Every dealership has a constant Game of Thrones happening with used cars and the Service Department. You are familiar with the following scenario… a trade comes in and the games begin. The Used Car Manager prices the car and since he gets paid on the gross of the deal, he pushes for a quick reconditioning of the car and the least amount of work possible, since time in recon decreases the vehicle’s value. The Service Department writes the car up and because they are paid on the gross of the repair order, they push for the highest repair order amount and are not worried about the time it takes to get the repairs done. The Used Car Manager manages these requests and is quickly in a power struggle with the Service Department. The Technician processes the approved requests and always prioritizes the customer pay work, and only motivated to close out the work by the end of his pay period.

As with most games, motivation is key to how the game plays out. Paying the Used Car Manager on the gross of the car motivates him or her to keep the cost of reconditioning low and deny what is deemed as unnecessary work. Paying the Service Advisor on the gross of the repair order motivates him or her to suggest as much work as possible to hit goals and increase the amount of work and time the car will be in the shop. There is little consequence of working on trades since there is no customer per se, no survey, and no CSI impact. The Technician is paid by the work completed but only works on trades after customer cars and as time permits. The only player in this game motivated to move quickly and therefore increase the profit of the used car is the Used Car Manager.  The Service Advisor and Technician are not motivated by a quick turnaround.

Game of Thrones Used Cars & Service Department

To end the game, dealerships should move towards a dedicated team that manages internal repairs on recon vehicles. A Used Car Department should have a dedicated Service Advisor and Technician(s) who works with the Used Car Manager – so everyone has the same end goal: to recondition the vehicle and maximize profits for both the Sales and Service Departments. With a team dedicated to processing these requests, they can increase their effectiveness on reconditioning cars, value the time in recon, lower costs overall and increase gross for the dealership. It’s time to end the Game of Thrones. In the end the only thing that matters is that the dealership wins.

At ReconVelocity, we work with dealers to set up a team structure to bring efficiency to their recon workflows and to end the Game of Thrones. Our recon software allows everyone involved in the process to have complete transparency into each step of recon and to communicate in real-time via app notifications and messages. Rather than being at odds with one another, ReconVelocity facilitates teamwork and gets everyone on board for achieving targeted recon step thresholds, which everyone is accountable for. The end vision for everyone involved is to reduce costs, increase inventory turn, and to protect gross profits for the dealership so that everyone benefits together.

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