Keeping tabs on the work assigned to sublet vendors has never been a “1-2-3” proposition. Lack of line-of-sight supervision for the work that sublets do for you, even when they work on your property, can create a workflow delay because accountability and urgency for tight work-completion are rarely closely linked.
However, dealers who use time-to-line (T2L) reconditioning automation that features integrated vendor connection functionality have the advantage of avoiding frequent miscommunication, frustration and workflow delay. Increased transparency into vendor and sublet processes improves vehicle work-in-progress and repair-cost tracking, and enables instantaneous two-way communications via text, email or phone to ensure vehicles progress through sublet and flow back into primary recon without delay. This transparency also improves cost accounting and management, so vendors and sublets recoup correct expenses and dealers manage expense control more accurately.
The Advantages of Sublets
Sublet services for bumper, glass, ding/dent, interior and touchup serve a necessary need for auto dealers. These specialties require skills and equipment dealers may not employ or wish to hire — and because sublets excel in these disciplines, their work quality is superior.
Like you, sublet operators recognize the value of time (and the cost of time-delayed processes), and so they manage their business to deliver value to their customers. However, their priorities can differ from yours. Details such as timeliness, vehicle return, costs and change orders can get lost, forgotten or unconsciously neglected. Combine these potential pitfalls with the number of sublet providers you engage, and inefficiencies soon add up to delays and lost gross potential.
For most dealerships, the reliance on vendors and sublets is integral to their getting cars ready for sale. Yet, most tools for sublet processes are designed for the vendor’s needs and not to provide 360-degree transparency and accountability for their dealer customer.
Most dealers tell us that tracking and managing the flow of their vehicles to sublets can be a patchwork of phone calls, runners and missed opportunity. Yet when vendor and recon T2L workflows are integrated, you can eliminate efficiencies in those parts of your process.
Connecting Vendors to T2L
By extending T2L vehicle tracking, time and cost accountability benefits to sublets for incorporation into their processes, both parties eliminate miscommunication, scheduling, delivery and frustration from this mutual relationship.
When connecting sublets into their T2L workflow environment, dealers can now assign work manually or automatically at any point in the process for both vendors and in-house teams; let select vendors self-assign work with approval; request and receive estimates; manage vendor-specific pricing guides; lock down vendor access while keeping transparency for the rest of the dealership; track vendor performance and costs by examining total workload; set priorities; bulk-approve work; bulk-assign and reassign work when needed; get real-time notifications on essential messages, blocking issues and approvals required; and communicate on-the-go by phone, tablet or desktop.
Incorporating vendor activities into the dealer’s recon workflow delivers the following benefits:
• It completes the accountability circle — All activities affecting T2L have 360-degree accountability. Dealers can control sublet performance to ensure proactive management that supports the dealership’s speed-of-sale objectives.
• It clarifies and expedites communications — This puts immediate workflow update and communication tools in the hands of vendors. Vendors can access work-in-progress status, return schedules, invoices, notes and other activities in the dealer’s T2L software via mobile or desktop.
• It improves progress tracking — Integrated T2L enables both parties to track and manage paintless dent repair and other vendors (including body shop) who come on-site weekly to improve workflow, cost control and PDR productivity.
• It verifies vendor value — Integrated T2L provides the used car manager with the data needed to verify whether they are getting what they are paying for from sublets — and change vendors as needed.
Timeliness is so very critical in every step of a T2L culture, from acquisition to sale-ready status. Vendors now can have the same level of accountability as internal work. Such a process provides a complete accountability start-to-finish workflow.