Some prominent dealers are already believers.
Rick Ford, CEO of RFJ Auto Partners, a 24-store dealership group, introduced Hathcock to a small software firm, Trace Recon, that had organized Ford's reconditioning process. It led to Hathcock buying the company six months ago and establishing what is now ReconVelocity. "He's taken it to a whole new level," Ford said.
Since implementing the program about 18 months ago, Ford said reconditioning time at RFJ's stores has dropped from 12-14 days to about five. His goal: three days.
Publicly traded Sonic Automotive Inc., ranked No. 5 on the Automotive News list of the top 150 dealership groups based in the U.S., is among retailers testing the platform at a handful of stores.
"When it comes to pre-owned, in our days supply and in our inventory management, we do a really good job there," Sonic President Jeff Dyke said. "But it doesn't mean we can't do better. Every half a day that we can save, every quarter day that we can save, just adds money at the bottom line."
The Sonic stores have been using ReconVelocity for about a month, and initial feedback is positive. "Hugh's done a great job," Dyke said. "We've been dealing with [ELEAD1ONE] since the early days when they were just a cookie company, and we have a fantastic relationship with him."
ReconVelocity is being tested at other dealership groups, Hathcock said. The company has commitments from more than 500 dealerships so far, he said, estimating that installation is likely in 350 to 400 stores by year end. His goal is to expand that to 1,500 stores by the end of 2020.