According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), there currently are 150,000 brick & mortar car dealerships across United States. In addition to selling new cars, these dealerships also offer used and certified pre-owned cars and trucks, often at reduced prices. While many dealers accept trade-ins and sales from customers, they also often purchase used vehicles from other dealerships, through a complex, auction purchasing system that is invisible to the end-consumer. In fact, in 2015, a massive 9.1 million pre-owned cars were bought and sold in the United States through these auction houses. However, since the auction house process is based on the brick & mortar concept of auto sales and is relatively archaic, the area is ripe for disruption.
Enter The Factory. Co-founders Lynn Clark and Jerry Clark, both long term veterans in the automotive dealer industry, realized the limitations of the current system, especially in the age of digitization. They started The Factory as a way build a digital, B2B marketplace for dealerships looking to appraise, buy, and sell pre-owned cars. Though a combination of a mobile app and a web portal, dealers can appraise, list, search and buy vehicles in real-time, 24 hours a day, from anywhere, with added visibility into specific make and model inventory across the country.
By transforming the way that dealers buy and sell used cars and trucks, The Factory was able to reduce the importance of the "middlemen," the auction houses, in each transaction and save dealers both time and money. Using a combination of Oracle Mobile Cloud for its mobile app (and related mobile services such as security, push notifications, etc.), and Oracle Integration Cloud to connect via REST API services to each dealership's proprietary Dealer Management System (DMS), the Factory also was able to save end-customers precious time as each salesperson at every dealership knew exactly every piece of relevant information, in real-time, about each used vehicle.
In the future, The Factory plans to integrate intelligent chatbots into its platform to handle customer service requests, and to refer complex questions to live human agents. For the full story, watch the video below: