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Vital Metrics to Heed Ahead

As we work with dealers facing unpredictability in their new and used car sales, we are supporting their urgency to build time-to-line (T2L) reconditioning best practices. It is surprising how those who do focus on dialed-in T2L metrics are sailing through this uncertainty.

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T2L measures the speed at which a reconditioning department gets cars from acquisition to frontline-ready. Dialed-in dealers consistently do that in seven or fewer days. 

An example from a dialed-in T2L operator shows that half of its dealerships using automated T2L disciplines get cars frontline ready in about seven days. A third of them though are consistently hitting three to five days.

A dialed-in T2L store:
1. Has a GM (or proxy) who takes ownership of the store’s T2L to drive speed-to-sale.
2. Puts structures and disciplines in place to sell cars before they get stocked in.
3. Uses work item details and approval steps in their recon software to build value in the deal and urgency among sales, BDC and desk personnel; they use this data to build confidence in the dealership and the quality of the used cars they sell.
4. Has built a culture in which all personnel involved in servicing, reconditioning, selling and financing cars use the reconditioning software data and reporting to help customers buy.
5. Heeds T2L metrics as the “holy grail” for high performance, transparent communications and accountability for managing clearly and precisely in any market.


Dialing T2L in works for a store reconditioning — under 100 cars a month — or 400 or more.

Stores managing by T2L data:
• Create T2L competition between stores, which sharpens insights and nudges those in charge to adapt quickly to change and,
• Prove the value of embracing a dialed-in T2L recon operation — the stores in our example above are driving 40% of their parts and labor gross from reconditioning.

I realize these are strange times. Most of us have no reference for them. Even with the COVID months’ record used car sales, a “hunker down” attitude seems to be growing.


Dialed-in T2L is foundational to your ability to manage nimble reconditioning and used car operations. Hanging bells and whistles on recon software just draws the focus from these vital T2L metrics.

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