ReconMonitor Back Office 3.4.8

Add notes to repair order services with the Parts price type and the Labor price type, as well as services included in a bundle

Improvements

  • Add notes to parts, labor, and bundle service items in repair orders

See the details of the improvements here.

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ReconMonitor Back Office 3.4.7

Replace multiple services of the same kind with a generic service that you can clarify when adding this service to inspections and work orders, and many other improvements

New Features

  • Generic Services
  • Repair Problem Reporting

Improvements

  • Select a vehicle part when adding money services to repair orders
  • Support for generic services on the Parts Management page
  • Support for generic services in the Repair Order details view
  • “Check In” button for repair order phase
  • ”On Hold” status indicator for repair orders
  • Improved search for repair orders
  • Access to repair orders has been restricted based on user’s role.

Fixed Issues

  • The Repair Orders link was shown twice in the breadcrumb.
  • The Phases filter on the Repair Orders page did not work properly.
  • The layout of the Part Management page was not properly displayed after scaling.

See the details of the improvements here.

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How Reconditioning Software Reduces Your Time To Market

Recon management whiteboard

Yesterday’s recon management dashboard. Don’t rub it the wrong way!

With each year, more and more dealerships are adapting to the latest and greatest technology. They’re doing this to increase their inventory turn times, but to also anticipate the likelihood of selling outside of those time spans. There are a lot of things to consider as a used car dealership, but one thing for sure is that each day a vehicle is being reconditioned, you’re losing money.

So, let’s approach time to market with an example. Let’s say your turn time is 50 days, but it takes you a total of 9 days to recondition the vehicle from auction to the frontline. With that turn time alone, you’re already reducing the vehicle’s chance of getting sold by 18%. Beyond that, if you wait too long, you may have to send it back into auction or reduce the price significantly to make any profit from it. The longer you have a vehicle in inventory that isn’t driveable by a potential customer, the less likely it’ll get sold.

Because of an inefficient recon operation, problems with morale can develop between your different departments. The business relies on the sales force selling vehicles as soon as possible, but if the technicians in the service department are taking too long, there will inevitably be some friction. At the end of the day, time to market relies the most on the reconditioning process pushing out vehicles as fast as possible for the sales team.

If you create a standardized process for your back-office, service department, vendors, and front-end sales, your time to market will drastically reduce. One of the biggest bottlenecks for used car operations and the reconditioning process is communication. Reconditioning management software can bridge the gap between all of the departments– making it easier for information to be accessed, knowing who’s accountable for delays, and getting approvals as fast as possible. It can even reduce friction between departments, by enabling your Fixed Ops department to set Sales department expectations with reliable delivery times for each vehicle.

To make sure all of your vehicles are frontline-ready as soon as possible, reconditioning software is an absolute must in this market. It enforces a much more organized approach when it comes to back-office information, vehicle reconditioning, sales, and customer satisfaction, and all the relevant information is available at the touch of a button on your computer or mobile device.

AutoMobile Technologies Can Help

AMT offers software solutions designed to make your reconditioning business more efficient, provide you with better visibility, and give you peace of mind knowing that your back-office is always up-to-date and your reconditioned vehicles are delivered at speed.

ReconMonitor is a state of the art workflow automation software for dealerships, auctions, and auto remarketing companies. ReconMonitor dealership software decreases reconditioning cycle time and increases your control and profitability.

ReconMonitor Back Office 3.4.6

Apply dashboard filters to show repair orders with parts in the appropriate status and search for repair orders by phase in a particular status.

Improvements

  • Use dashboard counters to filter repair order parts
  • Better layout for part details
  • Showing available part statuses only
  • Filter repair orders by phase status
  • Showing the current phase of repair orders
  • Searching repair orders by active phase

See the details of the improvements here.

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Auto Dealerships Will Be Just Fine In 2019

New & Pre-Owned Sales signAccording to NADA News, Senior Economist for NADA, Patrick Manzi, said trends are looking good for both new and used vehicles in 2019.

He continued on and said in a recent speech in San Francisco: “The current posture of the U.S. economy is strong. A tight labor market continues to put upward pressure on wages, which are rising. Consumer spending, a significant contributor to GDP, remains solid. It’s a positive sign that consumers are spending money.”

In 2019, NADA expects there to be roughly 16.8 million sales in light trucks and new cars– a 3% decrease from 2018’s fourth straight year of 17 million units.

However, Manzi warned that the rising interest rates for auto loans will impact the affordability of vehicles for consumers in the coming year. With rates and monthly payments expected to rise, he says younger consumers will shift to the used car market. “This is a great opportunity for dealers to get these customers into nearly new certified-pre-owned vehicles.”

With the used car market’s expected increase, software companies have developed software to make the reconditioning process as efficient as possible to maximize profits. Products like ReconMonitor can help you track each vendor or employee task and identify what order those tasks are being performed. This helps you execute auto remarketing at maximum speed, and ensure you have the stock available to meet consumer demands.

Why Your Dealership Should Prioritize Convenience And Transparency

Why Your Dealership Should Prioritize Convenience And TransparencyAccording to Dealership News, research from a Cox Automotive Service Industry Study showed dealerships are losing out on roughly $266 billion dollars a year in service revenue. Beyond that, the biggest contributing factor to it all is customer trust and inconvenience. Unfortunately, many dealerships aren’t doing enough for customers to feel completely comfortable with their purchasing process.

Released back in January, the study also showed that 70% of all customers who bought or leased a vehicle from a franchised dealership did not return for continued vehicle service. The reason behind this? Well, they’d rather take their chances with established body shops and independent repair shops. In fact, the study showed customer service satisfaction with dealerships was about on par with the small body shop you may see down the street.

With the average age of vehicles out on the road sitting at around 11.5 years old, it isn’t too surprising that dealership services see a reduction in visits as a car ages. However, on the plus side, dealerships still lead the way against third-party businesses for overall customer visits– but lag in customer service, convenience, and transparency.

Dealership News suggests a few simple fixes for this would be:

  • Providing customers a way to pay online.
  • Schedule appointments with customers via their mobile devices.
  • Picking up and delivering serviced vehicles to and from customer locations.
  • Provide simple repairs to their vehicles outside of the shop setting.
  • Providing customers with information, such as trade-in value, services, price ranges, estimates, and competitive ranges.
  • Give customers a way to monitor their vehicle’s service remotely.

Jim Roche, Vice President of Marketing and Managed Services with Xtime told Fixed Ops Journal: “Dealers have to figure out how to get your vehicle to the service, or the service to your vehicle.” Which is in line with the study that also suggests customers are willing to pay more or travel longer distances if the customer service is great.

 

AutoMobile Technologies

AMT offers software solutions designed to make your dealership more efficient, provide your customers with the information they need, offer you better visibility, and give you peace of mind knowing that your back-office is always up-to-date and you’re building a positive relationship with customers.

ReconMonitor is a state of the art workflow automation software for auto recon, dealerships, and auto marketing companies. ReconMonitor dealership software decreases reconditioning cycle time and increases your control and profitability.

Four Tips to Keep Customers Coming Back to Your Dealership

In 2019, dealerships have a lot of competition when it comes to returning buyers, servicing, and simple repairs. However, if you focus on the customer experience first, you’ll keep them coming back for years to come. Nowadays, it’s not just their time at your dealership that counts, but also their convenience when visiting your website or waiting for their vehicle to be serviced.

The auto industry is evolving every day, and the way your customers experience your business is changing, too. Below, we have four tips that will keep customers coming back to your dealership.

 

Prioritize A Simple, Effective, & Informative Online Experience

Obviously, smartphones are everywhere. We all know it, and because of this fact, the way customers experience your business begins with a Google search. Typically, they’ll see a list of businesses (on Google My Business)  in their area that match what they typed in. They’ll go through, read reviews, look at pictures you upload, and then they’ll go to your website.

Customer service begins at first touch– your website. If it’s easy to navigate, provides useful information, and puts simplifying the customer experience first, then you’re much more likely to gain their business– and keep it.

 

Be Transparent With Customers

First and foremost, this will gain your customer trust. People know when salesmen are just trying to close a deal. It’s also safe to say many dealerships believe front end sales are where all of their money is made. However, in today’s market, it’s not so simple.

If you treat a customer well and prioritize their comfort, they’ll be more likely to come back for business and refer you. Beyond that, when you set expectations,  provide exact costs, estimates, rebates, and work with them through every step of the process, you’ll develop a positive relationship.

However, as you’ll probably guess, this transparency doesn’t end with the in-person meetings. The best dealerships have software in place that will calculate everything a customer needs to know, instantly, for their purchase– including all of the things (and more) that we listed above. Whether it’s for service, or simply offering information, you can send out automated text alerts for customers to stay updated, giving them another easy way to connect with you.

 

Keep In Touch With Customers

Whether it’s through emails, texts, or phone calls, it’s important to check in with customers every now and then. This isn’t to suggest you should pester them on a regular basis (don’t do that), but sending out promotions every now and then is never a bad idea. Beyond that, if you have a social media page, that can be a great way to stay in contact with customers and provide updates on anything you’re doing that they may be interested in.

 

Have A Management Software System In Place

We touched on it a little bit above, but it’s crucial to have a system in place that helps make the customer experience as easy and informative as possible. In 2019, the majority of the most successful dealerships have a software system in place that not only increases operational efficiency, but also can create custom forms, email templates for promotions, provide customers with text message updates on services, and inform them of pricing and estimates on the fly.

 

AutoMobile Technologies

AMT offers software solutions designed to make your dealership more efficient, provide your customers with the information they need, offer you better visibility, and give you peace of mind knowing that your back-office is always up-to-date and you’re building a positive relationship with customers.

ReconMonitor is a state of the art workflow automation software for auto recon, dealerships, and auto marketing companies. ReconMonitor dealership software decreases reconditioning cycle time and increases your control and profitability.

NADA Chairman Says Dealerships Need To Be Active “Now More Than Ever”

According to NADA News, the new NADA Chairman, Charlie Gilchrist, strongly recommended that franchise-owned dealerships need to be active in NADA “now more than ever.”

He continued on with his recent speech in San Francisco and said: “I want you to think of your association as your second identity. It’s always a part of you, and it’s always there. That’s a big deal, whether you’ve been working in this industry for decades or you’re just getting started.”

President of Gilchrest Automotive, Charlie Gilchrist, has franchises including Ram, Nissan, Ford, Volkswagen, Buick, GMC, Chevrolet, Jeep, Dodge, and Chrysler all in the DFW area of Texas. His obvious success quickly reminded everyone in the Moscone Center that being a franchise owner is the best way in the world to distribute vehicles. However, he also discussed some of the major challenges dealerships of all sizes are familiar with and will have to prepare for down the line.

“My challenge to each of you today is to get involved,” Gilchrist said. “You are not just ‘a member’ of NADA. You are NADA.” He then followed up with: “Profitability in our new-vehicle department is a serious issue. This means we have to be better, and more creative, at running the rest of the store. We must adapt to this reality to survive in this new world.”

Beyond that, according to NADA News, Gilchrist urged the entire auto industry to unite together to help tackle the issue of technician shortages in the retail sector by supporting the NADA Foundation Workforce Initiative.

With the shortage of technicians and the many challenges ahead for dealerships in 2019, software companies are working hard to help manage and automate the workflow of dealership operations. Among the leading products is ReconMonitor, a state of the art workflow automation software for auto recon, dealerships, and auto remarketing companies. ReconMonitor dealership software decreases reconditioning cycle time and increases your dealership’s operational control and profitability.

Retired NADA Chairman Says Dealerships Are Writing The Future

Wes Lutz – Former NADA Chair

Recently in a speech in San Francisco, now retired NADA Chairman, Wes Lutz, advocated for dealerships in America to fully embrace the changing times for dealerships. Advising them to truly listen to their customers and discussing what the future of the auto industry holds.

According to NADA News, Wes Lutz is the president of Extreme-Dodge-Chrysler-Ram in Jackson, Michigan. Lutz was the head of NADA and was there to see new-vehicle sales go beyond 17 million units. However, he also predicted that personal vehicle ownership would eventually end.

“As I traveled around the world in 2018, my biggest takeaway was this” So many people want to write our narrative. They say that dealerships are fighting the inevitable, that change is coming and we don’t like it,” he said during his speech. “The truth is that we love change. Change is not happening fast enough for us. Dealers aren’t fighting the future, we’re writing it.”

Lutz continued on: “People prize convenience above all else. People value freedom above all else. The ability to just get up and go without waiting for anyone is a luxury that people don’t want to give up – they can’t afford to. Which is why people have very little interest in giving up their keys, despite what Wall Street or Silicon Valley says.”

With customer convenience at the forefront of dealership focus, software companies have management software available to help make dealership operations, and the customer’s life as easy as possible. Products, like ReconMonitor, have fully customizable forms and triggers that can notify customers of their vehicle’s status, and alert vendors and employees when their work is coming up. No more phone calls required to keep everyone informed.

ReconMonitor Back Office 3.4.4

Track the history of changes made to registered devices and filter devices by the team, license number, name, platform, and app version.

New Features

  • Audit log for device management
  • Advanced search for device management

Improvements

  • Change the price and quantity of repair order services
  • Read-only PO# in invoiced repair orders
  • Displaying part categorization in italics

Fixed Issues

  • Repair orders closed in ReconPro Back Office were still shown in ReconMonitor Back Office as “In Progress”
  • Incorrect data was displayed on the Repair Orders page after changing repair location

See the details of the new features and improvements here.

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