As auto dealerships continue to navigate the challenges of a prolonged new vehicle inventory shortage and disruptions within the supply chain, many now face mounting pressure to find or better leverage new revenue streams. One such solution lies in accelerating the trade-in reconditioning process, getting vehicles onto the pre-owned sales lot faster. Here to guide us through this process of reducing time-on-task is iRecon Senior Business Development Director and Founder, Mike Boyd.
These are certainly challenging times for dealerships hoping to maintain consistent profitability. Boyd stresses that expediting the reconditioning process is one bottom-line contributor that isn’t being addressed as much as it should be. Traditionally, car dealers will wait for a vehicle to be fully reconditioned before it is merchandised, however, service drives are experiencing mounting workloads and a shortage of technicians. Data shows that 80+% of trade-ins vehicles are being delayed because of the backlog. Limited new vehicle inventory adds extra pressure to the dealership’s used car operations. Reducing time-on-task in the reconditioning department will be crucial for car dealers at this point in time.
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The COVID-19 pandemic is also a huge piece of this equation, says Boyd. Service customers who had previously been avoiding the dealership, have returned in droves. In fact, according to Cox Automotive data, dealership service departments are running at 90+% of where they were in 2019. The data also reveals that customers are putting more into service and repair if they can’t find the new vehicle they want. This means, the average RO spend has gone up as well as the average service technician workload. Additionally, 49+% of dealerships are taking 8 to 16 days to get trade-in ready for retail sales.
Reducing time-on-task in the reconditioning department, can provide car dealers with some relief from all of these pressures affecting both sales and service. Firstly, management must prioritize identifying the work that needs to be completed on each trade-in and purchase. A cohesive schedule must also be established and monitored with your own internal technicians and your outside contracted vendors. They have to perform this work efficiently and be held accountable. Utilize all of the data gathered from the workflow and make adjustments and necessary. As a part of vAuto, iRecon has the tools and solutions to help car dealers master these strategies.
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