ATLANTA – The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently awarded patent No. 8,230,362 to Manheim for its computer-assisted vehicle condition report writing system, which includes AutoGrade. The objectivity and accuracy of Manheim’s patented system increases customer confidence in the marketplace by giving dealers the vehicle information they need to buy, sell and manage their used vehicle inventory.

“Our condition report writing system’s proprietary algorithm removes the subjectivity of assessments made by different condition report writers by applying an objective point scale to the damages,” says Joe George, senior vice president of product development. “The patent is another example of Manheim’s ongoing commitment to pioneering technological solutions that increase consistency and customer confidence in the marketplace.”

Gone are the days of clipboards, paper diagrams and lists of client-specific rules. Now, condition report writers access the new system via touch-screen enabled laptops or mobile devices. The software guides them through a series of objective questions about options, damages and other criteria that affect a vehicle’s overall condition and market value. Condition report writers can also upload photographs of damaged areas, which are attached to the final report.

The system can be tailored to gather condition information that specific sellers need. Once the condition information is collected, an algorithm instantly converts the data into a consistent report, an InSight ECR with AutoGrade, which rates the vehicle’s overall condition on a 1 to 5 scale, consistent with National Auto Auction Association (NAAA) standards.

“Our condition report writing system is flexible and can accommodate the many different types of customers that rely on the data for different reasons,” says Julie Warpool, senior director of product strategy. “It was important we developed a system to capture both the specific data needs of our sellers and the overall condition information desired by our buyers in one consistent fashion. This is an important step in standardizing the way our industry reports vehicle condition information.”

The condition report writing system is in use at Manheim’s North American locations, and it is an important part of providing the kind of consistency and transparency that drives business results in the vehicle remarketing industry.

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