Innovative Aftermarket Systems (IAS) this week bolstered the functionality of SmartMenu, its sales and F&I (finance and insurance) software application, with the addition of Black Book electronic trade-in valuation. Black Book, which contains vehicle pricing data in its collection of vehicle appraisal guides, is a unit of Hearst Business Media.

Now, dealers can use the SmartMenu Trade-in Valuation Wizard to enter a trade-in VIN, mileage and vehicle options into the Black Book valuation portal and receive the market value of the vehicle almost instantly. Dealers can also receive a breakdown of a vehicle's value with mileage and installed option adjustments.

This is definitely a smart move by IAS in a world where users demand solutions that integrate into the workflow. The result is instant improvement to a product already greatly relied upon by its users and this new feature will enable them to perform these routine tasks more easily and efficiently than ever. The addition of Black Book functionality certainly makes IAS' application that much more irreplaceable to its customer base. IAS offers many more products than SmartMenu to its dealership customers. The company would be well served to form additional alliances with either Black Book or other products and services that can help IAS further integrate its offerings into the workflow of its customers.