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Start Accountable, Transparent Relationships with Your Vendors

Most dealers want a “trust-but-verify” relationship with their vendors, including the ones that support their vehicle reconditioning. 

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You can achieve this level of comfort and confidence by creating two-way transparency between your reconditioning team and the vendors to whom you dispatch vehicles for bumper, dent and interior repair and touch-up.  

You want this accountability and transparency so these vendors can contribute more to a measurable and faster reconditioning workflow called time to line (T2L). T2L measures how quickly acquired cars can be made sale-ready.

When vendors have such visibility and controlled access into your reconditioning workflow, you also gain visibility into their workload and priorities. Work now synchs with your preferences, urgencies and on-the-fly changes.

When you take the lead in creating more accountable, transparent and balanced interaction with vendors, they’ll work in-step and in real-time with your changing reconditioning priorities, urgencies, assignments and work-completion timelines.

Here’s some homework to help you create accountable, transparent and measurable performance from vendors: 

• Commit to mutual schedule sharing so both your reconditioning staff and their vendors can follow the other’s workflow, priorities, statuses and time-to-line goals.

• Explicitly assign and notify vendors when work is available via text messages to eliminate missed phone calls or emails. 

• Establish a protocol for vendors so they receive repair approvals in real-time from your used car manager or reconditioning manager. This will help prevent false starts, delays and frustration.

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• Put in place best practices that ensure vendors update you immediately when the work you’ve assigned to them is completed. Confirm that the proper people are notified when vendors return completed work to the dealership.

• Set up an electronic estimate and invoicing system to eliminate paperwork, improve estimate and invoice tracking and expedite vendor payments.

• Investigate reconditioning software that offers these vendor advantages in a seamless, mutually shared desktop or mobile environment, giving both parties the power to manage, track and report work in progress through completion in sync with the dealer’s time-to-line goals.

As good as your vendors and sublets are, unless both have line-of-sight visibility into your recon workflow, accountability, transparency and balance will be hard to attain. But when you give these advantages to your vendors, you’ll better manage your internal employees’ workflow and those of the vendors you use, both now working together to shorten the dealership’s T2L to accelerate its speed-to-sale performance.

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