Recycling GPS Devices Can Save Dealers Money
Dealers have been utilizing GPS systems as a way to protect their vehicles since the technology became available roughly two decades ago. Over the years, like most technology, the devices have become more sophisticated and cheaper. However, some GPS providers say that often dealers are missing out on an opportunity to lower costs by failing to recycle the units once the vehicles are paid off or recovered by the dealership. In this week's blog post, we speak with dealers and leaders within the GPS industry for tips on how to effectively recycle these devices.
Industry experts say they typically see recycle rates that vary from 30% to 50%.
“There are dealers that are not taking advantage of recycling these devices,” said Efrat Bogoslavsky of Ituran. “Each device you recycle increases the return on investment.”
For those that do want to take advantage, the experts say organization and consistency is the key.
“If you are going to recycle, if your goal is to recycle, you have to have a process in place,” said Reggie Ponsford of Spireon. “If a car goes into collections, and you take the car back, there has to be a process in place to make sure you recover the device. If you don't put a process in place at your dealership, most of the time you will not pull the unit out.”
Greg Reine of Auto Liquidators in Dallas is one of the dealers that puts this advice into practice.
“At the time of payoff we proactively schedule an appointment with our service department to have the device removed,” Reine said. “In most cases, if you are proactive versus reactive, the customer is more cooperative and less agitated. Don't wait until they come to pick up the title to remove the device. Do it the day they pay it off and are excited about paying it off. We have much more success at this time.”
Several providers even offer to refurbish of the devices, so it is important that dealers work with their GPS company to see what options are available.
“When we refurbish devices, we clean them and replace any plastic that is broken,” explained Bogoslavsky. “Additionally, we will reprogram the devices with the most recent software. We are always releasing more options and features to the system. After this refurbishing, dealers will have access to these features.”
Dealers also need to consider the age of the devices when recycling. According to experts, there is a time limit on how long they can be recycled.
“Somebody who does short-term financing can get more out of that same unit by using on two units,” said Allen Douglas of STARS GPS. “Somebody who finances for four or five years is not going to have that same opportunity because the other consideration is what happens to that technology in that five-year period. Chances are you are going to have access to technology that wasn't available before that you will want to use. Five or six years is an eternity in the world of technology."
Greg Zak of Dixon Motors, who recycles roughly 75% of his GPS devices, seconds this opinion.
“Our rule of thumb is the device needs to be no older than about 2 years old,” Zak said. "If we have a device that is two and a half or three years old, then those devices are sent back to the provider for a credit. By the time the device is two plus years old you are using some older technology, and it is not worth the risk of sending a new customer back out with a device that old.”
For those interested in recycling their GPS devices, it is important to work closely with the providers and have strict procedures for dealership employees to follow. Doing so can help improve the bottom line.