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The Best of Times

By building a culture of speed-to-sale efficiency, you can position your dealership to thrive in the months and years ahead.

Dennis McGinn is the founder and CEO of Rapid Recon

Hasn’t this been a remarkable run in retail automotive? Profits are huge. Demand is something else, and customers have been more flexible than ever. So, what’s the worry?

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This best of times won’t last. As new-vehicle production gears up and new cars flow to dealer lots, trade-in activity will flow used cars into recon and sales lots, and customers will again have a choice, but the market will be different: opportunities will be fewer, inventory levels will increase, consumer interest will wane and dealerships will fight for customers and profit.

The questions one needs to ask, then, should include: 
• How do I protect and strengthen the future of my business?
• How can I enhance customer presentations and stickiness? 
• How do I develop a culture of efficiency to meet demand?
• How can I best leverage digital reconditioning and digital retailing to build value and trust with customers from the very first contact?

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The pandemic taught the importance of digital retailing; the chip shortage sharpened attention on supply chain vulnerabilities. Dealers who meet next-market dynamics with a best of times attitude intact are those leveraging five performance edge fundamentals.

At the core of managing for success from now on is best described by the idea we call speed to sale, which I discuss in my forthcoming book, on an enduring auto dealership’s crucial Key Performance Indicators. I wrote it to share proven ideas to help dealers focus on essential metrics for success in any market.

For example, dealers do not recognize that digital reconditioning and speed to sale are foundational to digital retailing. Most dealerships now employ digital retail technology and services to improve customer engagement. However, that expense and effort will not deliver its fullest when sales can’t locate the vehicle a customer asks about or answer questions accurately when vehicle details aren’t reachable on the desktop, smartphone or text-accessible. Savvy shoppers increasingly ask for further information about the reconditioning done on the car they’re considering. If you can’t show them inspection and repair details from a smartphone, they’ll walk.

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Because we created reconditioning workflow software more than a decade ago, we know how to dial in your performance edge. Everything in the car dealership must be measured and measured. The KPIs known as Average Days in Recon and Time to Line give you tools to monitor, manage and adjust speed-to-sale touchpoints, from vehicle acquisition to final delivery of the car to the customer, at your store or his or her driveway. 

Experts agree — whatever the market, rapid reconditioning serves the needs of the dealer and interests of the buyer like no other process in digital retailing. Speed-to-sale workflow software is the industry champion in eliminating time delay, identifying time gaps and reducing costs in the reconditioning-to-sale approach. 

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Speed to sale is holistic, meaning the whole dealership. This culture understands how its attention to KPIs contributes to dealership efficiency. You can look for any number of business tools to lean on going forward, but only by building a culture of speed-to-sale efficiency do you position your dealership to thrive in the months and years ahead.

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