Wednesday, Jun. 06, 2007, 08:00 PM UPDATED 11:59 AMBy Nick Zulovich
ATLANTA — With Auto Auction Services Corp.'s latest 4.0 version of LiveCRwriter, auctions gain more than just a detail, tune-up and new paint, officials explained.
Now auctions will receive an inventory management tool that collects the usage patterns of condition report writers at all participating auctions, executives said. This information is provided to the auctions with a new, improved tabbed interface, according to the company.
On any given day, an average of 110 auctions input information with LiveCRwriter, executives reported. Not only does it offer condition reports and imaging software for cars, heavy trucks, boats and RVs, but it can also be used to add and update inventory records as well, officials pointed out.
AutoIMS gathers input from the condition report writing habits from all 250- auction members to improve the process, otherwise known as "collective intelligence."
Offering an example of how LiveCRwriter helps, officials said an auction can click on a section of a car, and the 10 most popular items entered by all auctions pop up first.
"Let's say the area selected was the front end, and the auction selected the bumper," officials described. "The top 10 damage items that auctions input for bumpers pop up for easy access. One click, and it's set. Auctions can still enter any data or click on ‘All' to select items from our entire list."
Steve Whitney, developer of LiveCRwriter, explained, "The structure of LiveCRwriter has been overhauled. Reducing clicks and scrolling through lists of items has been greatly reduced, and that's a great increase in productivity."
Instead of clicking on icons and buttons, a user is now presented with vehicle data in the form of menus, tabs and window lists to make it easy to find and maneuver through, executives said.
The tabs clarify areas such as inventory, equipment and condition report. Interface windows contain lists of the 10 most commonly used CR items (in the AutoIMS system) at first glance, and other items available as well, executives continued. The selections can change to suit the patterns of the users, which is the process known as "collective intelligence."
Don Meadows, AASC president and chief executive officer, pointed out, "We looked at remarketers' processes, which are full of detail-oriented information, and found ways of organizing the process against the data. Now it is easier to find, track and verify vehicle data."
LiveCRwriter is completely integrated with AutoIMS, officials noted. This means that every piece of information entered into LCR is accessible for viewing by auctions and consignors on AutoIMS. As an auction adds damages to a condition report, attach photos, or update inventory, it's all immediately available on AutoIMS, executives highlighted.
Officials said LiveCRwriter Version 4.0 Features:
—Collective Intelligence: User info is turned into an advantage. The most common processes are at the forefront of all screens.
—Usability: Easier to see, access and interact with data.
—Speed of Operation: With the most commonly used data being preloaded at startup, each screen comes up much quicker.
—Offline Mode: Users can disconnect from the Internet while continuing to add and edit CR and inventory. The changes are stored to the user's hard drive (or handheld) and are automatically uploaded upon Internet connection, which mean condition reports on the lot, or where ever else you are.
—Digital Images can be selected and connected directly to the damage item with a tethered camera to save time later. These can also be selected from a stored file.
Finally, executives said member auctions can download LiveCRwriter software from to a desktop computer or to a handheld device to streamline the reporting process.