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DO YOU HAVE A TIME-TO-MARKET CULTURE?
Time-to-market (TTM) should be the single most important objective that defines your dealership’s culture. This objective should bind all recon resources together from the time vehicles are acquired to the time they hit the front-line. And, to institutionalize a true time-tomarket culture, tools for real-time visibility need to be in place in order for a finger-pointing culture to be out of place. Having the proper tool to ensure a fully transparent and accountable workplace helps anyone who touches any vehicle do the job more reliably, without effort and with far less uncertainty. This long list can include lot attendants, techs, detailers, body shop, sublets, vendors, service management, parts, sales and sales management. However, the most important person in the TTM equation is the GM. He or she definitely sets the tone; the GM is where it all comes together. The reason it’s worth the GM’s time to pay close attention to TTM metrics is that profitability, in this online world, is all about speed to the frontline. The impact on an average-size dealership, stocking about 100 used vehicles, is that every 2.5 days of recon time equals one additional turn. That’s huge money for any dealership. And a GM’s newest and fastest tool to get to a timeto-market culture is with a Web-based, workflow management system, which puts everyone on the same page at the same time cultivating that no “finger-pointing” atmosphere. Having built workflow systems for hundreds of dealerships, I can report the usual starting average, before installing a proper workflow system, is around 10 days. In reality, it should be only taking five days or less. More to the point, taking an average dealership from 10 days down to five produces two additional turns. Even if your recon is better than average, and your real starting point is eight days, taking it down to five produces more than one additional turn. You can do the math, but in either case, this is an opportunity for a GM to produce significantly more profit — even before an increase in volume. Workflow is considered a building block for continuous process improvement and accountability. It was originally conceived when volume manufacturing emerged as a way to drive cost down and product quality up at the same time. The adaptation of workflow to reconditioning is an appropriate re-purposing of this technology because its flexibility extends across many levels of process complexity, responds quickly to changes and supports varying volumes of reconditioning. Further, workflow is scalable, deals with multiple overlapping processes and gives online access to all users providing them with total accountability and delivering quantifiable analytics. A GM’s ability to create and sustain a time-to-market culture doesn’t happen overnight. It can take weeks, or even months, depending on the commitment of the management team, a well-designed workflow system, customer references and best practices, etc. Once you install a workflow management system to accurately measure and manage your TTM, from trade appraisal or auction purchase — and then to front-line and sold — you are finally in a position to stay on top of recon’s day-to-day performance and month-to-month results. Dennis McGinn is the founder and CEO of Rapid Recon. He can be contacted at 866.268.3582, or by email at email@example.com.