prior to that, I spent 17 years with CarMax, being a part of the team that grew from 30+ stores in 2001 to 187 stores when I joined Pearl in 2018.
How has being on the sales side of auto retail helped you in your role at CarOffer?
J.B.: My prior experience in auto retail has helped me tremendously in my CarOffer role. I understand firsthand the difficulties of acquiring, pricing, and managing inventory consistently, whether that is for a small independent dealership, to a huge franchise group, and everything in between. My retail experience allows me to help our CarOffer team implement our products/services with the stores that use them daily. Finally, my prior time in the stores keeps me connected to our dealer partners; buying/selling vehicles profitably while giving customers a great experience is challenging, and I am always an advocate for the people who do it each day.
When you were helping to develop the Buying Matrix platform, what were some key features and capabilities that you knew dealers must have access to?
J.B.: While helping build the Buying Matrix, I knew that dealers needed the flexibility to cast a “wide net” on a large section of vehicles based on years, makes, models, etc. and at the same time, fulfill specific needs such as an individual make/model/trim/color that performs especially well at their location. Having the capability to expand/contract as needed in real time is critical to ensure the stores are receiving inventory that they need the most.
Is there a benefit for a dealer to use CarOffer to buy only?
J.B.: Dealers who start off only buying through CarOffer are missing the benefits of real-time offers on their vehicles, maximizing their front lot positions, and managing their aging profiles. They do, however, have the benefits of placing orders in advance for specific vehicles at the quantities and prices needed to increase sales at their store. Previewing and making offers on vehicles car-by-car is inefficient, and for most dealers, takes their teams’ attention away from critical responsibilities at the store, whether that is appraising customer vehicles, managing front line inventory, or training/developing their associates. Buying vehicles through the CarOffer Buying Matrix frees up time for those managers and leaders at the store to drive execution in those areas while still sourcing inventory needs.
How does the Buying power work?
J.B.: The buying power of CarOffer and the Buying Matrix means that dealers maximize their opportunities to trade for more vehicles without the risk or fear of “paying too much” for a vehicle that historically under-performs at their location. Leveraging the buying matrix and its offers to trade for and sell more vehicles is essential, and gives dealers “exit strategies” on trades and inventory units 24/7.
Fast forward 5 years - How do you think inventory management processes and strategies will change?
J.B.: 5 years from now the quantities and specific types of vehicles bought/sold will likely change, whether that means more alternative fuel, pure electric, and/or autonomous vehicles, or less leases, more subscriptions, etc. Regardless of the mix and numbers of vehicles, managing inventory then will be, at its simplest, the same as today, and as it was 20 years ago. The technology used to manage inventory has evolved significantly in that time, but the mission is still to have the best selection of vehicles at all times to meet or exceed your sales goals. The vital behavior is using automation to simplify and streamline that process as much as possible.
Is there a key feature or service from CarOffer that you think dealers don't take full advantage of but should?
J.B.: One feature I think dealers don’t maximize on our platform is the use of OfferGuard. It adds a nominal amount to the purchase price of the vehicle, but it gives our dealers peace of mind on any vehicle purchased with OfferGuard on our platform. Dealers have the freedom to recondition and try to retail any vehicle they purchase with OfferGuard, and if for some reason they don’t sell it within 45 days, they can sell it back to CarOffer for their purchase price. The upfront cost pales in comparison to the potential exposure of vehicles that lose thousands in wholesale value during that time. I liken it to an extended service plan for a retail customer- “better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.”
Want to learn more about the Buying Matrix and how it can help your dealership source more inventory? Click the button below.