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Tracking the Used Car Reconditioning Process


4 Pounder
Apr 11, 2009
First Name
Vinart Dealerships
I want my cars on the lot with photos within 72 hours.

Contact Management needs a better inventory management solution. I'm still struggling in that department and haven't quite found the right solution for our store yet. I'm using eCarList right now and its pretty good. And of course vAuto which is great.

One big thing that I wish someone would introduce (I told Dale Pollak he should do this) is come out with a solution that effectively helps dealers manage the Used Car reconditioning process.

I want my cars on the lot with photos within 72 hours.

That is an ambitious goal that is often difficult to achieve. However, if i had a software solution that my UC manager, my service manager, my recon manager and my picture guy could all access to see where a car is in the process it would be huge. I would use the system to hold people accountable and even pay them a bonus based on average time it takes a car to go through the process. That is hard to manage right now by just using status code in R&R.

Any suggestions? Anybody have any good ideas?
andwrig (andy?),

Sounds like a tool I drew up a while back and never built. It's a "whereinthehellisthatcar?" tool. Each as department has its hands on it, the tool tracks it with time stamps.

Office Manager: IN DMS ->
UC Manager: RECEIVED -> (start the clock)
Svc Manager: WAITING SVC -> IN SVC -> SVC DONE ->
Recon Manager: WAITING RECON -> IN RECON -> RECON DONE -> (end the clock)
Front Line: DONE

You can add a branch for Body shop.

If it's Web based then your GSM or UCM can find the lost child fast. Also, If it's web based, then your sales dept can check it for incoming inventory.

Stock#'s down the left column
Stages across the top

Seems doo-able
Great idea guys! And very informative spreadsheet, Joe. I remind my staff that every day a car isn't on our virtual lot, we are missing hundreds of search impressions and possible click thru's.

With our program Hyundai's that we purchase from the auction, since most of them have relatively low miles and don't require too much in the way of scratch/dent reconditioning, we have our detail department work on the vehicle ASAP before it goes to service. This allows pictures to be taken within 24 to 48 hours from the car arriving and then service can have their fun with it.
I like the spreadsheet. Its a good alternative to software. Like I said, I've been urging Dale Pollak to make something like this part of vAuto and I am sure they are working on it as a tool to promote "velocity." I am currently on a strict 60 day policy and I have migrated mostly to a 45 day turn policy. The excuse I always hear from a UCM or GSM when I mark a car for auction is that they "didn't get the car until the 20th day in stock" because of service or recon or the body shop, etc. But the market doesn't care where the car is in your recon process when it comes to depreciation so what ever its true age, that is its true age. If something like this could give me the ability pay a bonus to my Recon Manager and Service Manager for getting cars through the shop, the quicker we get them pictured and like Andrew said, the more impressions we get and possible CTR on our website, cars.com, etc.

Good stuff.

Thanks Joe.

Andy Wright (andwrig)

The SS above is a model for the concept. I wrote in my original post (above the ss), it's best if it's a web based platform to allow everyone to access it and to profit from it.

If the SS model above is all you need, than it's a fairly simple project. Pass the vAuto boyz the link to this thread and hopefully they can see it's an easy task with some low hanging fruit for them.

Joe Pistell
p.s. If you dont need "real-time" info, a cheap and easy way to do it is to use a simple employee payroll time card machine. Place one in each department, punch out time is all you need to track. Have your office track it on a SS.

Hope this helps,
Joe Pistell
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If the vAuto boys bite on the project, best case, the DMS entry drives the lists creation. THEN, if they really like it, they can use their really cool merchansing tool to track the last stage of the effort, getting it up on the web!

I've added another column to track that last

broken image

Andy, Keep on with your idea! This is a natual addition to the vauto Merchansiing tool (and you can tell Dale I give your idea 2 thumbs up.... way up!)

Good Luck,
Well since our software already manages most other aspects of inventory management we could easily add this type of functionality to our inventory product. If anyone is interested in creating this type of functionality let me know! Our entire system is built on customer requests and feedback.
Very Cool! If the used car manager processing the incoming vehicles had a simple fob and proximity scanner setup it could streamline things I think.

Given you set up a scanner at the used car managers office, service advisers desk, and one in detail (if there's a computer in detail) you could attach a fob to the keyring and swipe it to pull up that vehicle in the program, then either automatically or by one mouse click it would advance to the next stage. Fobs could be recycled and there at most $5 a piece with the scanners being around $50. Maybe a little too technical but anything that makes it easier for the guys working is worth it.