Imagining the possibilities this powerhouse API offers

I’ve built and worked with auto dealership websites since 2002. In 2005, one of my clients wanted to be able to let customers see the available tires for a vehicle from their website. The goal was to have the customer fill out a form about their vehicle that would result in a list of tire options. However, this was when the ability to have the tire and wheel combination for any vehicle at your fingertips was only a dream.

Working for Fortellis 15 years later, I’ve seen just how far things have really advanced, and the new API from DriveRight is a great example of this.

How It Works

DriveRight has assembled a tremendous amount of data from all major vehicle manufactures. Their advanced data set specializes in matching the correct wheel and tire specs originally offered on vehicles. The firm also provides the wheel and tire fitments needed to customize your vehicle’s sneakers like a pro.

The DriveRight API was designed to accommodate the needs of dealership sales and after-sale service. The process begins with connecting to the API with a subscription ID obtained through Fortellis. The system then allows you to select the vehicle by country, year, make, model and sub model using individual calls along the way.

Next, you pass “OE” to get the original wheel and tire fitment data or “Options” to see all of the optional wheel and tire fitments. Fitment data allows your customers to find the right wheel or tire to suit their specific needs while meeting the recommendations for the original manufacturer.

Thinking Out Loud

I began to think about the possibilities of this API and could finally see a simple solution for what that dealer asked for years ago. At minimum, he could have collected customer information within a form on his website.

Using the DriveRight API to drive each drop-down, they could collect the correct year, make, model and sub-Model. The form output would include this information and the wheel and tire fitment data. The Parts team member could then match the request with tires the dealer had in stock or available at a regional warehouse.

At best, we could have taken the fitment data from that form submission, matched it with a list of available tires in stock and presented the customer with options on the fly. The customer could then select their desired tires and request a Service appointment in a few clicks.

Many Solutions for a Single API

Imagine that a dealer is harvesting their CRM data and looking only at 48 month leases. By the 36th month, most customers need to replace their tires with something that will still have good tread life a year later at the lease turn in.

A developer could build a program that taps into that CRM data at the 36th month and checks for the best replacement tire using the DriveRight API. Now there’s new actionable data to work with every day.

Maybe that goes a step further and links to Parts inventory to identify a match in stock. If you add in pricing info, an automatic email could be sent to the customer suggesting they replace their tires with the actual options.

From Service to Sales

Think about a simple tool that takes the connections above in a different direction. A Service customer’s tires need replacing. You develop a tool that that uses the DriveRight API to identify the right tires. This is matched to tires in inventory and pricing.

Matching to the customer’s vehicle to new vehicles in the dealer’s inventory tool really gets things going. The Service Advisor could present the cost of tire replacement against the same money as a down payment on a newer version of their vehicle as the start to a sales conversation.

New Possibilities Thanks to Fortellis

In many of these cases, the DriveRight API is an important foundation for solving customer needs. This can be built on using other Fortellis APIs to create solutions that were merely ideas a few years ago. For developers, the sky is the limit here. You could build a custom solution for a dealer group or a solution that could be adopted by the entire industry. It all starts by thinking big and then using Fortellis to make those dreams a reality.

Authored on Mon, 11/09/2020 - 18:46