It's hard to blame Justin Wright, general manager and operating partner at Randall Reed Prestige Ford in Garland, for not wanting to talk about RedBumper. Since his dealership signed on with the company in July, sales have been up 30 percent each month.
“I don’t want everybody to get in on it,” Wright says. “It’s one of the best tools that I’ve seen to manage inventory and [accounting functions]. It’s got analytics I’ve never seen before.”
It seems the news is already out. McKinney-based RedBumper, which first began making its products available in February, already counts more than 900 dealerships as clients, including newly signed Dallas-based Sewell Automotive and World Class Automotive Group.
RedBumper CEO Bruce Thompson helped pioneer inventory management for dealerships in 2001 with the launch of American Auto Exchange. He saw then how dealerships struggled with employee turnover and inefficiency in inventory management.
The success of the company attracted the $9 billion JM Family Enterprises, which acquired AAX in 2005. After working for JM for two months, Thompson decided to take a break and wait out a five-year noncompete agreement. “I drove my wife crazy,” he says. “But I’m back to doing 14- to 15-hour days. It’s what I love to do.”
Thompson began development of RedBumper in 2010. The next-gen inventory management system is offered on a Smartphone-centric platform. Smartphones are a game-changer for dealerships because they put all of the decisions in the palm of a hand, Thompson says. But it’s RedBumper’s sensitivity to up-to-the minute trends and intelligent forecasting that makes it a standout.
Sales personnel can scan a VIN number and in three seconds learn about the vehicle’s historical data, market value, turn-time in that particular market, and more. RedBumper also speeds the appraisal process by 60 percent, by helping dealerships make intelligent decisions about pricing and trade-ins.
According to Thompson, auto dealers that follow RedBumper’s three-second recommendations are realizing 30 percent to 35 percent increases in used-car sales within 90 days of use.
With 60,000 independent dealers and 20,000 franchise stores in the United States, RedBumper’s market potential is huge. A soon-to-be-announced partnership will take the company international, and give it an outside sales force of 500. (It currently employs 65 in McKinney.)
Thompson is also revved up by business-to-consumer opportunities lurking on the sidelines. “We can create a whole other product suite in another type of industry that doesn’t exist today,” he says.