By working with Rapid Recon, Performance Ford improves its efficiencies, communications, vendor relations, and billable hours.

By Jim Leman

AutoSuccess Dealer Service, June 2020

Performance Ford said today its internal service technicians are producing at 150% labor efficiency, thanks to their use of Rapid Recon, the auto industry’s standard in reconditioning workflow time-to-line automation.

"That's great for the technicians — and the dealership," said Denim Simkins, service director for the Bountiful, Utah, dealership. "Instead of technicians averaging eight or nine hours a day, they're now at 12-plus hours per day. That's an additional 20 or 30 hours a month per tech.”

He said the dealership now drives 150% Efficiency from internal technicians. "And with internal technicians able to push cars through faster, that efficiency means an average-days-in-recon rate of 4.4 days, so we sell more cars too. That's great for everyone here," Simkins said.

Top-down Commitment to Structured Reconditioning Workflow Processes are Driving Faster Time to Line.

Performance Automotive Network is a family-owned business operating for more than 40 years. It is a Top-50 automotive dealership group in America and operates 18 franchised dealerships in Ohio and Utah.

Working with Rapid Recon’s recon experts, Simkins structured the software to flag the recon center’s parts department immediately when the dealership’s buyers had acquired a vehicle from auction or trade. Creating this parts-alert function is a simple step change in the software, but many dealerships underutilize its benefits.

Simkins, however, seized on the idea. Now Performance Ford’s parts department automatically gets a notification within Rapid Recon on desktop or mobile devices. Hence, maintenance and replacement parts that are common to all vehicles reconditioned are immediately pulled and are ready to be delivered to the technician stall.

Often, Simkins said, parts are ready before technicians are notified about which cars they’ll work on next.

“Now techs are freed up to focus on the inspection and repairs,” Simkins said. “Eliminating the parts-waiting step has significantly improved team productivity, so they get more cars recon in less time.” The reconditioning center has two full-time used car technicians, an internal service writer, and part-time runners.

It is surprisingly easy in any dealership for missed gross to hide in plain sight. Yet, when managing by Key Performance Indicators (KPI), service managers can maintain tighter control over outcomes. For vehicle reconditioning, the two most meaningful KPIs are:

  • Time to Line (T2L) — This is the measure of efficiency from vehicle acquisition through reconditioning to final sale-ready status.
  • Average Days in Retail (ADR) — ADR measures the reconditioning steps the department can control, and it is affected by everyone who “touches” the vehicle — from recon system login through final photos.

Using T2L to manage a recon department (and, by relationship, the parts department) makes everyone who touches cars either a contributor or detractor to T2L.

For the service manager who fixes problems — and those who have labor efficiency challenges — Rapid Recon is the right tool, Simkins said.

“We got everyone to buy into this time-to-line culture, from GM to vendors,” he said. “They all know we grade performance and hold them accountable to the metrics we’ve set for ADR and T2L. We strongly reinforce that if we’re going to sell used cars within 14 days from when they hit the inventory, everybody’s got to be in sync. Rapid Recon is the tool that helps us do that.”

About Rapid Recon

Reconditioning workflow automation from Rapid Recon is the industry standard in time-to-line inventory turn and speed-to-sale vehicle revenue enhancement for automotive retailers. Benchmarking data based on 13 million vehicles processed uniquely positions Rapid Recon to advise dealers on how to improve their store’s profitability. Used by more than 2,000 dealerships, Rapid Recon ensures the accountability of processes, property, and people. Hence, dealers know answers quickly, find assets anywhere, and sell vehicles promptly to grow dealership profitability.