UC Recon

Ron Henson
Assuming your Used Car Dept is paying door rate for recon in the Service Dept (and they should be), what is an acceptable turn time for their most valuable customer? Do you have a policy that the rate declines if they miss their turn target?
Denim Simkins
Ron good point - what can service and parts do to help their best customer. Before I make my comments I need to preface this by saying that service and parts need to do a better job at making the used car recon and PDI process a priority knowing the time clock is ticking and costs the store money when a used car is sold PRIOR to going through the proper recon. So even with that being said I know all to well that used car recon is a complete store mentality and in order to do it with efficiency it takes the entire team to communicate and it all starts with the moment a vehicle taken in on trade or purchased at the auction. I have seen before that a vehicle was taken in on trade and it was not available for recon. Weather it was waiting for the previous deal to clear or the salesman has it "holed" for his customer that is coming in later this week to look at it or even someone jumps in it immediately as a demo. These all add time to the overall recon time. A big waist of time is also looking for keys. I really like the idea of declining the rate after a certain period of time if there is a very well tracked and well defined recon process starting at the time of trade or purchase.
Mark Miller
@Ron, so the answer to your first question has some variables. Holding cost is a big one, if it costs you $50 a day vs $25 a day, that turn time can have a major impact. Availability for sale, if the unit is unique or special for your market, that turn time can cost you a sale. So "acceptable" turn time can vary. I work with dealers nationwide on this exact issue and we see dealers that are 10+ days (they start out thinking they are 4) and we help get that down to 3 or 4. On to your second point. I have spoken to dealers that have that very plan in place. One told me that is service takes over 24 hours no labor is charged. To Denims point, you have to have a tangible tracking system in place to enforce that. The tracking is the focus of my product, it allows accountability in each department that touches a used car from trade in to being lot ready. It can be built to allow for cars that are sublet, loaned out, demo, and so forth. The program puts everyone involved on the clock and under a microscope.
Clint Jones
I have really mixed feelings about the UC Dept paying the door rate. Ultimately, this practice is really just a pack to the sales department, or a Gross Profit shift into a department that compensates its employees at a much lesser percentage. It is just a way to move more money to the bottom line, and is typically in no way a reflection of the treatment that the UC Dept is receives within the dealership. If believe that there needs to be a couple stipulations...sort of a give and take setup. I believe that either there needs to be an Internal Rate, or the UC Manager needs a pay adjustment to reflect the fact that he is the number one service writer in the store. What I would not want (as the dealer) is a situation in which the UC Manager takes a payroll hit because the way that he will get around this problem is by fixing only the items that will keep the car from selling. He will do cosmetic recon and driveability recon. It is bad for the long term reputation of the store. Just my opinion.
Doug Martin
i would like to through my two cents in here. Everyone on this forum is responsible for creating a forecast and budget for the dealership. It is easy to see what the Sales department is forecasting monthly both in New and especially Used. We know what the average time is required for recon. Simply put some time aside daily for it. If sales are better than predicted, you can easily shift time in the shop to accomidate. If sales are lower, the same applies. Lowering the door rate or paying your Used car manager a bonus is just crazy. Parts and service is not responsible for the ACV (Actual Cash Value of the used car) not their fault the manager bought the deal and never ran it through the shop before evaluating. A good tech can give you a ball park repair cost before final number made usually withing 15 minutes. Dropping the door rate WILL NOT increase Used gross's. Salespeople always will get the required gross. No more, sometimes less. I do agree that the sales department is our highest volume customer and with that some communication has to happen. If the sales needs some discounts on a vehicle they have to much $$ in absolutely fixed ops can help out. If this is happening to frequently then its time to look for a new UC manager not pay them a bonus. Have a look at your frozen capital. ie vehicles over 100 days. If it is over 15% you need to put some pressure on the used vehicle staff. And thats my 2 cents
Denim Simkins
Agreed I see both points to this and ultimately feel that there does need to be a common ground. Pricing at a lesser rate is not the answer but flexibility and willingness to help on a hard deal is a must, as long as it is not abused. Ultimately there needs to be a tracking system to hold everyone in this process accountable. I knew that I had to have a great relationship with the UC manager to make certain the lines of communication are open. Doing this always helped me navigate through some of these almost certain pitfalls.

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