“The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” – George Bernard Shaw
Communication is vital to the success of any business. All too often, used car dealers recognize that a pivotal piece of communication had not been relayed to the proper department after the damage is already done.
Imagine if you had a car sitting on your lot for 3 weeks and no one knew it was there until someone decided to finally ask the question, “What’s going on with that red Toyota out there?” What usually happens next is a lot of finger-pointing about who was responsible for that car. Meanwhile, your dealership is losing money. $40 a day.
We see this happen all the time in the pre-owned automotive retail industry. In truth, it all comes down to the systems we have in place (or lack thereof).
Below are 3 areas of improvements directly associated with improved communication at your used car dealership.
1. Communication improves workforce performance.
Progressive dealerships improve company culture and job satisfaction by improving communication.
Creating an environment of communication in your make-ready department not only speeds up your process but informs the entire team on the latest developments at your dealership. If everyone is working towards the same goals, the finger-pointing disappears and people begin to work together more effectively.
First, make sure that everyone on your make-ready team is assigned vehicles and tasks accordingly. This will ensure your recon process runs seamlessly. Once the team is able to communicate and track information, such as departmental notes and pictures of the work that still needs to be completed, your ADR will drastically reduce. More importantly, when your staff sees what work still needs to be done and who is accountable, they will work harder to complete the job in a timely fashion. This increase in production influences the overall team’s performance, all the way up to the sales team. The result: you can add more inventory turns to your bottom line.
The stats on dealership performance are incredible. We have seen as much as 12 days shaved off a dealers speed to market when communication is streamlined and succinct. In one instance, we saw a dealership uncover $16,000 in overcharges by improving communication.
2. Communication increases job satisfaction helping with absenteeism and turnover rates.
“Effective internal communications can keep employees engaged in the business and help companies retain key talent…” — Watson Wyatt, 2009
How do you create careers instead of jobs at the dealership level? The dealerships that strategize to answer this challenge are the ones that thrive in the long-term.
We know that it is getting harder and harder to find, train, and maintain qualified employees. Skilled techs are hard to come by and when management does find them, they have to pay higher incentives to keep them. But paying higher wages is only part of the struggle. Employees also need to feel that their work is being valued. Recognition shows your workforce that they are an integral part of the team, which is a key component to improving job satisfaction.
Most every dealer we meet describes their dealership as a family. And, as is the case in any family, communication is paramount. Dealerships that utilize a communication platform, such as ReconVelocity, are the ones that dominate the market and continue to grow and adapt in response to market changes. For instance, at Vernon Auto Group we saw dealership turnover rates decrease once we implemented our recon software. In the months to follow, their turnover rates dropped by as much as 12%.
3. Communication means fewer mistakes.
Imagine that there are no cars sitting on your lot waiting to be sold because you missed a step in the reconditioning process. Sounds ideal, right?
If you are using software to monitor your recon process it means quicker approvals of exceptions, keeping tighter control over costs, and identifying problems with cars early on in order to find solutions faster. All of this means reducing your holding costs and getting your cars retail-ready faster. Another improvement association with enhanced communication is a decrease in holding errors. As you open up communication across departments errors that used to slow down your recon process will no longer exist. All of this is possible with ReconVelocity.
Dan Gamillion, from Vernon Auto Group, agrees, “You can see it in the cost to recondition vehicles. At our dealerships, we saw our costs dramatically decrease due to mistakes we were no longer making or just waiting for someone or something since we implemented ReconVelocity.”
How ReconVelocity Can Help
ReconVelocity software is built on the backbone of communication. There are many features such as notes, exceptions, and reports that supply the basis of communication. With ReconVelocity, information about your UVI process is readily available to your leadership team. Our simple to use tool can open up communication in your process like never before, meaning that the dealerships that adopt communication practices like ours are the ones that will be around for the long haul.