RMS Automotive Uses Artificial Intelligence to Reshape the Portfolio Management Business

Machine learning algorithms enable product suite to self-learn using unrivaled Cox Automotive data

There’s a lot of buzz these days about artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, usually coming from Silicon Valley high-tech giants. Thanks to RMS Automotive, these revolutionary data science technologies are now being used within the vehicle remarketing industry to improve client performance.

Combining powerful analytics with Cox Automotive’s industry-leading data assets, RMS Automotive has created an AI-powered Optimization product suite that provides clients with vehicle-specific insights that drive data-driven decisions and improve overall portfolio performance.

The AI approach enables these solutions to leverage large amounts of data to make scientific, prescriptive recommendations that are fast, automated, integrated with client systems, and dynamically updated as market conditions change. Specifically, these products can:

  • Accelerate sales,
  • Increase profits and residual values,
  • Match inventory with the right buyer, and
  • Enable faster, more confident decisions.

“We are doing exciting work that is pushing the boundaries of the vehicle remarketing industry,” said Dr. Ben Flusberg, associate vice president, Decision Support, RMS Automotive. “Clients are experiencing increased pressure on performance. To help them succeed, we blend artificial intelligence, technology and unmatched industry perspective and take their portfolio performance to the next level. While some players are talking about AI and machine learning, we are actually using it today to improve our clients’ business performance.”

Leveraging VIN-level decision making with optimization product suite

The RMS Optimization product suite – Pricing, Location and Reconditioning – provides clients with VIN-specific recommendations, including how to price vehicles most accurately, where to best distribute inventory across physical wholesale auctions, and how to optimally recondition vehicles prior to sale. Pricing and Location Optimization are available today and live with several clients, while Reconditioning Optimization is set to launch soon.

RMS’s products can be tailored to meet clients’ business goals and priorities and are applicable to both digital and physical auction inventory. The Optimization suite uses data science algorithms to drive actions and then display controls and reporting in a web-based user interface.

  • Pricing Optimization – Increases retention and conversion by using VIN-specific vehicle attributes to set accurate auction floor prices.
  • Location Optimization – Increases retention net of transportation-related costs by optimizing the distribution of vehicles across physical auctions.
  • Reconditioning Optimization – Improves price retention or return on reconditioning spend by recommending VIN-specific vehicle repairs for approval.

Through a series of champion-challenger pilots, where multiple strategies are compared in order to promote the one that performs best, RMS has demonstrated that Pricing Optimization lifts client profit lift by $75-$100 per vehicle. So if a given client remarkets 100,000 vehicles annually that’s $7.5-10.0 million in incremental profit. In addition to increasing client profit, Pricing Optimization also provides more consistent, stable prices across regions and markets and frees up time for field reps who are responsible for manually pricing vehicles.

Using machine learning for personalized recommendations

To complement the Optimization product suite, RMS is also partnering with Manheim to develop a vehicle recommendation engine for dealers. This new capability uses machine learning to analyze individual buyers’ purchase and bidding patterns and then present similar vehicles that are available for sale within the Manheim marketplace. The goal is to help dealers find the right inventory faster and also show them relevant vehicles which they might not otherwise have found. Personalized recommendations will benefit sellers, too, by increasing dealer exposure to their inventory and driving marketplace velocity.

Recognizing people make AI work

Building data-driven solutions that propel client businesses forward requires expertise across different areas and lots of teamwork. The AI algorithms that power RMS solutions are developed by Cox Automotive’s team of several dozen data scientists and are brought to life by technologists, software developers, product managers and client consultants. Using data from across the Cox Automotive ecosystem, these experts create solutions that equip RMS clients with an unmatched set of decision-making tools.

These tools work best, though, when combined with the deep industry experience of RMS clients. “AI-powered solutions don’t replace but instead complement the ‘golden gut’ and years of experience of our clients,” said Flusberg. “When you add data and analytics along with the ‘golden gut,’ you’ve got the best of both science and art working together.”


Source: Dealer Marketing Magazine

Cox Automotive