Most automated WalkTheLot and WebLot functions are handled by our own custom created and self-maintained software robots, rather than a hacked together mass (or better said "mess") of server scripts. This enables us to have superior performance, management, tracking and logging, as well as better organization.
Unlike most other services, we realize that clients can't (or rather should not have to) wait until a certain once or twice a day pre-defined time to have their inventory uploads processed.
For inventory uploads direct from clients, such as those using our DeskLot or WebLot Photo Match software, our import robot checks every 5 minutes for any newly uploaded vehicle inventory. When uploads are found, the robot immediately starts processing them in a batch process. When an upload is processed and completed, the client is notified via email (and also optionally to a field tech email address as well) with a status report. The status report lets them know various statistics about the inventory upload and whether it was successful or it failed, so that they may quickly rectify any issues found.
Much the same goes for incoming group feeds from 3rd party providers. Our system checks every 60 seconds and if a new file has been dropped off via FTP, then the engine begins importing the data.
This robot constantly monitors the vehicle databases for vehicles that have had their image URL's updated by a incoming 3rd party data feed. If the image URL has changed, the robot downloads the latest image from the remote web server and updates the various vehicle image files and thumbnails. For parties who support adding a date/time stamp as a parameter to the end of the photo URL's they send us, this saves processing time while importing photo URL's as the system will ignore re-downloading photos where the date/time stamp has not changed.
This robot handles all outbound feeds to 3rd party sites such as AutoTrader®, Cars.com®, Dealer.com®, etc.
Each hour the robot checks each outbound vehicle data feed for any feeds that need to be processed. It is capable of sending hundreds of outbound feeds simultaneously.
Feeds can be scheduled to be sent according to a wide variety and combination of scheduling schemes, depending on how often and when the recipient wants, or is able to receive them, such as;. One or more specific times a day, every X number of minutes, daily, weekly, whenever vehicle data changes, etc. There is however a minimum rest of 4 hours between any particular feed resending so that a feed doesn't continually send in a loop because the dealer is making constant changes throughout the business day.
In the event of an outbound feed failure, our staff is notified. Feeds don't just sit there failing for days, weeks, or months. Someone looks into it.
One of the most helpful features is feed logging. This seems like common sense, but many companies do not keep nor provide logs for their clients. With each feed, both WalkTheLot staff AND you the client may view both the last file sent and a complete and detailed log file for up to 7 days. This might not initially seem like much of a feature, but when a 3rd party starts to play the blame game, or an issue needs to be troubleshot, this simple feature is a real stress and time saver, and can greatly help a window sticker company save face with a dealer client when another party is blaming them for something that is not a failure on their/our end.
We also utilize other automated routines and custom robots, all of which are written by us and for us. This way we are not dependent on an external programmer should we need to troubleshoot anything or adjust our internal robotic procedures and processes.Create Your Account