Dealer Metrics Graph

6 Crucial Metrics Every Used Car Dealer Should Track

As you’re gathering everything you need to evaluate your dealership’s performance, what are the metrics that matter most?

ReconMonitor Back Office 3.5.6

Approve repair order services, filter repair orders by free text search and by tasks, select technicians to unassigned tasks, and much more.

New Features

  • Approve repair order services

Improvements

  • Filter repair orders by free text search
  • Filter repair orders by tasks
  • Assign technician when adding a service to repair order
  • Showing PO# for parts management
  • Select technician for unassigned tasks in repair orders
  • Sort repair orders by target date
  • Auto-scroll to the current repair location
  • Showing the same part statuses on the Repair Order detail view and the Parts Management page for consistency
  • Punchout part ordering from Auto Zone has been improved
  • Restriction for showing repair orders with existing services has been removed

See the details of the new features and improvements here.

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ReconMonitor Back Office 3.5.5

Automate the process of parts ordering from generic providers: generating and sending quote requests, getting quotes and submitting orders

New Features

  • Order parts from generic providers
  • Repair order task tracking

Improvements

  • Punchout parts ordering from multiple providers
  • Auto-updating the counters in the pinned searches on the Repair Orders page

Fixed Issues

  • In some cases, only one of the multiple pictures was shown for image questions
  • Zero value was displayed in the ‘Core Price’ and ‘Labor Credit’ fields of part services after entering a negative value

See the details of the new features and improvements here.

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Sword oops

4 Big Management Mistakes For Used Car Sales Managers To Avoid

Being a sales manager at a used car dealership is no easy task. It can be even more of a demanding role than a new car sales manager because you have to deal with acquiring the best vehicles from the auction and oversee the reconditioning process. Although management training exists, seldom do we see people beginning their careers as managers. Those who start on the front lines and are management material may discover they quickly move up the ranks into management roles (and management problems). Even seasoned managers can make mistakes. Some are simply out of your control, while others can be more easily avoided.

Here are four management problem areas to avoid at your dealership along with simple solutions: 

Problem 1: You want people to like you instead of respect you. Many used car managers who are just beginning want everyone to be on their side, so they’ll be overly friendly instead of realizing boundaries that are there for a reason. 

Solution: There is a fine line between being friendly and being friends with everyone. As the manager, you help create a balance between departments, team members, and yourself. It’s important to remember what you have to do, to ensure that the dealership generates revenue. That can be easier with a bit of professional distance between you and those you manage.


Problem 2: You have a sense of entitlement. Just as much as some used car managers make the mistake of being overly friendly, some can be aloof and condescending to their sales team. 

Solution: Every part of a dealership, new or used, relies on one another for success. If you interact with them with a know-it-all attitude instead of one of collaborative problem-solving, they aren’t going to want to work hard to be part of the dealership’s goals, including speeding up the reconditioning process, selling your used inventory, acquiring the best cars from auction, etc.


Problem 3: You avoid conflict. Nobody likes conflict, but part of your job description as a sales manager is the ability to resolve disputes, not hide from them. 

Solution: The solution here is to identify what may be causing the conflict and how it can be resolved. Also, don’t fix the conflict without coaching your team members on how it can be avoided next time there’s a conflict. Let any conflict be an opportunity to grow as an organization, not for you to clean up the mess and slide it under the carpet.

 

Problem 4: Poor asset management bottlenecks the reconditioning process. vAuto found that some of the best-performing dealers can recondition their vehicles in 24 hours or less, whereas other dealerships take a week or longer. These high-performance dealerships can typically sell a car within 21 days of being on the lot. Anything more, and your lot gets full of depreciating assets, among other problems. 

Solution: Use readily available and easy to deploy software solutions to manage the recon workflow, vehicles, communication, and record-keeping better. Good software, such as ReconMonitor, is designed to optimize your reconditioning process to save you time and money.


Mistakes are normal in any business, no matter what role a person may have. It’s how you find the solutions and work together as a team that will determine the success of your dealership.

surveying used cars

4 Essential Rules To Nail Reconditioning Every Time

Your dealership’s recon operation is a profit center, but the amount of that profit depends on the choices you make and the process you administer.

Detail wash

5 Tips To Improve Your Reconditioning Process

Parking board

Running a used car dealership can be incredibly rewarding for both you, your team and customers. But one of the most significant processes involved in the used car business is reconditioning. Most dealers have an average reconditioning turnaround time of 7 days. However, the best-performing dealers can complete the reconditioning process in 24 hours or less. These are the dealers who know that “time is money” and are determined to get their vehicles ready as soon as possible to get the sales rolling in. 

So how can you improve the reconditioning process at your dealership? The following are five proven ways that you can improve:  

1) Post descriptions, photos, videos, and prices ASAP

Before you begin any reconditioning work,  photos, videos, and your asking prices should be available on your dealership’s website. If your vehicles aren’t photo-ready, then use good quality online stock images as a placeholder until the actual vehicle is ready to be photographed. This allows potential buyers to get a look at the cars you have available and can speed up the purchase process. 

2) Have A Reconditioning Team Ready 

Having a designated team of individuals specifically for reconditioning will significantly speed up the process. Your service team is already busy enough taking care of repairs and other service operations. Send your acquired auction vehicles directly to a team whose only focus is to recondition cars and make them front line ready.

3) Buy Better Cars 

Let’s face it: a used vehicle that is in excellent condition will require less work than a car that is just shy of being a fixer-upper. That’s not to say don’t purchase vehicles that need a thorough reconditioning. If the profit potential is justified, you should acquire the vehicle. However, mix it up with vehicles in better condition to make up for the time it takes to perform longer restorations. The goal is to have a steady stream of sellable inventory hitting the front line.

4) Give Proof 

Even if you’re not able to have a separate reconditioning team and the responsibility lies in the hands of your service department, it’s important to give proof of how much additional gross can flow into these departments if they reduce reconditioning cycle-time. When there are delays, everyone loses, including the customers. On the other hand, busy dealerships can make hundreds of thousands of dollars in gross profit annually by shaving off a couple of days in the detailing/reconditioning process. Encourage your used vehicle and service departments by showing them just how much additional gross can be made if they speed up the process, and reward their improvement. This will give them the incentive to work towards that goal where everyone can benefit. 

5) Automatic Approval 

Dealers who establish an automatic approval process for reconditioning work will see a significantly faster turnaround time. Set up a baseline cost for pre-approved repairs (the average is between $600 and $800) so that the work can be completed in a timely matter. If the estimated repairs are going to cost more than your range, have managers commit to giving a decision within a couple of hours to expedite the process. You’ll not only save a lot of time, but you’ll also save money and sell your vehicles faster. 

Of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t also recommend using dealership reconditioning software like ReconMonitor to manage the entire process. Using software to shepherd the process allows you and your team to have all the information at your fingertips. You know the status of each vehicle and the techs know what to do now, what to do next, and any changes to the plans in real-time. Information is power, and ReconMonitor gives you the power to speed up recon and get your cars frontline-ready at maximum speed.

ReconMonitor Back Office 3.5.4

View question forms and question sections from repair order details page, choose from more statuses of repair order parts, get quotes for parts from multiple suppliers

New Features

  • View repair order question forms
  • View repair order service questions
  • Additional statuses for repair order parts
  • Order parts from multiple providers

See the details of the new features and improvements here.

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ReconMonitor Back Office 3.5.3

Use punchout catalog for parts ordering, manage parts with core charges and labor credits, attach credit memos and invoices as part documents, and much more

New Features

  • Punchout Catalog for Parts Ordering
  • Parts with Core Charges
  • Parts with Labor Credits
  • Part Documents
  • Parts Conditions
  • Start repair orders
  • Reopen repair orders

Improvements

  • Search for repair order parts by RO#
  • Search for parts in closed repair orders
  • Make changes to parts in closed repair orders
  • Resetting the price of refused parts to zero
  • Resolve service problems before closing repair orders
  • Allow editing repair order service details based on repair location user settings
  • Improved usability of adding tasks to repair orders
  • Allow editing repair order service details based on repair location user settings
  • Setting part core price based on information from punchout catalog
  • Updating part vendor price based on information from punchout catalog

See the details of the new features and improvements here.

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Fleet Trucks

Fleet Managers Face Big Challenges

  • Operating Costs
  • Repair Costs
  • Vehicle Availability
  • Misuse
  • Driver Safety
  • More…

Being a manager of a fleet operation is no easy task. You’re responsible for heavy-duty operations and your employees being all over the place. Despite emerging new methods to manage fleet operations, such as telematics solutions and on-demand maintenance services, the problems continue.

The following are some of the biggest challenges that today’s fleet managers face: 

Increased Operating Costs: Fuel is what drives a fleet, and increasing fuel costs make all the other operating costs more expensive, too. Labor rates, cost of oil, and the increasing fuel cost all impact additional operating expenses such as tire replacements and general maintenance. 

Increased Repair Costs: With fleet drivers ignoring the signs to take their vehicles to be maintained, a simple oil change could turn into an engine failure. Not to mention, if a car is damaged in an accident, the cost of collision repair has increased as advancements in-car technologies have continued. Modern vehicle systems are increasingly integrated, so damage to one component can impact multiple vehicle systems. The cost to replace these more sophisticated parts, and the skilled technicians required to do the work are all higher. 

Truck Availability: Production dates can often be delayed, which creates unpredictability with lead times. This means the vehicles you expect and require just aren’t available. It’s truly “hurry up and wait” since fleet managers are all ready to go, but don’t have the inventory. 

Misuse of Company Assets: It can be challenging to manage every aspect of your fleet effectively, even if your hardware and asset management is buttoned-up. Your people resources can be an equal challenge. Drivers could be taking longer than scheduled breaks tor driving recklessly to make up for the wasted time. Operators could be using the vehicle outside of work hours, increasing vehicle wear and the potential risk and liability that comes with that misuse.. 

Lack of Individual Attention: Many Fleet managers work in large companies that are often growing and handling upwards of thousands of assets. Because of this, operators can often feel more like workhorses instead of valuable company assets. It can be a challenge to implement systems to ensure drivers feel well-managed and appreciated.

Driver Safety: NHTSA reported an increase in large truck accidents from 2017 to 2018, despite a decrease in many other categories. The increase is tied to drivers working longer hours and the associated lack of sleep. Without implementing software tracking solutions to monitor a driver’s safety or hours, there’s no way to determine when they need to have rest. Lack of rest means they’re a hazard to themselves, their vehicles, and other drivers.  

Additional Fleet Management Transaction Fees: Several companies are using separate services to aid in fleet management. These include motor vehicle records, registrations, tolls, etc. The cost of using these ancillary programs create additional transaction fees, and integrating the data to an effective fleet management solution can be daunting. 

These are just a few of the challenges that fleet managers face today, and if you manage a fleet, these may be all-to-familiar. You’re not alone. Thankfully, there are solutions out there for each one of these challenges. From telematics software to maintenance management programs to mobile repair services, the answer to each one of these challenges is available to help you keep your fleet in top condition, and turn your challenges into accomplishments.

ReconMonitor Back Office 3.5.2

Add tasks to repair order phases and assign technicians to these tasks, delete saved searches from the Repair Orders page, manage all repair order notes in one place, and more

New Features

  • Add tasks to repair orders
  • Delete saved searches
  • View all repair order notes together
  • Set effective date and price for client services

Improvements

  • Showing counters for pinned searches

Fixed Issues

  • The flag list in the Back Office and in the mobile app was different

See the details of the new features and improvements here.

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