Las Vegas, NV – While the expense of operating a loaner fleet is something to be feared by most dealers, MPi, a leading provider of revenue and retention solutions for automotive dealership service departments, today announced that R&H Motor Cars, Ltd., has cut its average days per loaner car in half; from six to three; a savings of $210 per vehicle.
The dealership did this by using a new tool that helps streamline the interaction between advisors, technicians and parts, during the inspection process. With 62 loaner cars in the fleet, at a cost of $69.95 per vehicle per day, this is a huge overall monthly saving for the dealership. It has also seen significant savings in other areas, including personnel. Due to improved communication between departments the dealership has reduced its back shop parts counter employees from four to two.
Two years ago the dealership starting using EDGE WorldClass™ Connect. This real-time route sheet tracks the status of every Repair Order (RO) through the entire dealership process so everyone always knows “who has the ball” in real time. It time-stamps the communication process on every RO to create a permanent paper trail of what’s taken place.
“Connect has reduced inefficiencies by enabling the entire team to know what is happening and ensuring that we are all on the same page. Normally a tech or the parts department would have no idea that a customer is in a loaner. Now we operate on a different priority as everyone knows that we want that loaner back as fast as possible. We therefore now have more customers in, more hours through the shop, and increased profit,” said Tim Sauter, Parts & Service Director with R&H Motor Cars, Ltd.
Based in Owings Mills, Maryland, R&H Motor Cars is a Mercedes-Benz dealership that writes an average of 40-50 Repair Orders per day. It has 25 service bays with 22 technicians, and 4 advisors who each handle 10-12 appointments per day. Over the past couple of years the dealership has risen to #1 in its market for CSI and in 2012 was awarded the Best of the Best Dealer Recognition Award for both Sales and Service. To be the Best of the Best, a dealership has to demonstrate superior performance as well as outstanding customer service.
According to Sauter, the dealership started with Connect in 2010 and it is a major part of the dealership’s superior customer service; “the tool tracks the vehicle the entire time it is in the shop, identifies bottlenecks and speeds the process to get estimates in the hands of our customers. At the touch of a button anyone in the dealership; from the service advisor to the parts department; can see what is happening to the vehicle in real-time, on one screen, without having to go any further. Our staff and employees love it!”
The dealership has installed new computer work stations – one for every two technicians, so now the technician does not have to leave his bay in order to order and receive parts and complete the vehicle service. The technician can communicate with the parts department to order parts, and with the service advisor to update them on the vehicles progress so that more accurate promise times are provided to customers.
“One of the biggest benefits we have seen so far is in the parts department. We have been able to cut personnel in half; from 4 back shop counter guys down to 2; as we are now so efficient. In fact, we were able to eliminate the back parts counter; now it’s just a door that they come through and deliver parts to the tech; everything is ordered and communicated right through the computer workstation. Another huge benefit is improved productivity. Connect keeps technicians in the bay and helps improve shop capacity by an average of 30 minutes per technician each day,” Sauter said.
Since implementing Connect along with EDGE WorldClass™, a proven solution that creates a well organized, practiced and consistent vehicle inspection program, R&H Motor Cars has also seen a good boost in profits; an average upsell per inspection increase of $233; resulting in an overall sales increase of $98,699 per month.