While on a recent conference call with a dealer group president, he asked the following question: "What is the single most important factor in successfully managing time-to-market (TTM) in a dealership?" My answer was, "The commitment and active involvement of the general manager". At the time, this seemed to be stating the obvious, but the more I thought about why he was asking this question, the more it occurred to me that, from his perspective, it may not be all that obvious.
Historically, some GM's view recon as a scheduling task and leave it up to the service manager or the UCM to sort it out. This approach works for a while, but eventually the conflict between service and sales turns to finger pointing, and then the GM is forced to take a stand, launching yet another cycle of, "We need to fix recon."
More recently, GM's are seeking hard evidence from other dealers who have not only fixed their recon problems in the short term, but have also adapted to process changes over time. The evidence is quite clear that when the GM stays involved, TTM numbers drastically improve, making a strong case to not delegate his responsibility.