When you are searching for something to keep the technicians busy there is nothing like a line of freshly arrived vehicles to round out the tech's flag sheet. Out back you have a half-dozen newly arrived vehicles just waiting for the plastic to be ripped off the seats to claim an easy hour or two of labor. Your shop might call them preps or pre-delivery inspections - we'll call them PDIs for short.
You realize PDIs are more than just taking the protective covers off and snapping on the wheel covers. As manufacturers become neck-and-neck on initial quality scores, the caliber of your dealership's PDI has that much more of an impact. More to the point, your dealership's CSI scores also hinge on having trouble-free deliveries of new vehicles. Shoddy PDIs can directly impact your wallet if you are rewarded on CSI scores.
But even more than scores, a poorly performed PDI will actually impact your ability to satisfy customers later. If a customer has a poor delivery experience, what do you think is the overall impression they have of their ownership and of your dealership? Now when it comes time to return for service, will it be harder or easier to meet their expectations? Are they more or less likely to buy that 15,000-mile service?
While PDIs can be profitable and nice work to perform, make sure that your technicians are treating them with the seriousness they deserve. Look at the PDI checklist. Are all the boxes checked off via one solid line running through all the boxes? Look at the technician's time records. Did they spend enough time to properly do the inspection? Are your technicians occasionally finding issues that need to be resolved or does every vehicle pass with flying colors?
Watch the common items that customers complain about. Increasingly it is all the electronics and gizmos that are causing customer concerns. Is the compass programmed right? Does that DVD player work?
By having a rock solid PDI you are setting the dealership up with a happy customer that will turn into a loyal one.