Week 2: Inventory and Exploration

Apr 12, 2021

Hello everyone! Welcome back!

Last week I began to explain my first task and I have even more to share about what I’ve done since. So last week I was given a spreadsheet of all the Porsches currently being sold on the Manhattan Motorcars main website and the exclusively Porsche MM website. Using the stock numbers, I checked each car on both websites to make sure they were both consistent and correct. I assumed that because this is a huge business with over a hundred employees, there would be few, if any errors. I was very wrong. Nearly every car I checked had something different from the other website, or something that just looks wrong. The errors were minimal though such as the MM site listing a cars transmission as automatic while the Porsche site would say the type of automatic transmission it was, which I thought is somewhat confusing from a customers perspective. Paul, the GM at MM, assigned me to use a customer’s perspective so some things could’ve made perfect sense to a salesman, but impossible to understand for a customer. An example of this is how the colors of some cars were listed ‘BK’ or ‘GY’, which I couldn’t decipher and neither would the average customer. Another inconsistency was that all cars on the MM website listed the type of drive(all-wheel, rear-wheel, etc.) each car was in the title, which is unusual as it shouldn’t be such a stressed feature and is only found on the Porsche website if you explore the features. Some cars had no pictures yet and some weren’t even on the site. B y the end of the assignment I’d written 10 pages of things that need to be changed in my notebook, though it was largely repetitive as many cars had the same things that need to be changed.

Once I finished I showed Paul and he agreed that most of the errors I’d written down need to be changed and called the people responsible for making and fixing the site. Now, a car that was labeled ‘2019 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS Rear-Wheel Drive’ is just ‘2019 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS’. The only inconsistency that Paul said is fine and would remain is the different transmissions for the same car as technically they are both correct, the Porsche site is just more detailed.

My next assignment was to do the inventory of all the used Porsches in the building. I know you are probably thinking the same thing I was, how many used cars could a supercar dealership have, aren’t the majority of cars new? Well that’s completely wrong, especially in higher end cars as their value doesn’t depreciate at nearly the rate average cars do. During a conversation I had with a Porsche salesman, he explained that a $30,000 Toyota will be worth maybe $15,000 to sell used after a year. He continued that on the contrary, he has customers who buy a Porsche and the next year it can be sold for a higher price than they bought it at. These cars can be literal investments to own and use, which I did not expect for Porsche.

Anyway, I now had to learn how inventory is actually done. I began to work with Mousa, an employee responsible for all incoming and outgoing cars, as he does the inventory every three to four months. A quick side-note that I though was surprising and funny is that Mousa sent back Lamborghinis straight from the factory because there were things wrong with them. He told me Lamborghini had the worst quality control of them all and the company representatives would tell Paul he’s exaggerating. Mousa explained to me that it is his challenge to find something wrong with an incoming car as a buyer could ask for a discount as well as other problems that could arise from an imperfect supercar.

Mousa gave me a list of all the used cars in the building and took me to the fifth floor, which is filled with rows upon rows of luxury cars. I learned that I had to go car by car and check their VIN number. Once I find the VIN number on the list, I check it and move on to the next car. After going through them all, there were some cars on the list that were not physically there and some cars that were physically there that were not listed. I returned to Mousa and he explained that this is where the real work began as we had to find every car that is listed but not physically there, as it could be on the third or fourth floors as well as the repair shop, the roof, the showroom, and the ‘stack’. Only once the entire building was searched for these cars, and the list narrowed down, did we have to find out where else these cars could be. Using the financial records we could see if the car was sold. We also had to call the other MM location to see if they had any.

Finally we had found every car or found out what happened to the ones no longer there. I can only imagine what doing a complete inventory of the business takes now. I really enjoyed this assignment though as I got to explore the entire building and discovered many areas I hadn’t seen before. Though the assignment didn’t necessarily focus on my project focus, the economics of supercars, I continued to get a better understanding of it through seeing and analyzing many different cars which I had the prices for on the inventory list. As I continued checking cars off, I continued to better understand which cars cost more or less and why.

I look forward to continuing my work, research, and sharing it with you all!

Matthew Shtaynberg


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