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Quick question for the Toyota Guys in the Room.

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Rick Buffkin, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. Rick Buffkin

    Rick Buffkin Refresher

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    I'm trying to figure out a way how to auto populate a V-SPEC (Basically a Window Sticker) onto each one of our new Toyotas on my Toyota website. Kind-of like GM and Chrysler dealers can do on their websites. I know I can manually download and apply them but I want to accomplish this in my lifetime. Any ideas?? Do you guys know of any other Toyota dealers that are doing this or have seen this on any other Toyota websites? Please let me know if you have.

    As always, any help is greatly appreciated.
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  2. ArtMorris

    ArtMorris Refresher

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    This sounds like an interesting idea. Here's how I'd approach it.

    1. How can we automate the retrieval of the VSPEC PDFs from Dealer Daily?
    a. Build the correct URLs for each of your dealership's vehicle's VSPEC PDFs. The format is like this, but you'll need to insert an accurate VIN & UID:

    http://dealer.toyota.com/VehicleSystem/New/VSpec/VSpecDetail.aspx?VIN=JTDKN3DU1C0000000&SelectedDlrCode=&UID=0000000000&Category=G

    b. Automate the downloading of all the URLs you generated in step a, save the PDFs with meaningful names like VIN or Stock#.

    2. Now we've got all the VSPEC PDFs, gotta get them to the VDP
    a. Convert the PDF to an image and upload it to the VDP along with your vehicle photographs.
    b. If you have someone doing your inventory photos in-house you could add this to their workflow.
  3. bzweifel

    bzweifel Jr. Refresher

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    Not that I know of, but a great idea none the less.

    Maybe we could find enough Toyota dealers that use the same website provider, and then synchronously send that provider the request to automate this [a petition of sorts]. They would probably make it if enough dealers ask for it. Is this wishful thinking?

    I use Cobalt... anyone else?
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  4. Rick Buffkin

    Rick Buffkin Refresher

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    Thanks for the reply's guys. After digging around in Dealer Daily yesterday evening and today, from what I can gather, the PDF's are created on the fly. They are not already created setting on a sever somewhere. I've tried numerous times to find a URL to see if they actually do sit on a server but I haven't had any luck. You do have the option to create up to 10 at the time. What I may do is download and upload them to my server and then structure a path for them to get to my primary website. That is a last resort that I want to turn to though because it is extremely time consuming. Especially when your talking about 500-600 cars.

    BZ- I don't think that its the website providers issues. I think it is more of Toyota that anything. I'm currently using Dealer.com with my sites with the exception of 2. My Toyota site is DDC. I know that DDC is set up with Chrysler and all the window stickers are built into links on the VDP and they link to Chrysler's servers to retrieve the PDF. Same thing goes for GM and Cobalt.

    I'm sure that DDC or Cobalt can populate the VDP with a link to the VSPEC using the VIN. once it is created and sitting on a server somewhere in the correct format.

    I will keep playing around with this and figure out a way.
  5. bzweifel

    bzweifel Jr. Refresher

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    How do you create 10 at a time?
  6. ArtMorris

    ArtMorris Refresher

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    @Rick: Do you realize that your customers cannot reach dealer.toyota.com from their home internet connections? So even if the VSPECs were static PDFs you still wouldn't be able to directly link to them. That is why you must download all of them and store them on your own server, or convert the PDFs to an image and place the images in with your vehicle photos (and let DDC store them).

    Check out the AutoIt script I have attached to this post, I just used it to download VSPECs for approximately 200 of my new Toyota vehicles and it took about 30 minutes. So, if let the script run unattended on a PC once a week then you can get all 600 of your VSPECs in under 2 hours.

    If you want to put these VSPECs in with the vehicle photos you could modify the script to convert the PDFs to images after they have been downloaded. You could probably use PDFTK for that.

    Attached Files:

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  7. MBissett

    MBissett Noob

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    Rick, I've been waiting for this functionality for years and like you, I believe the issue resides on Toyota's end. We have the window sticker functionality on our Chrysler DDC website and it's an extremely helpful tool for online shoppers and the store's ISM (can help clear up vehicle pricing and equipment questions). Maybe someone from Toyota or a website vendor could chime in with some insight?
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  8. Rick Buffkin

    Rick Buffkin Refresher

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    @ Art - I just took a look at the script and I'm SUPER, SUPER excited to get this into play this coming week. I used AutoIT for a couple of other functions that I use on my PC and it works great. Thank you for sharing the script.

    @ BZ - To render multiple VSPEC's all you have to do is hold down the control key, select your vehicles( your selected vehicles will populate towards the top to the page in a yellow window), once your vehicles are selected then just click on the VSPEC icon. It will render upto 10.

    @ MBissett - The script that Art provided is the answer!!

    Once I get the VSPECS downloaded and uploaded, it's then just a matter of the proper link structuring for DDC to grab the links and link it to the VDP. I will keep everyone updated on my progress.
  9. Jeff Kershner

    Jeff Kershner Founder Staff Member

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    Nice work guys. Keep us abreast on how it turns out.

    You would think the manufacturers would provide their dealers with more valuable assets and content we can use on our websites. In stead they would rather use their resources to knock us for not being compliance issues over a "stress" word used in the title tag for a page.

    This is a feature that Toyota should and could be providing each dealer website service provider.
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  10. Rick Buffkin

    Rick Buffkin Refresher

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    @ Art - The script works great. Thank you for sharing that with me / us. I just downloaded all of our VSPECS in about 1hr an 1/5. I actually had to slow the script down a little. It works perfect. I put the call into DDC and I'm waiting to get a response back from those guys. Hopefully, I will have everything set up by Thursday or Friday of this week.
  11. ArtMorris

    ArtMorris Refresher

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    @Rick: Thank you for sharing your idea. We both benefited, 'cause I'm implementing the same thing for my Toyota stores.

    @Jeff, MBisset, bzweifel: I think the Ford approach to the window stickers is best: free public access for the last ten model years. It would be nice to have that for all manufacturers.
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  12. MBissett

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    Art, couldn't agree with you more. Kudos to you and Rick for working out an alternative and sharing it with the rest of us, very much appreciated!
  13. bzweifel

    bzweifel Jr. Refresher

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    Did anyone else receive an email or it is a coincidence?
  14. Rick Buffkin

    Rick Buffkin Refresher

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    Email from who?? I haven't received any emails yet. Still working with DDC to get the VSPEC's linked. I keep running into a wall.

    BZ- did you get all your VSPEC's Downloaded?
  15. Rick Buffkin

    Rick Buffkin Refresher

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    Ok guys. This is where I'm at so far with this project. I haven't gone over this with DDC yet but I'm pretty sure this should not be an issue to plug into the website. I orginally wanted DDC to set up a link on their side that would autofill the link once the user clicked on the "Get Window Sticker" icon on the website but I kept running into a wall. So here is my other idea. Have a form field on the page so the user can copy and paste the vin # into the form field. Once the user clicks on submit, it will autofill the text from the form into the section of the link I tell it to (Link to the specific URL where the VSPEC is hosted) and remove the empty spaces from the form. Here is the javascript that will do just this.

    <script>
    function convertURL() {
    document.go.url.value = document.go.url.value.replace( /\s/g, "");
    var url = document.getElementsByName( "url")[0];
    var fullurl = document.getElementsByName( "fullurl")[0];
    fullurl.value = "http://www.YOUR-URL.com/"+ url.value +".pdf";
    }
    </script>
    <form name= "go" onsubmit='convertURL();location.href=fullurl.value;return false'>
    <input name='url' type='text' /> <input name='fullurl' type='hidden' />
    <input type='submit' value=" Get Window Sticker " />

    </form>

    I do need a little help from you guys. This script works fine. I want it to open a new window once the user clicks on Submit. Right now it opens in the parent window. So the user can open the new page but it takes them off of my primary website. the user has to hit the BACK button to go back to the page they were on. Where and how do I plug in the
    "onClick=window.open ()" peice into my current script?
  16. yagoparamo

    yagoparamo Sr. Refresher

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    I think that the largest website provider for Toyota dealers nationwide is Naked Lime (believe it or not!)
  17. Rick Buffkin

    Rick Buffkin Refresher

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  18. mcampo2501

    mcampo2501 Refresher

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    Wow! I was with a Toyota store forever and would have loved having that ability. That saves countless hours of downloading the pdf from dealer daily and attaching it to an email. Could this work for certifieds as well?
  19. MBissett

    MBissett Noob

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    Awesome work Rick! I'm working with our website vendor now to see if we can implement the same functionality. Thanks again for sharing!!!

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