Many car dealers have some form of a key management system. This is might be a simple pegboard, lock box, or pricey kiosk system with fingerprints and pictures. But, none of these systems address the reality of the costly mistake of losing a key. Just because you know who took out a key and when, doesn’t mean that you'll be able to find it under the seat of a different vehicle after it has fallen out of someone's pocket.

Here are the 3 most common consequences for failing to implement RTLS key tracking at your car dealership:

1. Expensive Rekeying

If you lose a key, you cannot sell the car until you find it or replace it. Even if keys turn up days later, often too much time has passed and a new key is already on order -- nonrefundable. For keys that go missing, it’s not enough to know who had it last, you need to know where it is, and that’s why location based key trackers are critical.

2. Missed Sales

Even misplacing a key for an hour can mean a missed sale. The “only one on the lot” car that a prospect wants to test drive isn’t going to sell if they have to come back in later for the test drive.

3. Theft

Keys are used in 90% of auto dealer thefts. These could be from keys that get snatched off of a desk or an inside job with someone who has access to the key room. New cars are also the most valuable to steal, because they can be shipped overseas and resold at very high margins. High end cars are very vulnerable to dealer based theft. Even if the loss is insured, premiums will likely go up, quickly.

With a key tracking system in place, missing keys can quickly be accounted for. If a key goes missing, the vehicle can be “booted” overnight or moved inside (if an additional key is available). While the thief isn’t likely to return the key, you will quickly prove you are not an easy target for theft.

In Conclusion

Using a key management system alone does not prevent the costly consequences of key loss. When used with or without a separate management system, key tracking can prevent rekeying, missed sales, and theft.

If you’re interested in learning more about using AirFinder to track keys, vehicles, supplies, and staff at auto dealers, please download our whitepaper below, or get in touch.

Key Tracking for Car Dealers

Written by Dominic Marcellino

Dominic is the Product Manager for AirFinder. He manages our core Symphony Link products, and he is also responsible for managing the development of new products. He keeps the Engineering, Operations, Marketing/Sales, and Strategy teams working together to get our products to market looking great and performing even better.

Prior to Link Labs, Dominic worked for ten years at the Environmental Defense Fund and Ecologic Institute US (EIUS) solving key policy problems in renewable energy, energy efficiency, transportation, and climate change. He ran EIUS as Executive Vice President in 2014; while there, he obtained nearly $1m in grant funding for projects, including the Emerging Leaders in Environmental and Energy Policy Network, which he co-founded. Dominic holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Dayton. He was a Fulbright Scholar in Germany from 2002-2004 and a Robert Bosch Fellow from 2008-2009.