For used car dealerships, reduced cycle times and increased throughput are some of the most important aspects of the business. In fact, your dealership can’t make much money if the throughput is low. Beyond that, you can’t have a steady throughput if your cycle times are too high.
However, it’s hard to tell which one is the most important. When it comes to used car dealerships, it wouldn’t be uncommon for you to think front-end sales and throughput are where the money is made. Even then, the number of vehicles that are front-line ready depends entirely on how quick and efficient your process is.
Simply put, the significance of cycle times and throughput come off as mostly equal. They also rely heavily on each other and you could argue that neither could exist without the other. If you’re not selling a lot of vehicles, then you’re not going to speed up your cycle time. However, if you are doing well in sales, or you know you could do even better with better inventory in-hand, then the cycle time will be your priority.
Despite all of that, and the fact that they both rely on each other, cycle time may have a slight edge. At the end of the day, the discussion isn’t a “chicken-or-the-egg” debate. As a used car dealer, you know the cycle time had to have come first so you could sell your first few cars. When it comes to used car reconditioning, the cycle time can make or break how well you do.
Across the industry, poor reconditioning and repair processes have been reported as the biggest inhibitors to profit. Some of you may work closely with vendors who provide reconditioning. As you know, poor management, organization and dated methods can make repairs last days longer than they need to.
So even though throughput is where you inevitably make the profit, poor cycle time is undoubtedly the biggest drag on your dealership. However, it doesn’t have to be.
How Can Dealerships Reduce Cycle Times and Increase Throughput? Embrace Technology
Paper was great before computers, but if you’re the type who has relied on paper for most of your career, you probably know the headaches that come with it. Tracking employees, invoices, customer accounts, estimates and reconditioning statuses on vehicles can be a lot to handle. You more than likely know the frustration of going through all the paperwork and how much of your time can be taken away from doing the actual job.
Management software can drastically reduce your cycle time and increase throughput. Along with what we talked about above, great reconditioning software can help your used car dealership manage vendors and technicians, track vehicles through your process, and alert you to bottlenecks and problem areas on both your desktop and mobile devices. The paperwork that would normally require hours of your time, can be done in as little as five to 10 minutes.
If you want to tackle the cycle time constraint, then you’re going to have to embrace technology. Let’s be honest, how much easier would your life be if you could access your dealership’s operational information on the fly, increase productivity and manage workflow all at the click of a button?
For help with software solutions designed to make your dealership’s reconditioning process more efficient, provide you with better visibility, and get your cars frontline in the shortest possible time, email me at [email protected].