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Recon Roles Part 3: Turning More Wrenches as a Technician

Two service technicians examining the underside of a vehicle.
Article Highlights:

  • Mobile resources for technicians minimizes interruptions to their work.
  • Setting vehicle priority is a helpful way to keep cars moving.

In the first two articles of this series, I identified how the used car manager and service advisor can speed up the reconditioning process in their roles. From getting vehicles approved faster to communicating with other departments, you may now be wondering what can be done to speed up the work itself?

The backbone of the vehicle reconditioning process at any dealership are the technicians. Juggling a wide variety of service jobs and balancing recon and customer pay work, there is always something that needs your attention.

As a technician, being able to utilize different technologies and processes that allow you to stay in your service bay and keep vehicles moving through the process efficiently is essential. Minimizing interruptions and distractions wherever possible allows work to get done faster.

Let’s walk through three ways you, as a technician, can focus on the job at hand to keep the reconditioning cycle moving quickly and smoothly.

Mobile Inspections

The multi-point inspection portion of recon is incredibly important, but it can be incredibly inefficient. Tracking down the right inspection forms for a specific vehicle type, conducting the inspection, recording all of the information from the inspection, and then taking the failed items to the service advisor to get approval and write the RO is a lengthy process.

Being able to conduct an MPI from your mobile device and having all of the different inspection types you may need easily accessible eliminates time consuming steps. Additionally, generating ROs directly from failed inspection items eliminates the back and forth, which allows you to get started on the job sooner.

Digital Job Dispatching

Having to track down the next job on your list can be incredibly time consuming as well. Walking to the dispatcher or advisor, tracking down the paper RO, confirming details with other technicians… sometimes it may take longer than the repair itself. Time you are spending out of your service bay sorting out details is time better invested in turning wrenches.

Utilizing a system that automatically pushes along your jobs directly to your mobile device keeps you from having to chase them down. Digitizing and automating your system gives you time back in your day to focus on the jobs at hand. With more time to carry out work, you can get more vehicles through the reconditioning process faster and avoid vehicles sitting around waiting as work orders manually change hands.

Task Management

When building a schedule for the day, we all have the tasks we want to tackle first, and the ones we push off until later. As new things are coming in, sometimes the tasks we were already pushing off, move even further down on the backlog. Oftentimes, recon vehicles that will take some time or be hard to beat the clock on get put aside in favor of quicker-turn, easier to approve work, likely leaving them sitting for hours or days making no progress.

Prioritizing vehicles based on when they come in to the shop allows cars to move through the recon process without the risk of “I’ll do this later”. Having a forced march process, only pushing one job or one vehicle through your mobile dispatch at a time, keeps the focus on what vehicles need attention now. Navigating one designated task from start to finish before moving on to another allows those recon vehicles to make it through your service bay in a timely manner.

Ready to manage your recon work directly from your mobile device?

Using a reconditioning software that puts all the necessary tools and information in the palm of your hand helps you streamline your reconditioning work. Eliminating interruptions keeps you turning wrenches and outputting more reconditioned vehicles.

Reconditioning is a complex process, and with so many different roles involved, it is easy for vehicles to get caught in delays. Every individual role has ways they can contribute to making the process more efficient. Putting into place the right processes and tools allows you to dramatically speed up your recon and cut down your cycle time.

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Product Planning, Reynolds and Reynolds

Cory Coler is a member of the fixed operations product planning team at Reynolds and Reynolds. He began his career in the automotive industry in 2001 at a Toyota retailer, becoming an ASE Certified Advisor and Toyota Certified Assistant Service Manager. In 2005, he joined Reynolds’ Service Price Guides (SPG) department in Tampa, Florida and quickly became a subject matter expert for the product. In 2014, he transitioned to his current role in Product Planning where he is responsible for the enhancement and design of several fixed operations applications.

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