A Time-to-Market Culture Requires Data-Driven Recon Processes and People

In our first of three articles discussing how to drive time and cost wastes out of the reconditioning process, we took a look at how lean manufacturing workflow principles when applied to automotive reconditioning, improves outcomes.

That article outlined the fundamental processes for how to move from a traditional manual approach to a data-driven Time-to-Market workflow model. My article in this issue describes how two dealers instituted this model to drive down recon cycle days, reducing recon holding costs, and getting vehicles frontline ready faster.  

While the retail used car business model has evolved to a data-driven model for stocking, pricing and merchandising, reconditioning has not kept pace.  In other words, recon has for the most part, remained a process managed manually using spreadsheets, whiteboards or other means to track and manage the work to be performed on each car. 

That recon has remained so manually intensive is somewhat counterintuitive, as most of fixed operations has been a numbers-driven profit center for years. GM’s and Fixed Operations managers have generally considered recon a cost center and not as essential to business success as service and parts.