Crucial Elements of the Used Truck
Check In Process
Last week we discussed some of the tactics we use to help customers take disposition channels in to account when putting a number on a package of trucks. After we’ve adjusted investment practices, the next most likely place to see an asset management process fail is during the receipt process (taking possession of the trucks themselves). This is an underappreciated part of the used truck game, and rarely gets much consideration. Since every dealership is different, with their markets presenting distinct challenges, the “check in” process can’t be one-size-fits-all. That lack of repeatability causes most dealers to simply ignore it.

With that variability in mind, we’ll outline the crucial steps that your unique check in process must hit to be successful.

The employee obtains a customer signed copy of the terms and conditions agreed to at the time of the initial appraisal, as well as any condition photos taken at the time of appraisal. The employee taking possession of the truck will ensure the truck meets terms and conditions, while documenting with a digital photo and a customer signature on items that don’t meet the agreement or have changed condition since the initial offer was made. If it turns out that the truck did not meet terms and conditions and the employee did not communicate that to the customer that employee will be held responsible.

Trade ins will be subject to an initial inspection by the service department within two business days of receipt by the dealership. Within three business days of that initial inspection, the used truck manager and service manager will have reviewed the estimate and agreed on anticipated dates of repair.

A truck will be recorded in the business system the same day it is received, even if all components are not noted at the time. VIN, unit number and initial investment all must be recorded.

None of these steps are complicated, but without disciplined execution, your inventory can easily get away from you. Many of our more intensive engagements improving performance in used truck departments involve confirming physical inventory. There are almost always trucks on the lot that the dealer didn’t know existed, as well as “new” used trucks on the lot that do not meet terms and conditions, with no plan to recoup some of that repair cost from the customer.

One of the goals of asset management is to find places where time and margin are leaking from your trucks. All it takes is one or two missed trucks to really put a damper on the profitability of your department. If you want to talk about Used Truck Department best practices and learn about strategies to improve performance, please reach out to [email protected] to schedule a call!
KEA Advisors
PO Box 1229
Lawrence, KS 66044