May I be blunt here?
Case after case attests to the reality that using stocking tools and sales team mandates alone will not improve inventory turn and gross per car. What will, however, is a manager who grabs the time-to-line (T2L) wheel with both hands.
Only properly managed T2L can create the acquisition-to-frontline velocity that can empower your stocking tools and sales team to perform at their best, consistently, month after month. By running recon using T2L best practices, dealers turn a typical 10-to-21-day recon cycle into three-to-five-day sprint to sell machines.
Getting cars sale-ready in a bona fide 72-hour recon cycle means your vehicles hit the lot with 16 to 18 days of their primo 21-day retail window still available. Recon run any other way takes almost all of that 21-day window away!
There is no substitute or economic argument for holding back when it comes to time-to-line speed. I’ve heard and witnessed them all — from so-called recon tools for techs to whiteboard and spreadsheet tracking systems — as excuses for avoiding recon software expense.
That said, let’s look at T2L ROI — then you decide if “holding back” is saving money:
Whether you retail 60 or 600 used vehicles a month, how much additional profit is one extra turn a year worth to you? T2L will quickly eliminate at least 2.5 days from your current recon cycle, and that translates into one additional annual turn of inventory. Two extra turns on a 100-unit inventory multiplied by a typical front-end gross of $1,500 per car, equals a $25,000 a month — or $300,000 a year — gain. All of this comes from a monthly software investment that is about the retail price of a “Better” set of tires.
When the team knows what’s expected of them — and they know you’re holding them accountable to meet goals — they work smarter and faster.
When the sales team gains visibility into incoming inventory, they can start selling before the car is even on the front line. Putting recon reports, complete with images, into their hands becomes a potent confidence builder in the vehicles they are presenting.
The reason that an efficient reconditioning system is the right answer is that these applications are built specifically for the ease of use of everyone who manages and works on every car from the time it comes in until the time it is sold. Now, the multiple reconditioning steps can be bucketed into unique steps, such as Acquired, Inspection, Mechanical, Detail, Body Shop and Frontline. Each phase can be divided into as many steps as necessary to align them with your current processes, and those steps can be added to, removed or combined as the need for each level of accountability is refined.
Because T2L is mobile, everyone in the chain of accountability is always connected to their area of responsibility and in constant communication with their teammates. Adding important notes into the software via voice command makes it even faster and easier to keep the sale driving forward.
Stop by Rapid Recon at NADA 2020 for your copy of my latest book on T2L accountability and profitability. To get started with T2L today, just email for a copy of my first book, RECON T2L: The Starting Line for Reversing Margin Compression.