By Bradley Orr

 

I started my career in the car business selling Oldsmobiles. Since then, I have managed used cars, reconditioning and sales — and I was also a wholesale dealer. I’d like to believe I know the business’s challenges.

 

One challenge every dealer faces is making prudent decisions — often quickly.

 

A valuable leadership quality that experience should teach is sound judgment. That comes from careful reasoning about a matter and evaluating what one learns through the shared advice and observations of trusted sources and colleagues.

 

It’s at trade expositions like NADA and at 20 Group learning environments where we hear from peers sharing the decisions that have contributed to measurable improvements in their dealership’s performance.

 

The lesson from these experiences is this: You want to trust your judgment.

 

A researcher told me once he knew he had studied his subject with integrity once further investigation started confirming earlier facts.

 

If you’re considering reconditioning workflow software to get newly acquired used cars front-line ready faster — and improve inter-department communications and accountability, so your internals run smoothly — trust your judgment.

 

There are probably no wrong choices here, but there are certainly choices that will resolve more of your recon processes, work efficiency and speed-to-sale challenges than others will.

 

You want to select a provider whose technological core is designed around the essential reconditioning performance metric known as time-to-line (T2L). Despite the bells and whistles providers hang on their workflow tools, the key performance indicator (KPI) that makes or breaks recon and turn efficiency is always T2L.

 

Get your T2L practices wrong and your dealership will struggle to make its recon technology deliver a real productivity and performance difference. Without robust T2L accountability at the core of your dealership’s software, reconditioning itself will lag, sales leads won’t convert as they could — and you won’t deliver the sales experience customers deserve.

 

When I ran a reconditioning center, we used a T2L workflow software that got our cars sale-ready in three to five days. This faster KPI made us a much more competitive dealership.

 

Look for a recon workflow tool providing robust data, control precision, clear communications and performance accountability — accessible with a click on a desktop or mobile device — to be always in touch. This information enables you to:

 

  • Notify the parts department when you buy cars, as trades or at auction, so internal techs don’t burn time waiting for parts.
  • Notify the sales department when you buy cars at trade or auction, so they can reach out immediately to prospects who have shown interest in those vehicles.
  • Have deep visibility into the entire workflow process, from vehicle acquisition to vehicle sale and service, to head off bottlenecks and delays to your T2L.
  • To know where every car — and its keys — is located so you can go get them. You can’t sell or service cars you can’t find.

At the dealership where I was reconditioning manager, we manually tracked our recon process before installing reconditioning workflow software. We assumed we were doing OK. Then I heard how, by focusing on T2L metrics, we’d get cars sale-ready in three to five days. Well, I had to investigate that!

 

If you want to get cars sale-ready faster, more smoothly and more efficiently, you’ll want to consider workflow software like this.

 

Bradley Orr is a performance manager, helping dealerships improve their T2L, for Rapid Recon. (www.rapidrecon.com). In his spare time, he is an aviation and motorsports photographer.

 

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