In many cases, vehicle data and VIN decoding solutions are the foundation of your automotive product’s features and processes. You may have invested a great deal of effort to integrate with your current provider. Perhaps you've migrated to a different data provider in the past and have experience working through the headaches of disparate naming conventions and issues with style/vehicle IDs. You likely have a customer base that relies on you for progressive development and new features, as well as a busy road map ahead.
Just considering the effort involved is often reason enough to avoid a migration to a different data provider -- even if you are dissatisfied.
Obviously, there may be good reason to remain with your current provider as mentioned above, but we’d also like to pose a few arguments to consider for making the switch:
1. Does your current provider keep pace with new car data releases?
Depending on the nature of your business, it may be vital for you to receive data in a more timely manner. Many solutions depend on having a VIN record for a vehicle even in advance of the new car dealer receiving the vehicle. Some examples of this might be to support staging data within insurance products, transportation logistics services (OEM to Dealer), and new vehicle research and lead generation sites. If you find yourself consistently behind the curve on receiving timely new vehicle updates, you may want to consider if another vendor might be better suited for your specific application.
2. Do you have the coverage you require for current products and upcoming products?
Perhaps your data provider does a good job covering the passenger/light-duty vehicle market, but doesn’t have coverage of other vehicle markets, such as medium and heavy-duty trucks, trailers, or powersports. Or maybe they identify all the vehicle types you are working with, but their coverage of these vehicles is not as comprehensive as your business requires.
If this is the case, you have a couple of options:
Stick with your current data provider and leverage another vehicle data provider, such as DataOne, to supplement the additional datasets.
Switch data providers altogether if you’d prefer to work with one vendor.
3. The bar should be set high for support. Are you satisfied?
Every vehicle data provider is bound to have a problem at one point or another. No product or service is perfect. However, your vehicle data provider should be delivering high-quality, timely data on a consistent basis with a very low error rate.
When an issue surfaces, it’s essential that your provider’s support and product teams are responsive and quick to resolve the issue. Ideally your data provider will respond to your needs within hours, if not sooner, and keep you in the loop on the status of resolution.
4. Are you being treated fairly when it comes to pricing?
Did your current provider sign you up with a great price to win your business and then come back shortly after to increase your rates now that you have integrated? Pricing should be understood up front. Tiered pricing and modest yearly increases, to keep pace with economy, should be evident in your initial agreement so that there are no surprises.
5. Is your current data provider a trusted partner?
Not only should your vehicle data provider be able to support your existing products, but they should be a close partner that continues to support your business as it grows and evolves. If your data provider is just committed to raising your rates each year, but has no desire to help improve your products, it might be time to move on.
If you answered "no" to any of the questions posed above, perhaps it is time for a little due diligence. Next steps:
1.) Take the time to explore your options. We have a simple checklist to help get you started below:
Who are the current tier one data providers for VIN decoding and other data (OEM direct) for North America?
Does the vehicle data follow OEM brand-compliant standards?
What kind of SLA is offered?
How do products compare (favorably/unfavorably) to what you have now?
What is the average support response time? What does the support experience look like (even under trial)?
Is the data vendor knowledgeable about your business and can they offer recommendations or advice related to migration and/or your upcoming product planning?
What does new car data release timing look like?
Is data offered through web service APIs and/or database delivery?
What would mapping from your current vehicle data provider’s vehicle/style ID, to that of another vendor, look like? Are these very different or substantially similar
2.) Build a little time into your roadmap this year to trial some other data products within a sandbox environment so that you have a good sense of what a migration could look like. You may be pleasantly surprised at the investment that companies like DataOne have made to support as painless a migration as possible.
It takes time to integrate a vehicle data solution into your products, so allocating a little time upfront to identify a few vendors that can meet your needs will pay off in the long run.
We’d be happy to get the conversation started and see how DataOne can help! Contact us here and/or take our VIN decoder API web service for a spin by clicking the button below.