ReconMonitor Back Office 3.5.7

Start and stop the clocks for repair order services and tasks assigned to technicians; print repair orders or save them as a PDF file

New Features

  • Start and stop the clocks for repair order services and tasks
  • Print repair order from the detail view

Improvements

  • Apply ‘Quote Received’ quick filter on the ‘Parts Management’ page
  • Generate ‘Time Report’ for team time zone
  • Changes in the ‘Parts Ordering’ process
  • Autocomplete search for adding services
  • Changes in service approval logic for closed and reopened repair orders
  • Restoring the Advanced Search filters on the ‘Repair Orders’ page after returning from the ‘Repair Order’ detail view
  • Quoted parts for repair orders that require manual approval are ordered automatically when customers approve them through Quick Access

Fixed Issues

  • Skipped phases did not contribute to the completion percentage of repair orders

See the details of the new features and improvements here.

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ReconMonitor Back Office 3.5.65

Use predefined options to filter repair orders by age, show the earliest started repair orders at the top of the list, add documents to parts without attachments

Improvements

  • Part provider improvements
  • Predefined options for ‘Days in Phase’ and ‘Days in Progress’ filters
  • Sort repair order by start date
  • Optional attachment for part documents
  • Restoring filters on the ‘Repair Orders’ page after returning from the ‘Repair Order’ detail view

See the details of the new features and improvements here.

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Used cars on dealer lot

News from NADA Is Good News For Used Car Dealers

The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) at the 2020 NADA conference in Las Vegas issued an analysis of U.S. auto sales and the economy, which implied good news for the used car dealer.

“All in all, the year ended strong with 17.1 million units,” said NADA chief economist Patrick Manzi. “In December 2019, we saw a continuation of many of the trends we have seen throughout the year.”

December 2019 trends include OEM incentive programs to boost year-end sales with increased incentive spending, a continued shift to crossovers and pickups, and an increase in consumers choosing used vehicles or leased vehicles in light of affordability concerns.

Both of these points are good news for used car dealers. Leasing increases mean the pool of marketable used cars will remain in good supply. It also means more opportunity for used car purchasers who just turned in their lease.

Affordability issues with new cars are also good news for used car dealers for obvious reasons, especially if there is an opportunity to sell a visually similar but model year or two older versions of the new vehicle a purchaser is considering.

Trucks continue to drive sales

In 2019, light trucks continued to drain market share from the car segment. As of December 2019, light trucks represented 72.1 percent of all new light-vehicle sales. Compared to 2018 sales, this is an increase of nearly three percent. By the end of 2020, NADA expects the light truck segment to be larger than 75 percent when compared to an anticipated 25 percent of sales going to new car sales.

Used as an alternative to expensive new car purchases

“As affordability remains a challenge, more consumers chose used vehicles in 2019,” added Manzi. “New cars are getting too expensive for many consumers. Even consumers with great credit or the ability to buy new are instead choosing a used vehicle.”

Quality used car inventories, coupled with these affordability hurdles, and the used vehicle market will continue to pull new vehicle customers away from the new-vehicle market.

It is not all good news however

In 2020, NADA anticipates the used-vehicle sales of 39.5 million units, a similar in volume to what was seen in 2019. Even though you may see more used car buyers, the number of units sold is expected to remain flat.

It is worse for new car sales

Going into 2020, NADA anticipates new-vehicle sales of 16.8 million units – a 1 to 2 percent decrease from 2019.

“Consumers are feeling confident in the economy. Interest rates are low. Unemployment is low,” said Manzi. “In the U.S. economy, things look really good, and I’m confident we will have another solid year in 2020.”

Plan for profit now 

With these predictions in hand, the time is now to plot out the profit for the year, especially as we begin to wrap up the first quarter. How will your used car dealership increase profitability this year with a flat units-sold count? One way is to make more by selling the right mix of vehicles. Certainly, the mix of more trucks and SUVs will help drive more profit.

But making more money per unit is crucial, especially with reconditioning costs. Get a handle on your reconditioning expenditures by adopting software designed to help you plug the holes that are costing you money. Shaving recon time is a sure-fire method for increased profit. Contact your AMT rep today to learn more about AMT’s Suite of products designed to help growth-minded dealerships like yours.

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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