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Recon Roles Part 1: Set the Tone as a Used Car Manager

used car manager talking to techs
Article Highlights:

  • Each recon touchpoint in a dealership has unique roles and challenges.
  • How to build an efficient recon process as a used car manager.

Limited availability of new vehicle inventory has caused a boom in the used vehicle market, making now the perfect time to invest in the efficiency of your reconditioning efforts.

The success of reconditioning falls in the hands of personnel across your entire dealership. Each role takes on different responsibilities to ensure things operate as smoothly as possible.

As a used car manager, you are responsible for overseeing all areas of the used car profit center. From the inventory to the recon process, your goal is to get vehicles on the lot, and then off the lot, as fast and profitably as possible. The tools and systems you use are essential for setting your team up for success.

Let’s walk through three ways you, as the used car manager, can build a foundation to speed up recon and avoid common pitfalls:

Standardizing Workflows

When assessing a trade-in, there are often specific recon-related jobs that get added to the RO over and over again. When they’re manually added for every vehicle that comes in, vehicles can end up in limbo waiting for approvals.

To streamline this process, you need a standard recon workflow that will automatically add a standard set of recon jobs during the inspection phase. This will help eliminate manual work and unnecessary wait times, while also getting your vehicles ready for sale quicker, and making the process easier for your employees.

Automating Approvals

What percentage of your day are you sitting at your desk with nothing to do, waiting for someone to come ask you for an approval on a recon job? Approximately zero? Coming back to your desk to find a quote that’s been sitting there for hours or getting off the phone just to check a voicemail and return a call from an advisor is frustrating and kills your recon efficiency.

With an automated approval process, you’ll get a notification as soon as an RO is ready for your review and you’ll be able to access it and make approvals from anywhere. You don’t have to be tied to your desk. This automated process makes it easier to identify and manage what needs to be approved, moves work along to the next step – and person – in the process, and reduces the overall cycle time.

Building Responsibility and Accountability

It’s no secret there can sometimes be friction between the used vehicle department and the body shop or service department when it comes to recon. Where is that vehicle… who changed that job… there always seems to be questions and finger pointing. Funneling all your reconditioning steps through the same tool allows you to have a single source of truth. Now when questions arise, everyone will be able to see where each vehicle is, who has worked on it and for how long, and if any changes were made along the way and who made them.

Having a clear and reliable place to see where a car is in the process and how long it has been there keeps your vehicles from falling through the cracks and helps you ensure vehicles are getting on the lot as fast as they can.

Ready to automate your recon?

Having an automated reconditioning tool will help you tackle the challenges of your recon process. It should automatically add necessary jobs based on the workflow, notify you when your approval is needed, and hold every department accountable for their work in the process. These improvements in recon will ultimately help you get vehicles frontline ready faster.

Because recon has various touchpoints throughout the dealership, and each role has different challenges, part two will focus on how service advisors can speed up their portion of the process.

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Director, ReconTRAC®, Reynolds and Reynolds

Brad Schafer has more than 25 years of industry experience, having held leadership roles at large dealer groups. He is one of the founders of ReconTRAC, a reconditioning software solution. With this solution, Brad has limitless reconditioning expertise and knowledge he uses to help dealerships across the country reduce their cycle time and optimize processes.

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