Logistics product management at CarMax: A behind-the-scenes look

Did you know that CarMax is the largest used car retailer in the United States, with over 230 stores nationwide?  The company sells over 700,000 cars per year, and its logistics operation is essential to its success. Like ESSENTIAL! Moving cars may be the key piece of the success puzzle at CarMax. 

Logistics product management at CarMax is responsible for developing and managing the company’s logistics products and services. This includes everything from sourcing and transporting vehicles to warehousing and delivering them to customers. And customers are not just those that are buying cars at CarMax – there are wholesale customers as well. 

One of the key challenges of logistics product management at CarMax is the scale and complexity of the operation. The company needs to be able to move vehicles quickly and efficiently across the country, while also ensuring that each vehicle is delivered to the customer in perfect condition.  Another challenge is knowing what car is being moved and to where and quite frankly why!  Tracking is not as easy as it sounds and this is high dollar inventory. 

Another challenge is the ever-changing needs of customers. For example, more and more customers are now choosing to buy their cars online and have them delivered to their homes. This has led to a need for new logistics products and services, such as online scheduling and home delivery. 

Despite the challenges, logistics product management at CarMax is a rewarding and exciting career. Product managers like myself have the opportunity to work on cutting-edge technologies and develop innovative solutions to complex problems. The best part of being a PM at CarMax is the satisfaction of knowing that we are playing a key role in helping CarMax deliver a great customer experience.

Here are some of the specific tasks that I worked on:

  • Developing new logistics products and services. This includes identifying customer needs and developing solutions to meet those needs. For example, I worked on products that our driver and inventory associates used to move vehicles efficiently. 
  • Managing the company’s logistics network. This includes overseeing the transportation of vehicles from auction houses to CarMax stores and from stores to customers.
  • Improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the logistics operation. This includes using data and analytics to identify areas where the operation can be improved. For example, CarMax recently used data to optimize its delivery routes, which resulted in significant cost savings.
  • Collaborating with other teams at CarMax to ensure that the logistics operation is aligned with the company’s overall goals and objectives. For example, the logistics product management team works closely with the operations and sales teams to ensure that vehicles are available to customers when and where they want them.