Creating a Modern PDI Process to Support Sales
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Let’s Talk Pre-Delivery Inspections

It’s time to modernize your PDI process by tossing out your manual checklist and utilizing a digital workflow process.

Kalah Hathcock is the executive vice president of Velocity Automotive. For more information about Velocity Automotive, contact [email protected].

Creating a Modern PDI Process to Support Sales

We don’t talk a lot about new vehicle pre-delivery inspections (PDI), but how you manage your PDI process is something that should not be overlooked. 

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Every dealership has its own process, but for the most part it’s manual and more time consuming than it should be. Service teams performing their portion of the PDI take a few hours (at minimum) to complete the task and are using a paper checklist that walks a technician through the inspection process to ensure the vehicle is road-ready. And typically, this is the only part many dealers track in the PDI process.  

However, often there is addendum work that needs to be completed, tracked and timed. And as with any manual process, human error increases the likelihood of missing important steps that could jeopardize your customer satisfaction index (CSI) score due to customers discovering issues that should have been caught during the PDI or additional items that were not completed or installed as promised.


Now is the time to consider modernizing your PDI process by tossing out your archaic, manual checklist and utilizing a digital workflow process that is designed to create accountability, transparency and operational efficiencies. You need a digital solution that offers customizable PDI steps, alerting capabilities and full reporting to hold the responsible team accountable to the process.  

Just like your pre-owned reconditioning efforts, new vehicles may come to you from the OEM with recall notifications that need attention, installation of short pin fuses and battery terminal connections (or other issues needing attention), and all require a comprehensive inspection that covers mechanical and electronic testing, as outlined by the manufacturer. Using a digital workflow management system, like you use for your pre-owned recon efforts, will allow you to create an efficient, automated inspection process that ensures everything is tested and evaluated properly, without wasting time. 


In addition, for tracking and communication purposes, management now has the visibility they need to communicate to the sales department when the vehicle is ready for customer delivery, as well as having insights into potential issues or special needs that might require vendor support. 

Implementing a digital PDI is easy and inexpensive. Use a trusted solution provider whose system can support both your new and pre-owned inventory (for both PDI and recon). Simplify the software tools your service team uses every day for easy adoption and training, while keeping costs to a minimum. You also want a system that enables you to customize your PDIs to fit your dealership and OEM needs, and is fully integrated into your existing CRM, IMS and DMS systems, with one-click access. More clicks and more browsers make new process adoption more difficult.


In addition, create a positive customer experience at the time of ownership transfer by having your sales and customer delivery teams use the PDI report as a professional customer-facing document that walks each buyer through the process and is “signed-off” during the vehicle transfer. Items inspected in the report can include:
• Exterior
• Wheels and Tires
• Interior and Luggage Compartment
• Electrical Controls
• Brakes
• Engine Compartment
• Clutch and Transmission
• Exhaust System
• Fuel System
• Suspension, Underframe, Steering
• Road Test
• Convenience (keys, owner’s manual)

By keeping your PDI efforts digitally organized, you have more control over the time it takes to get a new vehicle customer-ready, ensuring you are meeting any warranty compliance requirements and creating a better customer delivery experience that will position you for a stronger CSI rating. 


Accountability creates transparency, which promotes higher customer satisfaction. You will see the digital PDI process become the “norm” with progressive dealers, as we have seen with the pre-owned reconditioning process most recently.

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