How Dealership Groups Manage Time-to-Market

Workflow technology measures and manages, in real-time, every step of the process, from purchase or trade to front-line ready or funded, so your employees are individually accountable. In addition, it is flexible enough to change quickly for any process or people changes.

The following three examples show the power and flexibility of workflow technology. Each of these dealerships have different processes, but all have one requirement in common: the need for a measurable time-to-market that hold individuals and departments accountable for meeting standards of performance.

Corwin Toyota, Honda, Dodge in Fargo, ND (Corwin Auto Group)

The problem: These three Corwin stores were all located within a few minutes of each other in Fargo, North Dakota. The CFO of the Corwin Group realized that having separate reconditioning and detail departments in each store was totally inefficient and resulted in redundant management and staff costs.

To eliminate this overlap, it was decided to centralize reconditioning body, glass, detail and photos in one location, while keeping separate mechanical departments at each individual store. The challenge then became how to schedule and coordinate the processing of up to 400 cars per month so the three used car managers did not need to spend time scheduling and checking on their cars.

Corwin opted for a single workflow system that had all three stores, each with their own steps for “In transit,” “Received,” “In Service,” and “Parts — Hold,” but one set for the centralized “Body,” “Glass,” “Detail” and “Photos.” The workflow system automatically identifies which store owns each car, so it is easy for the used car managers to see where their cars are, even in these four steps.

The bottom line for this group is that it has the economies of scale with centralized recon while each store maintained their individual time-to-market measurement and are consistently hitting their five-day performance targets.

Schomp BMW, Honda and Mini in Littleton/Highlands Ranch, CO (Ralph Schomp Auto Group)

Schomp’s three stores, unlike Corwin, did not want to centralize reconditioning operations,
but did want to have time-to-market measurement and management for each store in order to compare the performance across all three stores. They chose the same workflow technology, but installed a system in each store. Their group used car manager can now compare the weekly and monthly performance of each store for “Inspection,” “Mechanical,” “Parts Hold Sublet,” “Detail” and “Photos.”

The bottom line for Schomp is that their two major brands — Honda and BMW — have each increased their volumes dramatically while holding the line on five-day time-to-market.

Performance Ford, Lincoln, and South Charlotte Hyundai (AMSI Group)

The dealer principal / general manager for these two stores was already familiar with the same workflow technology for reconditioning that Corwin and Schomp utilized, but decided to add both F&I and new cars for complete time-to-funded measurement and management. While Corwin and Schomp used front-line ready as the end point for time-to-market, these two dealerships used “Funded” and “Sent to Accounting” as the end point for their performance measurement.

As cars were sold, the cars were assigned to a specific F&I manager whose name was linked to an individual “step.” So, just as with “Service” and “Detail,” the actual time to complete funding is visible for every deal, both new and used.

The bottom line for both stores is now they each have the complete cycle of dollars — from dollars invested to dollars returned — completely measured and, therefore, manageable.

Workflow technology has addressed the needs of all three dealerships by measuring independent, shared or centralized steps for Corwin in Fargo, independent but comparable steps for Schomp, and even steps for F&I (new and used) at Performance Ford and South Charlotte Hyundai. Holding time-to-market to an acceptable target is the end goal, and workflow is the tool that “gets and keeps you there.”

Dennis McGinn is the founder and CEO of Rapid Recon. He can be contacted at 866.268.3582, or by email at dmcginn@autosuccessonline.com.

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