auto reconditioning center entrance

OEMs Prioritize Service Parts, and So Should You

With new vehicle sales well below last year’s numbers, and in anticipation of continued soft new car sales this year, OEMs are pinning their hopes on providing parts to keep their vehicles on the road and promote their brands to customers.

May vehicle sales are about a third below the previous year and, although that is an improvement from April’s trough, it informs models that predict a loss of more than 1.5 million retail sales in 2020. It’s in the OEM’s interest to ensure that the ownership experience for their brands continues to be positive, and that means keeping supplies of service parts flowing through the supply chain.

For repair services and reconditioning operations, this is a cue to examine the efficiency of your parts pipeline and operation. What parts do you keep in your on-hand inventory, and how long does it take to acquire ordered parts? Is there a gap between when a part requirement is identified and when it gets ordered? And how long do vehicles wait for ordered parts to arrive?

AMT‘s reconditioning management systems include parts integration so that as soon as a needed part is identified, the system can either auto-approve or escalate the request for management approval. The approved part can be ordered right within the software from a list of popular suppliers or from your internal inventory. All stakeholders have visibility into parts on order and expected arrival to keep your operation running efficiently and reduce cycle-time. We’ll be adding a Parts Inventory Module in August 2020 to complete your 360-degree view of reconditioning and fixed operations our software provides.

To learn more or schedule a demo, contact us.

Repair360 Back Office 3.6.1

Save the filters that you often use on the ‘Service Requests’ page, and then select them from the list of saved searches to quickly find service requests that you need

New Features

  • Saved searches for service requests
  • Nexpart punchout integration
  • Turn on the ‘Paint Codes’ feature

Improvements

  • Select credit memo types
  • Showing core price in parts order
  • Select the type of ‘Service Personnel Activity’ report
  • Filter the ‘Parts Inventory’ report by point in time
  • Select generic or punchout part provider manually
  • Auto-calculating vendor invoice amount
  • Override the quote from the same part provider
  • The Back Office application name has been changed to ‘Repair360’
  • Showing the ‘Notes’ icon for parts on the ‘Parts Management’ screen
  • Support for the ‘PO#’ field in the ‘Advance Auto Parts’ punch-out process
  • Showing ‘From’ and ‘To dates in generated reports
  • Client users can edit RO# on the ‘Repair Orders’ page and the ‘Repair Order’ detail view
  • Showing part statuses available for all selected parts when changing the status of multiple parts

See the details of the new features and improvements here.

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ReconPro Classic mobile app 2.21.4 for iOS devices

Price matrix data is kept within the existing inspection even if the price matrix gets unassigned from the inspection type and a new price matrix is assigned to the inspection type

Improvements

  • Support for unassigned price matrices

Fixed Issues

  • In some cases, the ‘Summary’ action was not working correctly for inspections in ReconPro Classic HD version

See the details of the new features and improvements here.

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Used cars parked

Empathy, Cooperation are Key to Industry Restart

How to restart an industry? Work together as an industry!

New and Pre-owned Sales

Dealers Calling for Inventory

Early signs of a resurgence in used car buying are waking up the industry from its pandemic-induced doldrums. We’ve heard from two large clients in the past few days that auction prices are higher than anticipated as dealers across the country seek to increase their inventories. This flies in the face of earlier reports of a glut of used cars and an avalanche of off-lease vehicles coming down the pipe.

It seems counterintuitive. The Hertz bankruptcy will result in much of their fleet offered for resale. Several municipalities are reducing their budgets by cancelling orders for new fleet vehicles and shifting to more vehicle-sharing models in order to reduce the size of their fleets. The combination of fleet liquidations and lease returns should mean ample inventory for the used car market. We shouldn’t have a shortage of used cars available to dealerships.

What we may have is a supply chain issue. With social distancing restrictions still in place, many auction lots remain closed or diminished for live auctions. Online auctions are available, but may be inadequate to the task of moving the volumes required. Also, automakers and their finance arms are reportedly trying to slow the off-lease vehicle transactions to avoid flooding the market. KAR Global is buying land to hold vehicles for their better customers. These factors may be keeping wholesale prices high and putting a squeeze on dealerships trying to make up for 3 months of scant business. 

While the recent uptick in used car sales is a hopeful and promising sign, it’s too soon to call recovery. The economic impact of millions of Americans unemployed is yet to be fully understood. Previous down economies have increased used car sales at the expense of new, and franchise dealers are trying to expand their used inventories, partly because of manufacturing delays, and partly in anticipation of reduced interest in new cars.

This appears to be just another peak in what promises to continue to be a bumpy road to recovery.

ReconPro Classic mobile app 2.21.3 for iOS devices

Showing customers assigned to the mobile device, showing vehicle owners from other areas in the wizard of inspections and work orders

Improvements

  • Showing customers assigned to mobile device
  • Showing vehicle owners from other areas in the wizard of inspections and work orders

Fixed Issues

  • Fee bundle service, which must not be visible, was displayed in the list of work order services

See the details of the new features and improvements here.

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ReconMonitor Back Office 3.6.0

View service request list, search for service requests by specific details, approve, reject, and close service requests, edit service request contacts and vehicle information

New Features

  • Manage service requests

Improvements

  • Additional filter options for some reports
  • The ‘Position’ field for user profile
  • The ‘Mileage’ field for repair orders
  • Get quotes for parts in the ‘RTV’ and ‘RTV Complete’ statuses
  • The saved search algorithm has been optimized for better performance.
  • The percent completed of repair orders is correctly updated if phases contain tasks only (without services).
  • When the repair order department is changed by a user, the user info is automatically logged.
  • The ‘Vendor Price’ field on the Parts Management page is updated when a quote is received from a generic part provider or a quote is received from a punch-out part provider and the part is matched with the service.

See the details of the new features and improvements here.

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ReconPro Classic Back Office 2.14.2.0

Show service revenues grouped by service, service & panel, service item, service item & panel, or service type

Improvements

  • Group the ‘Services Revenues’ report data by service items and vehicle panels
  • Include draft invoices to the ‘Service Advisor Sales’ report

See the details of the new features and improvements here.

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ReconPro mobile app 3.6.43

Update vehicle information, add and delete services, enter claim information, and answer questions when editing service requests from the mobile app

New Features

  • Edit service requests

Improvements

  • Select vehicle part in the ‘Clarification’ field
  • Get repair bundle service info per specific vehicle
  • When users finish the ‘Inspection’ quick action workflow, they are automatically navigated back to the ‘Home’ screen
  • Deleted questions and answers are now hidden from the ‘Questions’ screen
  • The ‘Services’ screen performance has been improved

Fixed Issues

  • Inspection types assigned to service request types were not displaying in the proper order

See the details of the new features and improvements here.

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Hertz, Thrifty and Dollar rental car logos

The Hertz Effect on Vehicle Sales

With the bankruptcy of Hertz Global Holdings, Inc., there will soon be an extraordinary volume of vehicles on offer, creating a bulge in a pipeline already constricted by the global pandemic. Hertz, down to their last billion dollars, will need to accelerate the rotation of their inventory as a cash resource to replace missing revenue from their operations.  Reported volume estimates predict vehicle counts in the hundreds of thousands.

In order to expedite this process, Hertz will be unable to move this volume through its branded sales operations, and will need to dispose of most of their vehicles through other means. Auctions would be the traditional mechanism, but ADESA and Manheim and many smaller auction houses are still at reduced capacity due to health and safety restrictions in many geographies. Hertz, or the court, will need to orchestrate direct sales to dealerships in order to liquidate as quickly and efficiently as possible.

This is an opportunity to acquire late-model vehicles with low reconditioning needs. Assets that you can prep for sale at low cost and in little time. In his recent article giving good advice on how to approach this as a dealership, Jason Unrau cautions:

“Dealers should be prepared to move quickly on rental vehicles that come to market. Snatching up batches of a particular make and model, or vehicle style, could be a great way to position a dealership in their locale. Cars bought from rental agencies tend to have extremely low reconditioning costs and offer an easy way to sell used cars at a higher volume.” 

I see this as another opportunity for our industry to “do well by doing good”. Hertz is an iconic brand family that has been set on its heels by unexpected forces. They are far from the only pandemic casualty we will see, particularly in the travel and hospitality sector, but they are the largest so far. The automotive industry has an opportunity to help them recover by purchasing these assets and infusing Hertz with the capital they’ll need to continue operations while they figure out what a post-covid Hertz looks like.  

While the reconditioning of these and other rental cars is normally less complex, they still must follow your process and be fully prepped for resale. If you aren’t using software to manage the work in your fixed ops or reconditioning department, the money you save in lower repair requirements may be lost on inefficiency in doing the work that is done. ReconMonitor™ is a software solution that keeps you in command and control of your recon operation. From acquisition through the entire process to frontline-ready, the software keeps technicians and teams on task and removes the bottlenecks that cost you valuable time and money. If you are ready to reduce your operation’s vehicle turn times and maximize your profits, you should contact us.