A new Web application by GM Fleet & Commercial Operations, known as Commercial SVM (Special Vehicle Manufacturer) Available Inventory, went online on Sept. 25, 2000. It lists the current 10,000-plus vehicles in the inven- tories of 70 GMC and Chevrolet upfitters’ locations. This new Web application allows GM dealers, fleet management companies, and fleet managers to view on a real-time basis an upfitter’s inventory online at www.gm-fleetworld.com, a password-protected site, or to search on a nationwide basis for specific vehicle models. “What GM wanted to do was create a way for those who needed specialty vehicles to be able to have immediate, real-time access for what is out there,” said John Moran, director, customer support and eFleet for GM Fleet & Commercial Operations. “Prior to this, there was no such process available, other than picking up the phone and calling different upfitters to see what was available.” The new Commercial SVM Available Inventory site is updated every 24 hours via a nightly download of data to add vehicles that have entered the GM bailment pool system or to remove those that have been reserved or sold. “What triggers the updating is when a bailment company sells a vehicle. When such a transaction code is assigned, the vehicle is automatically removed from inventory,” said Moran. “Also, vehicles are added to the site whenever a unit is assigned another transaction code signifying it has been shipped from an assembly plant to a bailment company.” The only vehicles listed on Commercial SVM Available Inventory are bailment pool units in upfitter inventory and it does not include bailment vehicles currently floorplanned at dealerships. A separate locator system is used by dealers to search for upfitted vehicles in dealer inventory. Using the Commercial SVM Inventory Web application, GM dealers, fleet management companies, and corporate fleets can search real-time for available inventory by either upfitter or for specific makes and models of vehicles. “The ability to conduct multiple searches, either by upfitter or by specific model of vehicle is what makes Commercial SVM Inventory unique,” said Moran. When a user enters the Commercial SVM Available Inventory site, two buttons can be clicked: one that reads “upfitter” and another that reads “allocation group.” By clicking on the upfitter button, a list of upfitters and the location of their facilities is displayed. A user can further drill down into the database by clicking on the name of a specific upfitter, which will then list all of the vehicles currently in that upfitter’s inventory. The listed vehicles are identified by make and model, exterior color, emission package, VIN, and option codes. By clicking on the allocation group button, a list of all upfitters with the specified allocation group in their current inventory is displayed. Clicking on an upfitter in the list will provide another list of matched vehicles in that particular upfitter’s inventory. If a buyer is interested in acquiring a vehicle found on the site, a GM dealer or fleet management company is contacted to reserve the unit and make the necessary purchasing arrangements. The location and telephone number of the upfitter’s facility where the vehicle is located are listed at the top of each page for dealer and fleet management company use. “The Commercial SVM Inventory provides fast visibility of different products at different upfitters across the country,” said Moran. “This will help increase the productivity of dealers and fleet management companies by allowing them to get products to their fleet customers quicker. It saves them from the time-consuming task of picking up the phone and calling eight to 10 bailment companies searching for a specific model.”

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