Reconditioning Time Testing

Dealers who have the most efficient reconditioning time consistently average three to five days from recon start to front line. They also know where every car is at all times because every step has a clear owner who is connected to it through their mobile phone.

The best example of how reconditioning time can be decreased is the speed at which the UCM can approve an itemized list in only a few minutes right from their mobile phone — any time, anywhere. When the UCM approval happens in a workflow system, it sets the pace for time-to-market.

Try this simple exercise to test your reconditioning time.  List what you believe your average real times are for the following:

• Inspection
• UCM approval
• Mechanical
• Body (30 percent)
• Detail
• Photos

Add these up for your store, and do not use the best-case numbers, because they all count. If your number is six days or greater, then you are a perfect candidate for work flow. Before implementing workflow, dealers average 10 days or higher, and burn an extra week of prime selling time. And, if you are not measuring your time-to-market, it is likely that holding costs are cutting deep into your profitability.

Time-to-market dealers measure their results in terms of three to five days from recon
start to front line ready. They also expect that every car, in every step, is where it should be because each step has an owner who is always connected to it through their mobile phone, and they automatically get informed when a car is on their clock.

The early adopters of work flow have shown us that, by engaging the entire recon team in the process of designing and launching a workflow system, they can now easily see how it makes everyone’s job easier. When accountability applies equally to everyone who touches your cars, and when they can stay on top of their cars with a mobile phone, all the excuses go away.

Some dealers have not transitioned to a workflow system because they think they can get by fine with their own manual approaches, or they rationalize it is an unnecessary expense to manage reconditioning time. Yet, dealers who have adopted workflow have consistently added an entire week to their selling time. If your total is six days or more, take a close look at how others have mastered their Average Days in Recon.

The methodology used for instituting a TTM culture can vary, and this may mean that there are four or five active users, or even 12, where the technicians and vendors own steps or work items. The end result, however, is the same; vehicles getting to your front line sooner, increasing your turn and adding more gross to your bottom line. Go to for more information on testing and decreasing your reconditioning time.

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