17 Sep New Workflow Technology is Now Here For UCM’s
One of the most challenging and long-standing barriers to a smooth running recon process is the fact that the used car manager never has enough time to stay on top of recon — in spite of the fact that the UCM is typically the largest single customer for service. Further complicating matters is the built-in conflict in service between pay-customers vs. internal business.
The service manager, or a fixed operations manager, is expected to juggle both pay-customer and internal service to maximize revenue and CSI. Therefore, given the immense pressure to utilize all resources efficiently and economically (from purchase or trade to frontline ready), it becomes imperative to know where everyone stands throughout the entire recon process. Conflict materializes when inconclusive or incorrect data pops up, resulting in excuses, finger pointing, delays and lost profit. Ultimately, the GM gets it from both directions.
Before the introduction of a new workflow technology to recon, the state of the art was a shared spreadsheet as a means of attempting to keep score. The impact of using a spreadsheet is temporary at best, and never really solved the problem. The only way to make recon truly accountable is to use a real-time workflow process and to put the UCM smack in the middle of the approval process. Fortunately for the UCM, this new so ware makes being in the middle painless — one tap of the finger and the approval is sent off. This instantaneous acknowledgement can be done anytime-anywhere using only a smart phone — either an iPhone/iPad or Android. The iPhone or Android is the most appropriate use for this task because it allows the UCM to approve (or reject) the proposed services and repairs quickly by having all the necessary information right in hand — even when he/she is off-site.
For example — a typical recon workflow is shown below. The UCM receives a text alert when the 2012 Chevy Traverse is ready for UCM approval. The “Notes” column is entered specifically to allow the UCM to make an informed, on-the-spot decision necessary to sell this Chevy Traverse. When the UCM approves the work to be done on the car, he only needs to click one time and the car moves to “Step 7 — Service Repair.” Texts and e-mail notifications are generated to be sent to as many people as necessary, and the time clock begins for “Service Repair.”
By structuring the workflow this way, each “Step” owner is alerted when a car is ready for their attention, which also starts the accountability clock for measuring and reporting.
With workflow technology, setting a target for time to market (TTM) for reconditioning can now be planned just like monthly sales. The illustration below is a planning tool used to identify each “Step” owner and the target average time to meet the monthly recon TTM of less than five days. For example, “Service Repair” needs to stay under 13 work hours, and “Detail” needs one day, or 9 hours.
Providing the UCM with a real-time workflow process, which incorporates mobile tools, empowers them to keep on top and in control of reconditioning TTM.