Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. has finished connecting Toyota dealers to Dealer Daily, its new Web-based dealer communication system.
Lexus dealers also are using some of the system's functions, but will not have full capability until the end of this year.
Dealer Daily is a virtual private network that is integrated with the dealer management systems used by 1,100 Toyota and Lexus dealers. It lets dealers receive information from Toyota without having to re-key the data into their dealer management systems.
Dealers use Dealer Daily to report sales, file warranty claims, order parts, communicate with Toyota's captive finance company, view technical repair manuals and use e-mail. Toyota uses the system to send news and information to all Toyota and Lexus dealers.
Dealer Daily is Windows based. It replaces Toyota's outdated AS/400 technology, which was called the Toyota Dealer Network.
The previous dealer communication system was in need of an update, said Barbara Cooper, chief information officer at Toyota Motor Sales.
The Toyota Dealer Network handled warranty claims and sales information being reported from the dealers, but everything else had to be through mail, fax or telephone, she said.
"This is a leap, not a step, from our prior system with the factory," said Ron Napoli Jr., general manager of Toyota North in Mount Kisco, N.Y.
One of its most used features is the Dealer Pipeline Management System, Napoli said.
"I think this is probably the first step in that path where we're going to shorten the delivery time, but also we're going to bring product to market that more accurately meets our local needs," he said.
Dealers will pay a monthly subscription fee based on the size of bandwidth they desire.