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Technology: Not a Quick Fix, but a Piece of the Process

Article Highlights:

  • Provide a clear image of the entire reconditioning process.
  • Transparency and automation are key to the process.

In 1918, the United Kingdom painted the first separating lines on roads due to high accident rates. This was 33 years after people started driving vehicles. It’s incredible something so simple resulted in an estimated 300% drop in accidents immediately.

I often think of this story when trying to solve problems. How can the process be made so easy to understand that the end user can follow it right away?

I managed service and parts departments and body shops for almost a quarter century. Each dealership I worked at had standardized systems to solve almost every problem… except vehicle reconditioning. This process was always disconnected and had almost no transparency. Used vehicles (depreciating assets) ended up getting pushed to the back of the shop and getting lost in the process.

Reconditioning is the only process in the dealership that every department has a small part in. It’s often so dysfunctional at most dealerships because each department focuses on their part with little concern for the next steps.

Determined to fix the reconditioning processes that haunted dealerships for some time, I thought back to the lines on the road story. I knew the solution needed to be simple, easy for all users, and help everyone make more money.

My team and I quickly realized there were no simple tools that could solve this problem, so we decided to create our own solution. We sat down with each business unit in the dealership that had a hand in, or was impacted by, the reconditioning process. Then, we mapped out what everyone needed and what was standing in their way.

The underlying themes for the solution became very evident: transparency and automation. Providing visibility to the entire process and immediate updates on every vehicle is extremely important to managers. They need their teams to follow the implemented processes. And providing clear and simple functionality to team members doing the work is just as valuable. Technicians need to know what work is required on their current vehicle and then want quick access to the next vehicle as soon as they’re finished.

This seems simple, so why was reconditioning always so difficult to manage? When processes aren’t followed, there’s typically two reasons why:

  1. They’re not easy.
  2. They don’t make their job easier.

What we built was a simple way to execute and track the entire reconditioning process. Our solution was designed by the people doing the work. It’s a simple tool that automatically dispatches the right car to the right person in the right order. It’s also robust enough to provide complex reporting to those who want it. It brings transparency and automation to the entire reconditioning process, helping dealerships across the country reduce cycle time, streamline communication between departments and vendors, and save money in depreciation costs.

Visit ReconTRAC.com to learn more about the benefits it can bring your dealership.

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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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