Your efforts to get cars from reconditioning to sale-ready faster will always hit speed bumps — that is until everyone involved enjoys the freedom to practice proactive accountability for themselves and teammates.
Practicing seamless proactive accountability is critical if you want to transform recon operations to increase inventory turns and hold gross margin.
Where accountability is lacking, you’ll most often find ongoing friction and mistrust among the fixed ops-sales-recon team.
The word proactive, BusinessDictionary.com notes, is “action and results-oriented behavior, instead of one that waits for things to happen and then tries to adjust (react) to them.”
Personal proactive accountability is so relevant to business performance that said the streaming entertainment company Spotify practices it with awesome results.
Spotify organizes its employees via autonomous skill-set “squads,” according to that HBR story. Individuals in these squads know they (and their teams) are held accountable to get their assigned tasks completed within specified parameters.
Dealers don’t stream music, of course, but cars — from acquisition to sale-ready. In a recon environment practicing proactive accountability, not only are techs, detailers and sublets working within clear work steps and task “squads,” they’re also accountable for how they hand-off their completed work to the next squad in the recon process.
Good things come about for a store practicing proactive accountability to improve recon time-to-line (T2L) performance:
- Workflow improves: Fixed ops, recon and used-car department personnel able to work collaboratively with responsibility eliminate speed bumps to more profitable used-car margins. With friction and communication delays reduced or even eliminated, the resulting faster T2L improves inventory turn, reduces holding cost waste, and gets buyer eyeballs on cars sooner.
- Job satisfaction improves: Defined work steps and clearly defined task times clarify job descriptions and performance standards. With accountability to these parameters, friction between advisors, technicians, detailers, parts, and managers lessens, finger-pointing stops, and the work environment becomes more cooperative and safer.
- Volume and margin improve: By increasing workflow and job satisfaction, output improves. Improve your recon cycle by 2.5 days and your store gains one additional inventory turn a year. You can sell more cars while inventorying fewer. Faster recon time gets inventory online or to the sales lot when fresh, when it appeals most to consumers and in general will retail at a higher margin.
Set clear standards
The survey company Gallup recently took the temperature of the general workplace on this accountability point and found that only half of employees knew what management expected from them at work.
“Helping employees to set and achieve goals is a manager's key responsibility, but many managers don't really own this task,” Gallup reported.
“To free employees to take the initiative and inspire high performance, managers need to set clear expectations, hold employees accountable for meeting them and quickly respond when employees need support. But managers also should hold themselves accountable for meeting employees' performance needs,” Gallup said.
When using T2L recon workflow software in the dealership, the automation handles the essential behavior and accountability tasks for you.
Dennis McGinn is the founder and chief executive officer of Rapid Recon.