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Forecasting the Future Direction of the CFPB

Forecasting the Future Direction of the CFPB

Crowds gathered at the September P&A Leadership Summit and Industry Summit in Las Vegas to hear attorney, Rick Hackett’s forecast of the future direction of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Hackett is the former assistant director of installment and liquidity lending markets for the bureau’s division of research, and has been considered the point man for the auto finance industry.

Hackett addressed the current state of the industry and predicted what he referred to as “headwinds that may further develop in the future.” He likened his predictions to climatology or meteorology, with the caveat that though he could offer predictions, those predictions would be more like a weather forecast based on available information. And, he added humorously, “Most people abide by the rule ‘If you don’t like the weather, you don’t shoot the weather man.’”

Auto Finance Discrimination

First on Hackett’s agenda was the topic of auto finance discrimination. He explained the legal theory behind BSIG – Bayesian Improved Surname Geocoding. “There was a statistician and economist named Thomas Bayes who figured out how you could combine geocoding (the practice of using location to predict ethnicity and race) and surname in a secret formula to come up with a probability to predict race and ethnicity.”

For the sake of argument, Hackett asked the audience to “assume someone has a magic wand that can tell you the race and ethnicity of a name on a piece of paper with an address.”

The bureau, Hackett pointed out, identifies the buy rate as the true risk based price for credit because it takes into account the value of collateral and the borrower’s credit worthiness. It’s a baseline. The retail mark up (participation) is a matter of pure discretion. According to Hackett, the bureau says there is no business justification for a difference in dealer mark up based on credit risk. The dealer mark up should be set at a standard amount for all customers. Any difference in the final price should only result from a customer’s credit worthiness.

Despite this, Hackett explained that everyone knows there is a “rest of the deal” going on. He cited an example of a dealership car purchase where the consumer had “squeezed the price out of the middle as much as possible.” Once the consumer enters the F&I office, other factors might be needed to make the transaction come together. Hackett reported that the bureau’s current stance is, “Variables which affect the profitability of the overall deal, are not a business justification for credit pricing differences. “If there is a difference between whites and minorities with the same credit, you can’t look at anything other than credit reasons for that difference. Obviously, that is going to lead to some interesting difficulties.”

Disparate Impact or Disparate Treatment?

Hackett recalled meeting numerous individuals with significant seniority at various auto dealerships during his stint at the CFPB. Though the CFPB does not regulate dealerships, these individuals were concerned about the CFPB’s March 2013 bulletin on auto finance discrimination. Hackett recounted a conversation with one of these dealers/managers. The individual referred to the short period of time and limited information available to the finance manager to best put together a package including the vehicle, financing, F&I products, and enough profit for the business to survive. When it comes to things like pricing, the individual stated that F&I managers rely on certain known generalities such as “Asians are better credit risks,” illustrating the typical assumptions made in the marketplace.

The bureau, however, says this is not the statistical strangeness they refer to as disparate impact; rather, it is an example of disparate treatment. Hackett recounted an explanation he was given, “Folks [in the F&I office] are having to make decisions really quickly based on a lot of moving parts, some of which are subconscious assumptions about who knows what and who can negotiate better, and may include some parameters which happen to be illegal.”

Even though the Supreme Court could decide that disparate impact is not a valid legal theory, Hackett said disparate treatment is clearly a legal theory that works. Historically, disparate treatment occurs when the originator of a credit transaction has the freedom to price it, within bounds, wherever he or she wants, and gets paid more if the price is higher. Hackett said this happened frequently in the mortgage market, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in fines for large financial institutions.

Hackett explained that disparate treatment stems from the subconscious assumptions individuals make about customers that include race or ethnicity. The results may cause a dealership’s numbers to be skewed with regards to race and ethnicity. For a dealership to ensure everything that comes out of their portfolio is perfectly equalized and free from disparate treatment, their entire portfolio would have to pass this type of statistical test. Hackett described this as “pure disparate impact, and pure BISG.” He concluded that if you have a genuine business reason for treating customer “A” differently from customer “B,” then it’s not disparate treatment.

Flats

In their 2013 guidance, the CFPB mentioned flats and called for fair lending compliance management from dealers. However, Hackett said absent the inclusion of mechanics to follow, it’s difficult to interpret the bureau’s meaning.

Hackett pointed out that the NADA says flats are ordinarily reflected in the price of the credit. “So if I am going to pay 300 or 500 basis points in a flat, my retail credit charge is going to be higher,” explained Hackett, “Dealer Track and Route One are going to tell me, the dealer, who’s going to pay the most money. So whenever I can, I will push things toward the person who is paying the most to me, thus charging the most I can to the consumer.” Because of the typical subconscious assumptions occurring, discrimination occurs. However, it won’t be visible in a single lender’s portfolio. Hackett said from the CFPB’s perspective, this type of discrimination just goes away – only the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) can see it at the dealer level. In these instances, Hackett agrees with the NADA. He stated, “It’s not a good idea to swap out one system of ‘discrimination’ for another that puts the entire onus on the dealerships.”

Coming Soon from the CFPB Near You . . .

Hackett said a white paper focusing on economics could be expected soon from the CFPB. He expects it to address the bureau’s use of BISG and the allowance of controls. A control could be set for new versus used vehicle transactions. The white paper may also address dealer level monitoring and portfolio level monitoring. “It’s going to talk about the important technicalities, such as whether there is a minimum probability to trigger the analysis. “Is 51% African American enough to trigger it, or should it be 90%? And just maybe, if they are smart, the bureau will take this statistical thing they have created and test it against the tens of millions of known transactions in the national mortgage database; because mortgage loans collect both race and ethnicity data.”

While the CFPB is not going to broadcast what percentages they consider triggers, Hackett said the lawyers he works with estimate it to be around ten basis points. Reminding the audience again that he was only “the weatherman,” Hackett forecast an 80% likelihood for this scenario’s occurrence.

In March 2013, the CFPB issued a supervisory bulletin addressing indirect auto lending and compliance with the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA). With all the larger financial institutions in automotive already regularly examined by the bureau, Hackett said it would be rather disingenuous to assume that only a financial institution that has been publically flogged has had to deal with and resolve this situation. “Generally, when a resolution takes place with a large financial institution,” explained Hackett, “it’s nonpublic. It’s dealt with through an MOU (memorandum of understanding). Institutions will often concede many issues and be willing to concede a lot of things in order to do it in a supervisory, nonfinancial manner to avoid being publically flogged.”

Hackett said it is typical for the CFPB to make “supervisory highlights” around 18-24 months after a program or process starts in a supervisory area. He suggested that the CFPB’s intent could be expressed this way: “Hi. We’ve been out there working quietly and confidentially and we’d like to share – without naming names – what we’ve found and what people have decided to do.”

Ancillary Products and the CFPB

Hackett said the CFPB’s stance on vehicle service contracts (VSC) and ancillary products boils down to concern over consumers’ lack of knowledge of the products, their quality and their value. “Consumers know a lot about the quality and value of motor vehicles . . . They have many sources of information available to them. They know which vehicles work well and which don’t. They also know a ton about vehicle price. You all know these people – they go to a dealership, test drive a car, go home, and for a $12 dollar payment to TrueCar, they get a bid that they can take back into the dealership with all the profits stripped out of it. It seems easy, except, you can’t run a business that way – not if you are selling cars.”

To illustrate the bureau’s perspective on variable pricing of VSCs and ancillary products, Hackett described a hypothetical scenario at Wal-Mart: If Wal-Mart sold and advertised three VSCs priced side-by-side at $797, $1295, and $2095 a consumer would naturally want to know if the various products’ benefits justified the differences in price. They would probably seek out an expert in the store to provide them with product information. If the consumer learned Wal-Mart actually set the price, but in reality the VSCs were all the same product, the consumer would not be happy.

This translates into the CFPB’s argument that the difference in price goes back to the dealership – there is a possibility of unfair or deceptive sales practices going on because consumers don’t understand what they are being sold and they don’t understand that they are being sold a product that may have a variable price based on different coverages.

Despite their concerns with different pricing for the same product, Hackett said the CFPB could ultimately do little to address them. “The story is about unfairness or deception. That is a point of sale question and there is an invisible plastic bubble over the point of sale. If an auto dealership that sells or leases vehicles also has service facilities, and ordinarily sells most of its contracts to an unrelated third party, then they are not subject to enforcement or supervision. They are not subject to rule making [by the CFPB]; even the rules under truth in lending are still governed by the Federal Reserve Board when it comes to auto dealerships.”

Buy Here Pay Here (BHPH) dealerships are open for regulation because their business model is typically set up to keep contracts. But with BHPH customers, typically there is limited payment room for ancillary products and/or variable pricing. For this reason, Hackett doesn’t expect to see a lot of action from the CFPB on VSC and ancillary products in the BHPH space. Though Hackett said there are not a lot of smoking guns in the larger publically traded companies in the BHPH space, public filings show there are a few which have been under investigation for around two years but a resolution has not yet been reached.

Finance Companies Policing Dealers?

Hackett questioned the possibility of the CFPB’s potential attempt to make finance companies police dealer pricing on VSC and ancillary products in the future. “The bureau now has data on tens of millions of auto finance transactions and some of them have data with ancillary products. Therefore, they were able to pull out the information on dealer participation.”

The CFPB recently settled a case with a finance company whose business model Hackett described this way: “Go to Best Buy, buy a TV, put it in a small retail outlet at three times the price and then finance it at 18%. The bureau actually got them to sign a consent decree that said it was a scheme that artificially inflated the prices of consumer goods in order to hide finance charges. In this model, you can almost argue that it is obvious.” But Hackett said the problem with “it’s obvious” is determining where on the slippery slope the standard lies. At what point does the regulator say, “This is the real price.” The bureau looks at the final cost of a product and determines how much of that cost is finance charge, and how much is the actual price of the product. “If everything above $795 for the service contract is finance charge, they have a ‘hook’ into the whole transaction for the finance company.” Obviously, if this occurred, it would have the potential to change the entire landscape of vehicle transactions in F&I. Hackett likened the severity of impact to a mega tsunami creating beachfront property in Iowa.

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Overview of Agent Summit 2015

Agent Summit is back and better than ever, and this year at an exciting new Las Vegas location, The Venetian Palazzo. As the industry’s only training and networking event created specifically for agents, this year’s show is positioned to explore the latest techniques, trends and challenges when it comes to selling to dealers, training, coaching and development, and technology. The goal of the show is to help agents better serve their dealer clients by improving their dealers’ F&I performance and growing profits. Agent Summit V will feature some of the top constituents of the industry as they zero-in on the most relevant issues to agents today.

For the third consecutive year, Agent Summit will launch with a pre-conference Reinsurance Symposium, beginning midday on Monday, March 2, 2015. A 12:30 p.m. meet-and-greet will be followed by sessions on controlled foreign corporations (CFCs) and non-controlled foreign corporations (NCFC). The Reinsurance Symposium will conclude at 3:00 p.m., shortly before the welcome address and the commencement of Agent Summit.

The advisory board has done a great deal of work putting together an agenda to address the topics most critical for agents. Sessions are jam packed with content to help agents be more productive and land more profitable deals. For the third consecutive year, Randy Crisorio, president and CEO, United Development Systems, has taken the lead as the advisory board chair.

Crisorio says he is looking forward to what promises to be a banner year for Agent Summit, which has grown in scope and attendance since the inaugural event in 2011. “Agent Summit has skyrocketed to the forefront of interest and attendance for agents and indirect providers alike,” says Crisorio, “We often hear of the valuable takeaways put into practice when returning home and that delivers a lot of satisfaction to the group assembling the content.”

This year’s advisory board includes Tony Fincannon, president, Dealer Associates; Arden Hetland, president, American Financial and Automotive Services; Bill Kelly, partner, Automotive Development Group; Lance LaCoe, president, Century Automotive; Sid Vance, partner, MAJ Consulting; and Tony Wanderon, CEO, National Auto Care.

“From the outset, we have recruited advisory board teams made up of talented and dedicated general agents and leading industry executives. This year’s board continues that tradition,” says David Gesualdo, show chair and publisher of Agent Entrepreneur and F&I and Showroom.

Day One

Day one of Agent Summit begins at 3:30 pm, after the conclusion of the Reinsurance Symposium. The opening sessions will focus on business-growing strategies for selling to dealers. Jimmy Atkinson, COO, AUL Corporation will feature in the first presentation, titled “SELLING TO DEALERS: A Winning Strategy for Closing More Business.” Atkinson has more than 30 years of industry experience and works daily with agents and dealers across the country to create unique solutions that keep pace with the rapidly changing marketplace. His presentation will highlight critical steps in the process for creating opportunities and making more deals happen. Atkinson will also look at the key aspects of product penetration and dealer development.

The next session, titled “SELLING TO DEALERS: Make Your Pitch Count,” takes attendees to ground zero for a close up look at the battle plans for winning the war and unseating the incumbent when it comes to partnering with dealers. A panel of seasoned industry veterans, including Dylan Doran, president, Western Fidelity Insured Services Inc.; Brian LoBaugh, partner, AutoGroup Services; David Neuenschwander, vice president, National Automotive Experts; and Joe Nuszkowski, division vice president, Protective Asset Protection; will share their expertise and insights on how to get the job done. Jay Sharpnack, national sales manager, CNA National, will keep things rolling as the session moderator.

“The F&I space is more competitive than ever, which puts a lot of pressure on the strong relationships that most agents have,” says Sharpnack, “Big Box companies continue to rely on processes, pricing, perception and scare tactics to get in the dealer’s door. Agents have to push themselves to prepare, work harder and smarter to know the tactics of these Big Box companies, and take a page out of their playbook to beat them at their own game. Dealers don’t necessarily buy what someone does, but why they do it. This session will drill down to the driving forces behind the most successful players in this space – good agents.”

Day Two

Tuesday brings a full day of informative sessions divided into three categories: training, coaching and development, and technology. Each topic will open with a featured speaker followed by a panel session.

Ron Reahard, president, Reahard & Associates Inc. is recognized in dealer and agency circles as a top trainer in the F&I segment. In his presentation “TRAINING: Training, Sir!” he will share his results-driven techniques and focus on strategies agents can use to expand upon the product-provider aspect of agency operations to become true business partners to their dealer clients.

In the training panel session, titled “TRAINING: Cashing In Through Training”, Jay Lawrence, field training director, National Auto Care, will lead an all-star cast of training authorities. They plan to drill down on topical themes as well as look to the needs of retail personnel in service, sales, desking and F&I management. Tony Dupaquier, director of F&I training, American Financial and Automotive Services; Gerry Gould, director of training, United Development Systems Inc.; Glen Tuscan, President, Dealer Commitment Services Inc.; and John Vecchioni, director of business development, United Car Care, make up the panel and represent the cream of the crop in training expertise.

Day Two will continue with Joe St. John, director of training for Innovative Aftermarket Systems (IAS), presenting his neuroscience-based coaching and development session. St. John will use brain science to demonstrate how behavior based coaching delivers greater effectiveness in the F&I office and more product sales for agents. He will address a “why” focused, behavior-driven model that seeks to elevate skill and effectiveness at each and every opportunity. St. John’s scientific approach will be presented in his session titled “COACHING & DEVELOPMENT: Xs & Os – Brain Science for Better Coaching.” Agents should come away with with new strategies that yield increased sales and PVR.

“To remain relevant and prove oneself indispensable to one’s dealer clients, agents must stay up to date with new theories and methods,” said David Gesualdo, show chair and publisher of Agent Entrepreneur and F&I and Showroom. “Joe’s presentation is guaranteed to captivate our attendees and, hopefully, pay dividends for their dealer clients.”

A line up of peak performers, including Adam Barocio, president, Premier F and I Development LLC; Doug Dingman, owner, PRO Consulting LLC; David Frisbie, owner, Profit Portfolio Inc.; and Michael Marchione, director of training, Interstate National, will follow in the coaching and development panel session titled “COACHING AND DEVELOPMENT: Cashing in Through Training.” Jim Schaffer, vice president, Northeast Dealer Services, will act as moderator to the panel. As people, processes and products hold their place as constants in the formula for maximum profitability, this panel will look at growth from the inside as well as the needs of retail personnel in service, sales, desking and F&I Management. They will offer unique solutions for overcoming everyday obstacles that stand in the way of premiere F&I performance on the front lines.

The final two sessions for the day will look at the latest technology impacting the F&I office. First, Jim Maxim Jr., president, MaximTrak, will show agents how to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to technology offerings. His presentation, titled “TECHNOLOGY: The Technology-Driven Agent,” will touch on several topics that address the benefits of embracing technology in agency operations, including what to look for in an IT partner, using advanced tools to drive sales, and how to anticipate potential threats. Maxim will share innovative solutions to streamline operations and make life as an agent easier and more profitable.

Matt Nowicki, vice president, Innovative Aftermarket Systems (IAS), will moderate the panel session on technology, “TECHNOLOGY: The Technology-Driven Agent.” This group of technology providers and F&I agencies includes Brent Allen, president, StoneEagle; Steven Jameson, Director of Sales and Marketing, Dealer Resources Inc.; Randy Pazik, president and owner, Accelerated Profit Technologies; and Mark Thorpe, founder and president, The Impact Group. They will examine the various decades-old menu styles and tracking systems still employed in today’s marketplace. Nowicki will challenge the panel on the debate of menu effectiveness and the variety of available tracking metrics. Attendees are sure to leave this session armed with an understanding of best – and worst – options in technology for the F&I office.

A Third Day for Agency Principals Only

In response to the overwhelmingly positive feedback from Agent Summit 2014, a bonus third day designed exclusively for agency principals will once again conclude the summit. This specialized session will focus on the business operations involved in successfully operating an agency. The morning will get started in high gear with an agency principals only breakfast and roundtable discussion. Throughout the morning session, giveaway winners for the Tissot Sailing Touch, Luminox Deep Dive, and Rolex Explorer II will be announced.

“I am truly excited about this year’s Summit for a variety of reasons” says Crisorio, “First, the Venetian Palazzo property is awesome and I can see group Gondola rides taking place once the Summit heats up. But really – the speaker line up is pure energy and with business being as good as it is, we need to employ every tool in our box to charge ahead. The delivery of content is sure to light the fuse and bolster our opportunities to cash in this year.”

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Making the Most of Time in the F&I Office

Making the Most of Time in the F&I Office

The average time consumers spend on purchasing a new vehicle is almost four hours from start to finish – and most customers agree this is way too long. Once the customer has chosen a vehicle and negotiated the sale, they proceed to the F&I office. There, the F&I manager has numerous products to present, and a growing number of forms and disclosures to deal with due to increasing state and federal regulations. Without unnecessarily adding to the total transaction time, F&I managers must go through all the steps from securing financing and presenting products to the signing of paperwork in a very limited amount of time. We spoke to top trainers and agents and asked them how to achieve customer satisfaction while facilitating an efficient and productive transaction.

The Bigger Picture

Tony Dupaquier, director of training for American Financial’s F&I University, says in most cases the problem with the transaction being too lengthy starts well before the business manager is ever involved. He estimates that 80% of the time, required information is left out of the deal when it arrives in the business office. He says the front end – not the back end – is the biggest contributing factor to an excessively lengthy transaction. “The issue is not the time it takes for the F&I manager to complete the transaction, it’s all that leads up to that,” says Dupaquier, “The F&I manager has to spend a lot of time running around getting information and correcting things that are wrong on the paperwork before they can even start their product presentation.” He says this still happens around 20% of the time with some of the best, most well trained sales managers.

Ron Reahard, president, Reahard & Associates, Inc., agrees. He believes the issue is not the time a customer spends in the finance office; it’s the time they spend waiting to get in the finance office that creates customer dissatisfaction. “The other issue is whether or not the customer feels the F&I process is adding value or aggravation to their purchase experience. If the customer feels the F&I person is genuinely trying to help them, they don’t care how long it takes. If the customer feels the F&I person is merely trying to sell them products they don’t want and don’t think they need, ten minutes is too long.”

So what kind of information is it that the business office has to spend time waiting for, looking for, or correcting? An example would be information that was either not obtained or was recorded incorrectly by the sales department, such as copying a customer’s address from their drivers license and failing to ask if they still reside at that address. In this situation, when the customer arrives in the business office, the F&I manager has to reprint and correct all forms that contain the customer’s address – wasting time that could be spent on far more valuable tasks. Other items that are often missing are the new and trade-in vehicles’ mileage, payoff amount, and the loan holder’s information. “So much time in the F&I office is spent correcting inaccuracies coming from the sales department! And it is a problem nationwide,” says Dupaquier.

In addition, if a customer simply has not been made aware of the required paperwork that they must provide – such as title, registration and proof of insurance – having to obtain it when they arrive in the F&I office adds significant time to the deal.

Putting the customer in the right car from the start – one that fits with the amount they wish to pay monthly – can also save an hour or two of what Dupaquier feels is often unnecessary negotiation. “Say the customer says they want to spend $400 dollars a month but the sales department puts them in a car that will cost $550 dollars. Then they begin negotiating the deal and it takes an hour and a half to do this. It drives me crazy!”

At a one-price dealership, with fully transparent pricing, the transaction time is significantly less than at a traditional dealership where price negotiating is the norm. According to Dupaquier, at a one-price dealership, the entire transaction could be done in the amount of time it takes to print out the paperwork!

Planning and Managing the Time Spent in F&I

Before the customer arrives in the F&I office, Steve Pearl, president, The Oak Group, says there are a number of time-saving maneuvers that the business manager can and should engage in. “The deal should be input to the computer for one thing. Another is the F&I manager needs to have a conversation with the salesperson and sales manager about how the transition was structured. The customer needs to be briefed ahead of time on what forms they need to provide, such as title and registration. Finally, the F&I manager needs to ensure the car is being prepared for delivery.”

Bill Kelly, partner/owner, Automotive Development Group (ADG), added that ideally, though it is not always possible, the F&I manager should be prepared with a structured, approved deal and a complete menu. “Title paperwork and other forms that don’t affect the numbers can be pre-printed prior to the customer arriving in F&I, so that the time spent in the office is used most efficiently.”

“It’s not secret agent spy stuff we are doing in the F&I office,” says Reahard, “The customer needs to ‘see’ what that F&I manager is doing – that he or she is preparing their paperwork as quickly as possible. The F&I manager needs to have time to discover the customer’s needs by asking questions as the paperwork is being prepared.” Reahard says the F&I process has to be totally transparent. “The F&I process should be viewed by the customer as expediting the delivery process, not prolonging it, and this requires F&I professionals to have the ability to multitask.”

The actual appearance of the F&I manager’s office is not something to be overlooked pointed out Gerry Gould, director of training, United Development Systems, Inc. (UDS). “Many F&I managers don’t get their office ready for business and it is in disarray when the customer enters it.” A clean, comfortable office environment sets the tone for a smooth, relaxed conversation with the customer. A chaotic office does not lend itself to making customers feel at ease.

Pearl believes that 45 minutes should be the typical time a customer spends in the F&I office. However if the customer has already been held up for a significant amount of time prior to arriving in F&I, he says it is the responsibility of the F&I manager to complete the transaction more quickly.

Menu Presentations

Presenting products using a menu offers numerous advantages. According to Pearl, Menu selling is a must – and not the old fashion paper menu. “With all the quality menus on the market, it not only makes the sale less confrontational but it also increases the speed.”

Kelly points out that the menu is just a tool; proper use of the menu is what makes it work. During their menu presentation, Kelly says the F&I manager should review the deal structure and then present up to eight products.

Kelly says that ADG has developed a two-step method to present up to eight products and deliver a complete menu presentation in five to seven minutes. If a customer has concerns or objections, he trains F&I managers to address those concerns in an additional five to ten minutes. Based on customer surveys, Kelly reports that some manufacturers are guiding dealers towards a 50-minute total transaction – this is from the moment the customer says “yes” to the sales person until the moment they leave the F&I office. However, once a transaction reaches F&I, he thinks the transaction can be completed in even less time. This includes all the necessary steps from credit approval, menu presentation and product sales to the completion of paperwork.

Reahard also believes that the proper use of a menu is key to a well given, succinct presentation. “A menu allows an F&I manager to present multiple products in a brief amount of time, and makes it easier for a customer to buy more products. The fact is, in the F&I office you can only sell two or three products before the customer has had enough, but a customer can buy six or seven products if they’re in a package on a menu. That’s why the manufacturers offer option packages, and McDonald’s has value meals.  Grouping products into a package makes it easier for a customer to see the value of buying a package.”

John Braganini, principal, Great Lakes Companies, says trying to present too many products to a customer can take up too much time if not done properly. Ideally, he says four to seven products should be presented using a personal, pre-printed menu.

Keeping the F&I presentation to 45 minutes or less is what Gould recommends as a best practice. He describes step-by-step how to deliver a presentation in just more than a half hour: “First, review each DMS screen in front of the customer. It should take no more than three to five-minutes to verify and gather information from the customer. Printing paperwork should take no more than eight to ten-minutes. A product disclosure/menu presentation should be no more than three minutes. This should be precise and to the point – no selling or lengthy descriptions. Handling customers concerns over purchasing products should be less than ten minutes. Finally, signing the paperwork should take no more than eight minutes.”

Gould emphasizes the importance of delivering a feature presentation without including the benefits statements. He says an initial focus on selling, rather that telling adds unnecessarily to the time spent in F&I and wears the customer out. Developing a presentation that presents each column of the menu as one complete option narrows the customer’s choices and allows the presentation to be done more swiftly. “Each product should be described in no more than two or three sentences and the description should only point out what the product does. For example, to describe a tire and wheel product, you would tell the customer, ‘Tire and wheel coverage pays to replace or repair tires damaged by a road hazard for the next five years. A road hazard is anything that’s not supposed to be in the road.’” A simple, yet concise explanation of coverage works best.

Advice from the Experts

The most often repeated advice Braganini gives to F&I managers is: “personalize everything and project confidence.” He emphasizes good presentation skills, having a prepared menu and loading the deal in the DMS before the customer’s arrival. By doing all of these things, you will be ready for an effective conversation with the customer.

There are several sayings that Pearl has used many times through the years.

  • “No one has the right to say no for a customer. Be sure the customer is presented all the products available.”
  • “If a customer says no the answer should be ‘ok’. This totally diffuses the customer’s barriers. You can then circle back at a later point.”

And this leads to his last piece of advice…

  • “Conversation not confrontation.” Be able to discuss the pros and cons rationally and logically without putting it in the customer’s face.

Gould says rather than waiting on a customer to be dropped off in the F&I office, F&I managers should be proactive. “Get off your axle and meet the customer in the showroom!” Then, when giving the presentation, he advises F&I managers to “tell” initially and “sell” once you have the customer’s attention.

Take it from the pros – incorporate these tips and time saving tricks, and you will find a great starting point for improving efficiency, and streamlining transactions. The result? Satisfied customers and profitability in the F&I office.

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An Interview with Steve Burke

An Interview with Steve Burke

Steve Burke entered the automotive world as a teenager, working in the retail car business. By the time he reached his 20’s, he was a dealer. He says the real-life education he received then has had a long lasting impact. In many ways he says he still thinks like a dealer, and brings in former dealers and General Managers as his top marketing executives at Portfolio.

Looking back, Burke says his move into the finance & insurance sector of the automotive business in the 1980s was based on the entrepreneurial opportunity it presented. “Managing F&I products was still somewhat new then. Those years were very instructive and shaped my business philosophy. When my partners and I founded Portfolio in 1989, I insisted that we always treat dealer owners as I would want to be treated as a dealer. That seemed to be what most people really wanted in business. It’s not about how much you can take within the deal, but about how much you can give.” Burke says the core mission upon which Portfolio was established continues to be the bottom line – providing every available, profitable and sensible benefit to their dealer clients.

Portfolio operates exclusively in the reinsurance sector and has been in business for 25 years. They offer nearly all risk-related products and programs on a reinsurance basis. Burke believes the company’s philosophy sets them apart from others in the industry. It includes two key missions: creating wealth for dealer owners, and providing a true ownership experience for their clients.

Burke says “true ownership” is reflected in Portfolio’s structure and management policies, as well as their working relationship with dealers. “We listen to the dealer’s long-term goals and immediate objectives. Then we customize the program based on those goals and objectives. Just as dealerships are all different, and any business reflects the owner’s choices, our customized program results in each dealer’s Portfolio program being unique.”

This ownership principle is evident in the unique features and benefits Portfolio provides to their clients ­– things that Burke says other companies do not offer. “Our benefits and policies all fall under the principle of giving the dealer as much control as possible, not imposing the company’s view on them.”

Some of the ways Portfolio helps their reinsurance companies grow is through quarterly reporting and personal meetings with clients to review results and opportunities for growth and improvement. Burke says, “These meetings are the centerpiece of our advisory role in our working relationship. No other provider does this as rigorously as we do.”

If a dealer decides to move on, Burke says Portfolio stands out from their competitors by respecting the dealer’s ownership. “We don’t throw up obstacles. We never forget that it’s the dealer’s reinsurance company we manage, not ours. We learned long ago that helping our clients succeed makes us succeed.”

Burke says Portfolio has a legacy. “We managed reinsurance companies for dealers long before most other companies decided to enter this arena, but we don’t rest on that pioneering reputation. The retail automotive business demands that we remain on the cutting edge of providing structures and programs that are the best in the industry, in terms of meeting needs. We are fortunate to have superb relationships with top insurers, administrators, technology providers, legal counsel and CPAs to help us accomplish these tasks.”

Company Growth and Commitment to Agents

Burke reports that Portfolio has seen spectacular growth since 2009, even exceeding the overall growth in vehicle sales. Burke believes this is the result of delivering the value of true ownership. “The word is out. We have many dealers who actually grew their business during those tough times by leveraging their reinsurance company assets. Many others did the same to stay in business and see a brighter day.”

Portfolio is committed to the professional independent agent distribution system because they believe it delivers the best of both worlds to their clients. “Agents are the most effective way to ensure professional level service with F&I income development coupled with the personal knowledge of the dealership, the local market and the products that work best for the individual dealer. Dealers are entrepreneurs, so Portfolio representatives should be entrepreneurs too. Good agents are exactly that.

Portfolio is continuously expanding its marketing force, growing in various locales around the nation. To accomplish this growth, they are recruiting more professional agents to help. “Providing the value of professional agents has become an even higher priority as dealers request services and expertise to improve their sales, PVR, and operations,” adds Burke.

Burke says their reference list of hundreds of dealers, some of whom have been with them since the 1990s, is evidence of the excellence Portfolio provides to clients. Burke says they are so confident in the consistent value they deliver, that it is their standard practice to invite new client prospects to call any reference on their list to confirm the success and satisfaction current clients have enjoyed with Portfolio and its local representatives.

Moving Forward

Now that times are good, Burke says Portfolio dealers are wisely creating a safety net for themselves. “This is what our mission of creating wealth is all about. But there is even more; the personal wealth in a reinsurance company, outside the dealership financial statement, gives the dealer something extraordinarily valuable they would not have otherwise.”

Burke predicts the days of the impact printer and five-part paper contracts will soon be coming to an end. “We are on the cutting edge of current technology solutions and have implemented integration with most DMS systems, menu systems and production tracking systems used by dealers. We are educating our people and our dealers on how to use the valuable information from these technologies.“

New products are always being developed and launched at Portfolio, as they consider dealers to be among the most creative business people in the country. Their recent new products have been focused on current market trends such as the increase in leasing, the increasing value of certified pre-owned programs, vehicles reentering the market from prior leases, and the longer terms of vehicle ownership.

They are also on the lookout for acquisitions of entities that either complement their current business structure or add to their marketing capabilities. Burke says it is an exciting time to be in our business.

The Far Side of the World

Burke’s outside interests usually turn into passions. He is an avid outdoors person and enjoys trips to “far off places in the world that are as close to ‘wild’ as possible, getting away from cell phones and text messages.” He has been to the deserts of Namibia, the river valleys of Zimbabwe, and the backcountry of Tanzania and South Africa, enjoying the people, the wildlife and the natural beauty. Often he goes with his business partner of nearly 40 years, Mark Powell, who shares his love for this kind of travel.

Burke says his travels have provided an education as nothing else could. Spending time in foreign countries has allowed him time away to “contemplate and to see the world from different perspectives.”

One of his most memorable trips was to a remote village in Zimbabwe. “When we arrived, all the children were let out of school to sing to us, just as a welcome. We gave them some M&M’s, but the most special treat was giving them Polaroid pictures as we took them. They had seen cameras before, but not the resulting photos.

Burke has also been an amateur baseball umpire for many years. “The smell of the fields, the sounds of the game and the competition all get my blood running and require my focus.”

Burke is married and has a daughter and two grandsons who live next door. He is able to see them daily, and says they keep him young and motivated. “The boys are 13 and 16 years old, so I’d better try to be young! It’s awesome to watch them grow and to provide whatever insight, knowledge, even wisdom that I can as a grandpa.”

Industry Issues Looking Forward

In the future, Burke sees a number of things that are or should be priorities. Preparing for the future is something he finds especially important. “It is important for dealers and companies like ours to build their businesses in the great economic times for the not-so-great economic times. It is vital to remember what we all learned during the most recent recession about business management, commitment and the staying power accomplished by delivering value. Also, being responsible to the employees who help you succeed is a must.”

As government and regulation play an increasing role in the automotive industry, Burke believes it is important to try to minimize government intervention and interference by doing the right thing for clients and the consumer. “We should always remember that legislators and regulators get involved in our business when people complain to them. Consumers deserve a great ownership experience, too.”

Burke sees a need for more young people in the automotive field. He says they generate new ideas, easily embrace the benefits of new technology and provide real energy. “They also provide more experienced guys, such as myself, with real gratification as we see them grow, learn and prosper.”

In addition to young people, Burke has made a practice of hiring more bright young women than men, partly to balance out the nearly all-male business he grew up in, but also because they bring valuable new thinking, discipline, and positive attitudes about client service to the table. And, Burke says he has paid them, along with all his employees, well above industry norms for the value they deliver.

The advice Burke would impart to those considering entering the business as agents is, “The road they will face will be difficult but the rewards will follow. I believe both the dealer business and our business are some of the last truly entrepreneurial fields in which the associated risks and rewards are the same.”

He also emphasizes that the retail automotive business is really the personal transportation business. “It will be with us for generations to come. Today’s opportunities may become as antiquated as the concept of saving for years to pay cash for a vehicle. Fortunately most young people seem to embrace that the business world changes rapidly, unlike so many of my peers.”

Ultimately, Burke wants to have fun and enjoy his business. “Doing that leads to a fulfilled and enjoyable life. The hard work should be part of the enjoyment.”

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Product Offering – The Key to Achieving a Robust PVR

Product Offering – The Key to Achieving a Robust PVR

While there are many factors that can impact per vehicle retail (PVR); top agents agree that having a well-rounded array of products and presenting them appropriately is the foundation to achieving a desirable PVR. In the last issue of Agent Entrepreneur, we asked successful agents about their methods for achieving a healthy PVR. They discussed the importance of managing the process through detailed reporting, using data collection, how to develop a working relationship between sales and F&I, and the impact of quality training. They also pointed out a necessary prerequisite to a healthy PVR – offering a wide array of products and being an expert on all of them. They cautioned F&I managers never to view any deal as a throw away deal – even cash and lease purchases now bring the opportunity for profit with all the quality ancillary products that are on the market today. In fact, these agents had so much to say about the impact of product offering on PVR that we decided to make it the sole focus of this article.

Everyone agrees that product offerings should be catered to fit the needs of the customer, but do customers’ needs vary dramatically among dealerships and manufacturers? If so, should PVR results be correlated with the price or type of vehicle? Do savvy agents expect that more products will be sold at some dealerships than others, or is there a basic expectation for what PVR ought to be regardless of other factors? These are some of the questions that we asked top agents to address. Read on and learn their tips for selecting the right product array for high-end, low-end, lease and cash customers – how the products, and presentations differ to best meet the needs of the customer and achieve a most desirable PVR.

Education as a Motivator

Educating the consumer on the coverage that comes with their vehicle, whether new or used, regardless of the manufacturer, can be the perfect segue for the F&I manager to step into the role of a problem solver rather than a sales person. This is a great place to start. “When customers really understand any loss or risks that they may have with their vehicle purchase,” notes Michael Tuno, president, World Class Dealer Services, Inc., “their motivation to ‘buy’ always trumps the F&I managers motivation to ‘sell.’”  Tuno refers to this approach as “loss aversion” and uses it in his menu construct and word tracks when training F&I managers.

Tuno sites paint as the perfect example of a feature, that when fully explained to the buyer, becomes an area where the customer often wants protection. “Every single car today is painted with a water-based paint instead of oil-based paint in manufacturers’ attempt to be environmentally friendly. It’s a softer paint that damages easier. Saltwater and sun both damage paint. There is a whole market segment for that – especially within those high-end buyers. No one I know of wants to drive a Mercedes that’s all pitted and washed out.” Once the customer understands what the paint protection offers, and recognizes the value of the protection, it can be an easy sell.

Menu Selling

The introduction of menu selling has opened the door for many ancillary products that are a key part of achieving a healthy PVR. Mike Conley, CEO, Conley Insurance Group, says that by using a menu to present products, many more products can be offered than if they were to be presented separately. “Lost key coverage, paint and fabric, maintenance contracts, windshield coverage, dent protection, theft protection – the list goes on and on.” Another advantage to menu selling is it gives the ability to bundle products chosen to appeal to a particular buyer’s needs.

Customer satisfaction is another critical element that can be achieved through the F&I product presentation. “Back it down to 1-2 points of reserve, and limit the service contract to a fair and reasonable level,” says Conley, “The additional income can come from selling other products presented with the menu, that will not only increase PVR, but will also provide customers with additional products and protections, and not just a higher payment.”

Cash Deals

Regardless of the type of vehicle or dealership, experienced agents report that they typically expect greater profitability on a finance deal than on a cash deal. While it may seem logical to think that if people have money, they are more apt to buy something (i.e. cash buyers), Randy Crisorio, president and CEO, United Development Systems, Inc. (UDS), reports that 85% of F&I products are sold in a controlled transaction, which would be lease or finance – not cash. “It is easy to say, ‘Would you like your payments to be $385, or $401 with protection?’ But if a guy comes in with cash for a $28,000 vehicle, you’ve got to get him to write another check for $1800 (or whatever the amount is) for a service contract.”

To achieve the target PVR, Glen Tuscan, president, Dealer Commitment Services, emphasizes a consistent focus on those cash customers. He says cash customers are strictly a matter of the F&I person’s attitude. “The approach is no different than a captive finance customer. If the F&I manager stays focused on his offerings consistently with that cash customer, the solid PVR results will come.”

Clearly, appearance and “peace of mind” products such as paint and fabric or roadside assistance offer viable avenues for approaching all cash customers. Older vehicles merit a focus on service contracts while purchasers of new vehicles can be shown the value in an array of appearance products. John Braganini, principal of Great Lakes Companies, pointed out that deductible amounts, length of coverage terms, and the level of coverage can all be adjusted to best meet individual customer needs.

An array of appearance and peace of mind products, similarly to the products often valued by lease customers, are most recommended for cash customers. Among the top of the list for those peace of mind products are identity theft, and credit insurance. Other products with strong appeal to cash customers are theft recovery products and planned maintenance – both of which are also excellent tools for promoting customer retention. Appearance products such as tire and wheel protection, paintless dent removal and paint and fabric protection also are products with strong appeal to cash customers.

Lease Deals

Historically, finance deals may have proven to be the most profitable, but the rapidly growing number of leases has had a big effect on product offerings at higher-end dealerships. According to Crisorio, 2/3 of new vehicles are now leased in high end stores, rather than purchased. And dealerships are feeling the effect this has on PVR. “If one dealership sells 100 vehicles and leased 40, and another dealership sells 100 and leased five, their PVR is not going to line up because of the lease income. You can’t compare the two. The guy who delivered 40 leases would be in trouble – he is going to look terrible.”

Many agents agree; the recent surge in leasing has everyone reevaluating how lease deals are approached in the F&I office. However, today more than ever, they are beginning to be viewed as a ripe opportunity for profit. The days of viewing lease and cash transactions as “throw-away” deals are quickly becoming a thing of the past.

When asked to compare the PVR on a lease versus finance deal, John Peterson, former president, The Oak Group, pointed out that it might be more difficult to attain higher PVR on lease vehicles, but with today’s offering of ancillary products, he says it is becoming easier now than it ever was in the past.

When you are in tune with the customers’ needs and buying style, agents agree that you can have a very productive conversation with them about products – even on a lease. Since PVR is an average, the higher numbers achieved on other vehicle sales can even out the lower PVR from leased vehicles. Tuno says he looks at aligning lease vehicles with products such as lease wear and tear, key replacement, chemicals, tire and wheel, and theft. “The lease customer is the payment buyer of yester-year. We are sensitive to that and we don’t expect that the PVR on a lease vehicle is going to be 50%. Remember, PVR is an average. If it’s a big leasing store, we like to try to make sure they stay at a floor of $750 per vehicle lease, and make up the difference with new non-leases and used cars.”

Since most leases are for three years, service contracts can be a tough sale. Many agents mentioned aligning lease customers with products such as lease wear and tear, chemicals, and key replacement. It is wise to point out to customers that appearance products can often prevent them from having to pay for damages at the end of their lease by protecting the vehicle through the term of the lease.

A lease deal can be impacted by the allowances of the lease institution – therefore, the target for lease deals may vary by manufacturer. Crisorio says that while a common target for lease and fleet deals is $1000, he says the potential impact of a lease institution could be as significant as, “Mercedes might be $2200 and Nissan could be $350.”

From Luxury to Low-End

Braganini, says the only difference between a buy-here-pay-here customer and a Bentley purchaser is the customer’s needs awareness. “The people in that higher income bracket, driving upscale cars, are no different than anyone else. They buy the same way – they buy things they see value in . . . You have to carefully look at the composition of your customer base and build an F&I department around that. If you try to sell the same products to Ford buyers as you do to Mercedes buyers, you just aren’t going to get the same results.”

However, Glen Tuscan pointed out that European imports do have a real effect on PVR. He says a penetration rate of 30% for service contracts can be expected if you include what he refers to as “the high-end European lines” – BMWs, Audis, and Mercedes. “But if you are talking strictly domestic and Asian imports, 40-50% is a very reasonable number to expect for F&I service contract acceptance rates.”

Lower-end dealerships have a much higher penetration of service contracts overall than higher-end dealerships. “In lower end dealerships, VSCs are very important, without a doubt, ” says Peterson. He says that the average number of VSCs that are sold should be 50% or better if a store is operating effectively.

Crisorio says a high-end customer might be more prone to buy tire and wheel because the cost of replacement is so high, but so is the cost of the protection. The lower-end customer might not be as concerned about this type of coverage. Crisorio says tire and wheel is his biggest selling product at high-end dealerships and service contracts dominate at the lower-end dealerships.

John Braganini believes the demographics and franchise of the dealership should drive the menu. “A franchised dealership selling both new and used vehicles will need to select products and coverage formats that match both the mechanical, functionality, and operating conditions of the vehicles they sell. Trucks and SUVs call for different coverage than sedans and smaller vehicles. The income, trade cycle, driving habits, and lender metrics will then drive the pricing and selection of the products that are selected for the menu.”

Braganini included the following list of products recommended specifically for truck buyers, as opposed to car buyers:

  1. Commercial use surcharged products
  2. Rips, tears, and burns coverage on interior protection
  3. Electronic corrosion module
  4. Consequential damage coverage for the extended service agreement
  5. Hydrophobic windshield protection
  6. Curb & cosmetic coverage on tire & wheel

Tuno says the marketplace is rich with great products that offer all customers real value, regardless of their vehicle type or if it is new or used. “Typically in the ‘luxury’ marketplace, with longer factory warranties and shorter ownership cycles, appearance and convenience-type products are more valuable to the customer.” This is particularly true when a manufacturer, such as BMW, includes the cost of maintenance as part of their lease. When this is the case, Tuno says that there is nothing left to offer except for those appearance and convenience type products. He suggests: cosmetic wheel repair, windshield protection, key replacement, paint protection, paintless dent repair, pre-paid maintenance, tire and wheel, and even biweekly payments.

Braganini says drilling into the demographics of a store’s customer base allows him to put together a product portfolio that makes sense to those customers. “You can pull 500 dealer files from a dealership. You can’t use the information specifically, but you can look at where they live, where they work and their credit application profiles. I want to see where they put their car at night, what kind of weather they are driving in, what kind of roads they are on, how far they are driving to work, and what the prime rate is in any particular area. The information is all there. You can look at the density and location of the car washes and various detailing opportunities people have. When you are done, you can put together a pretty good story for the consumer.”

More traditional products such as VSC, GAP, and anti-theft do have their place at “luxury” stores, added Tuno, but he pointed out that they often fit better in a “non-luxury” store – where the demographics of the franchise better support those products. Buyers at “non-luxury” stores typically do not have the financial resources of luxury car buyers, and a costly mechanical problem could be a major financial burden. For this reason, these customers often find the peace of mind coverage of a service contract to be especially attractive.

The bottom line in adapting your product offering is to understand the customer and cater products to their unique needs. Higher-end customers with more economic or buying power will see value in high quality appearance products. Tuno noted that, “no one wants to drive an $80,000 Mercedes that’s dented, scratched and has beat up wheels or tires.” He says the “bling factor” has to be accounted for, as does the customer’s buying style. “You have to recognize when a customer really wants to have that arrival factor – ‘I’ve made it, I am successful, and now I’m getting my Mercedes.’ People don’t buy Mercedes because they don’t want you to know they’ve arrived.”

Braganini emphasizes the importance of finding the right products. He says a lot of agents either don’t take the time to do that, or they don’t have the capability. Instead, they end up trying to fit the customer into their plan instead of creating a plan designed to best meet the customer’s needs. And for dealers who are doing business with a large national company, those options to customize product offerings often do not even exist. Customizing the product offering is key. “By taking out a clean sheet of paper and designing a program specifically for that store based on its demographics and types of vehicles, we are able to offer a product mix with specific appeal for that group of customer’s needs.” The result? Achieving the PVR that all agents strive for, a happy customer, and at the end of the day, the satisfaction of a job well done.

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An Interview with Tim Brugh

An Interview with Tim Brugh

Tim Brugh got his start in the automotive industry at age 23, selling cars in Logansport, IN, the town where he grew up. After selling cars for a couple of years, Brugh became the F&I manager at a small Ford and Chrysler/Dodge dealership. There, he was given the chance to work the desk, appraise used cars, and even do a bit of service writing. Brugh credits the store with giving him a valuable, first hand look into all of the operations within the dealership.

Eventually, Brugh moved to a company that had its own administration, direct sales force, and owned its own P&C and life insurance company. Brugh says it was his experience there that paved the way to his current career path. “The company’s focus was on signing up dealers through a direct sales force and teaching income development in the F&I office. By signing and servicing over 30 stores in the central part of Indiana and Ohio, I learned what a dealership needs to do to be successful when it comes to customer service.”

In 1997, Al Ranieri founded American Auto Guardian, Inc. (AAGI). Ranieri gave Brugh “the opportunity of a lifetime” and hired him as a national sales manager. Working for Ranieri, Brugh considers himself fortunate to have learned from the best in the business how to run a successful administration company. “Although I had no experience calling on agents, Al saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself.” Brugh has been with the company for more than 15 years. In addition to being the company president, Brugh is now an owner of AAGI.

Family Life

Dealing with the daily pressures of running a successful business is not an easy task. Brugh says spending time with his wife and three kids keep him grounded and provides much needed stress relief. His two oldest children are juniors in college and his youngest is a senior in high school. “Watching my children as they grow into young adults; I‘m always asking myself the question, ‘Are you teaching them the right things?’ Watching my children become young adults and learning to be responsible for their actions is my greatest pleasure.”

When his two older kids left for college, Brugh decided to have a tailgate trailer built so they could spend Saturdays going to college football games as a family. So far, he says their tailgate frenzy has been a big hit. They split their time between Indiana University and the University of Missouri. “Not only do our children enjoy tailgating, but their friends and friends’ families also love it. We take in eight to ten games a year and average 40-60 people a game.”

A Higher Standard

“At AAGI” says Brugh, “we pride ourselves on trying to set a higher standard for the administration of all our products, which consists of AutoGuard and Wheelz brands, as well as, Certified Limited Warranty, GAP, Etch, Excess Wear & Tear and other automotive aftermarket products. We strive to be the industry leader for agents and dealers across the United States. Our goal is to provide personalized service, superior products, and the best tools in the industry for our partners to succeed.”

Brugh is excited about the new website AAGI will soon launch for their agents and dealers. He describes it as a more intuitive system that includes single sign on to their online rating system, QR360™. “Agents and dealers sign in just once for both aagi.com and QR360™ using our newly established single sign on concept.” adds Brugh, “Our partners will be provided with features and functionality which will improve their efficiency and allow them to grow their business.”

In 2012, AAGI successfully completed an independent audit for the SSAE No. 16, Type 2 for the second year. Brugh says, “The SSAE 16 compliance designation affirms AAGI’s commitment to meet the highest industry standards for its administration of automotive aftermarket products. Maintaining this designation takes time and commitment from our entire staff and I’m proud of their continued efforts to do so.”

Over the years, Brugh says the thing that has served him well is getting up every day with a plan. When he is not sure what to do, he says he just keeps moving. “You will find opportunities are out there if you’re constantly moving. The toughest part of any job is becoming a student of the business. First and foremost, you need to make the decision: Is this a career or just a job? If it’s a career then learn everything you can about the auto industry, as well as how your company interacts with auto dealerships. Overall, I think the automotive industry is an exciting industry to be in. I am glad to be a part of it.”

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