Henstock: Honing our search tool

Time 6:17 am, September 4, 2014

BCAWITH an improving economy and greater demand from motorists to change their existing vehicle, stock location is a key issue for retail used car dealers. Supplies of good, retail-quality cars in the wholesale sector are still relatively limited – a legacy of the lower new car sales following the onset of the recession – and finding and securing the right vehicles to meet demand is critical.

With BCA selling more than a million vehicles annually choice isn’t an issue, but it was apparent the sheer amount of stock available was in itself becoming a barrier to effective stock location for our customers.

Customer research revealed that some professional buyers were spending increasing amounts of time preparing for the next day’s business with BCA. In January 2014, we launched a rolling project to make the BCA search function the best in class and sector, utilising free text search capabilities as used by Google and drawing on best practice and design.

Using an advanced search tech called Solr, BCA Search is developed in-house, allowing rapid progress with updated iterations going live frequently. The latest release features a consumer-styled user interface with mileage sliders, date calendars and a dynamic make/model selector, with instant updating of results as customers search. Each iteration includes a feedback button for user comments, meaning BCA Search is designed with customers, rather than just with customers in mind.

This feedback and our own analysis tell us that the new BCA Search is delivering results. The ongoing build process will see BCA Search introduce a wider range of criteria, including colour, specification and trim.

Who is Simon Henstock? Simon is UK network operations director for BCA. Visit british-car-auctions.co.uk or call 0845 600 6644.

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