The Annata 365 Sales application has built-in support for inspections and reviews required throughout the sales process, such as:

  • Trade-in inspections - It is common practice to accept a trade-in device as part of payment for a new device. To assess the condition and appraisal value of such trade-in devices, the dealer typically performs an inspection to record any defects and assess which repairs might be needed.
  • Pre-delivery inspections (PDI) - An essential part of the process of selling new vehicles, or any other equipment, is to ensure successful and satisfactory delivery of the sold device to the customer. PDI or pre-delivery inspections cover the necessary checkpoints for this process. 
  • Deal reviews - Depending on company policy, total value, or other factors, deals may require a review from an overall financial and process standpoint. This is simply an inspection that follows a list of financially oriented, rather than device-oriented, checkpoints.

While inspections can be created and carried out directly from the sales app in simple scenarios, a more powerful and efficient approach is to manage the inspections process in a separate inspections app that is included with the Annata 365 Sales app. This inspections app provides a dedicated dashboard and user experience for planning and managing inspections, user-configurable checklists, checkpoints, and rules that help ensure the correct flow of the inspections process, and supports online or offline inspections to be carried out in a dedicated inspections app that is optimized for mobile devices. Please see Annata 365 Inspections for more information.

This digital transformation of the inspections process means that inspection results can be used to drive automation, approvals, or pricing rules in the trade-in, delivery, and deal management processes. However, such automation would normally be established as a customer-specific configuration using tools such as Microsoft Dataverse workflows, business logic, Microsoft Power Automate Flow, or similar technologies.

Trade-in inspections

In the automotive and equipment industry, it is common practice to accept a trade-in device as part of payment for a new device. For example, you might trade in your old car for a new one. In such cases, the dealer sells the trade-in in their used car sales operation. For example, a used car showroom or website. The objective of the dealer is usually to sell the trade-in as fast as possible and to maximize the sales price, or find other means to maximize the value and revenue from the trade-in negotiation.

To assess the condition and appraisal value of the trade-in device, the dealer typically performs some kind of Inspection to record any defects and assess which repairs might be needed. An automated process would normally be used to create trade-in inspections according to company policy. 

To manually create an inspection for a given trade-in device, please perform the following steps:

  1. From the trade-in record, under the Inspection section at the bottom of the General tab, select the Inspection field.
  2. Open the field lookup and choose + New Inspection at the bottom of the list.
  3. In the Quick Create Inspection form that now opens, enter the following information:
    • Checklist: Specify the desired trade-in inspection checklist. Note that Checklist Type can be used to identify applicable checklists.
    • Device: If the trade-in is already listed as a device in the system then specify that here, otherwise this field can be left blank.
    • Due On: Specify when the inspection should be carried out, if applicable.
    • Assigned To: Specify who should carry out the inspection, if applicable.
  4. Save and Close. This creates a new inspection that is now referenced in the Inspection field on the trade-in record. 

A trade-in inspection can now be performed directly from the trade-in record by opening the associated inspection record, completing the necessary checkpoints, and closing the inspection. Please note that trade-in inspections are often carried out by a different team, even at a different location. Regardless of the process or who completes the inspection, once the trade-in device has been inspected the sales team can immediately see the inspection results directly within the trade-in record.

Pre-delivery inspections (PDI)

Perhaps the most critical part of the process of selling new vehicles, or any other forms of equipment, is the successful delivery of the sold device to the customer. Pre-delivery inspections help ensure that the proper procedure is followed at this crucial stage. In Annata 365 Sales, a PDI inspection can be assigned to the opportunity itself to ensure that the proper overall PDI procedure is completed before the opportunity is closed. Additionally, each device in a deal can have its own PDI inspection that specifically applies to the given device.

While most opportunities might involve a single device, Annata 365 Sales supports more complex scenarios as well. For example, opportunities may involve multiple deals where each deal initially represents a scenario that is offered to the customer. Each deal may in turn include multiple devices. For example, if a company is purchasing a fleet of vehicles. Another example from the heavy equipment industry is when a single machine such as an excavator is sold with various attachments and modules as sub-devices. PDI for such a large excavator could have an overall PDI checklist with high-level checkpoints at the opportunity level as well as specific PDI checklists that address the various aspects of the deal devices that represent the base unit, tracks, cabin, boom, attachments, or other major parts of the excavator.

To manually create a PDI inspection for a given opportunity, please perform the following steps:

  1. From the opportunity record, under the Pre-Delivery Inspection section at the bottom of the Summary tab, select the Inspection field.
  2. Open the field lookup and choose + New Inspection at the bottom of the list.
  3. In the Quick Create Inspection form that now opens, enter the following information:
    • Checklist: Specify the desired PDI inspection checklist. Note that Checklist Type can be used to identify applicable checklists.
    • Device: If the opportunity is associated with a single existing device then specify that device here, otherwise this field can be left blank.
    • Due On: Specify when the inspection should be carried out, if applicable.
    • Assigned To: Specify who should carry out the inspection, if applicable.
  4. Save and Close. This creates a new inspection that is now referenced in the Inspection field on the opportunity record. 

A similar procedure can be followed to manually create a PDI inspection for individual deal device records. The only difference is that the procedure is started from a deal device record instead of an opportunity record. 

A PDI inspection can now be performed directly from the opportunity or deal device records by opening the associated inspection record, completing the necessary checkpoints, and closing the inspection. Please note that PDI inspections may be carried out by a different team than the sales team, even at a different location. Regardless of the process or who completes the inspections, once the device has been inspected the sales team can immediately see the inspection results directly within the opportunity and deal device records.

Deal reviews

High value or high risk deals, where large amounts are at stake or margins are critical, may need to be reviewed and validated from an overall financial and process standpoint. Depending on the business scenario, this may be done as standard practice, depending on deal value, margin levels, or according to quality management processes. The same inspection functionality that supports PDI or trade-in inspections can be used for this purpose. In this case, however, the checklist used and the results from the completed inspection do not necessarily relate to a particular device. An automated process would normally be used to create deal review inspections according to company policy.

To manually create a review inspection for a given deal, please perform the following steps:

  1. From the deal record, under the Summary tab, select the Inspection field.
  2. Open the field lookup and choose + New Inspection at the bottom of the list.
  3. In the Quick Create Inspection form that now opens, enter the following information:
    • Checklist: Specify the desired deal review checklist. Note that Checklist Type can be used to identify applicable checklists.
    • Device: If the deal relates to a single existing device then specify that here, otherwise this field can be left blank.
    • Due On: Specify when the deal review should be carried out, if applicable.
    • Assigned To: Specify who should carry out the deal review, if applicable.
  4. Save and Close. This creates a new inspection that is now referenced in the Inspection field on the deal record. 

A deal review can now be performed directly from the deal record by opening the associated inspection record, completing the necessary checkpoints and closing the inspection. However, such deal reviews are usually carried out by someone other than the salesperson who is working on the given deal. Regardless of the process or who completes the inspection, once the review checklist has been completed the sales team can immediately see the inspection results directly within the deal record.

See also