Tag Archive | "Brian Reed"

EFG Companies and F&I Express Expand Digital Solutions for Automotive Dealerships


DALLAS – EFG Companies, the innovator behind the award-winning Hyundai Assurance Program, and F&I Express, the largest automotive F&I aftermarket product network, announced today a partnership to better serve their dealership clients by fully integrating their eContracting capabilities.

“At EFG Companies, we understand that no two dealers are the same,” said John Pappanastos, President and CEO of EFG Companies. “Each dealer operates with different goals, success metrics, and systems, and we pride ourselves in acting as a strategic partner in their success. In our effort to further that initiative, we partnered with F&I Express to augment our growing list of e-contracting solutions with one of the most utilized eContracting platforms in the market.”

“For almost 40 years, EFG Companies has been leading innovation within the automotive industry,” said Brian Reed, President and CEO of F&I Express. “We have been eagerly anticipating their addition to our F&I eContracting network and look forward to bringing their products to our dealer customers.”

Currently, F&I Express works with many auto retailers across the U.S. to improve F&I processes. The company has aggregated a network of more than 100 automotive aftermarket insurance providers in an online portal accessible by its dealers.

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DominionACCESS Integrates with F&I Express


Norfolk, VA  – Dominion DMS, a division of Dominion Dealer Solutions, announced today that their ACCESS® Dealer Management System has completed its integration with F&I Express’ aftermarket data solution. This new collaboration streamlines the F&I process, providing time savings to automotive dealership customers nationwide through DominionACCESS DMS.

“F&I Express’ eContracting for aftermarket products completes the transition from impact printing to our new laser printing solution,” noted Van Koppersmith, president of Dominion DMS. “Our customers now have the option of using the ACCESS menu or one of many that F&I Express offers to accurately rate, contract and register a wide variety of aftermarket products.”

Through DominionACCESS’ seamless integration with F&I Express, dealers partner with the leading provider of digital F&I aftermarket product solutions. Automotive dealers nationwide can rate more than 120 different aftermarket vendors per vehicle. Products can then be selected, added to the menu and signed. F&I Express eliminates the need for programmable forms since laser forms are included within the F&I Express eContracting platform. They can be printed for the selected aftermarket products, letting vendors receive the product selections directly through F&I Express.

Dealers using DominionACCESS now have access to eRating, eContracting, eRegistering and remittance right at their fingertips. With more than 100 providers, this integration guarantees access to the largest aftermarket network in the automotive industry, saving dealers’ time and improving efficiencies.

“As we continue to advance digital contracting, companies must co-innovate to solve tough problems for their customers,” said Brian Reed, president and CEO of F&I Express. “This integration represents a combination of Dominion’s expertise in improving business performance and F&I Express’ vision of simplifying the F&I process with innovative technology solutions.”

Dominion Dealer Solutions offers two DMS solutions to the automotive marketplace — DominionACCESS and the Microsoft DynamicsAX-based DominionDMX. For more information on how DominionACCESS can supply F&I Express aftermarket product solutions to your dealership, call 877.421.1040 or contact our support staff.

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AssurancePlus Is Now Integrated With F&I Express eContracting Platform


GRAPEVINE, Texas – F&I Express® is pleased to welcome AssurancePlus to its growing network of aftermarket F&I providers. The addition of AssurancePlus to F&I Express will allow dealers the ability to eRate, eContract and eRegister all of AssurancePlus’ services and products.

For over 7 years AssurancePlus has been providing dynamic Auto Advantage (Auto Deductible Reimbursement) Programs. The creation of RapidFire AutoTM brought technological advancement into dealerships with two-way text communication between dealers and customers. The newest AssurancePlus product, Auto Protection Plan, allows Dealers to sell a low cost / high value protection plan that includes Auto Deductible Reimbursement, Auto Repair Reimbursement, 24 Hour Roadside Assistance, Auto Expert Opinion and Emergency Travel.

“By offering innovative insurance products and services that enhance the customer experience, AssurancePlus is a fantastic addition to our growing provider network,” said Brian Reed, President and CEO F&I Express. “We are excited to bring AssurancePlus on board for our many customers!”

Greg Lankfer, President of AssurancePlus, agreed. “Partnering with F&I Express allows AssurancePlus to remove barriers, streamline the process for Dealers to utilize our Programs and increase efficiencies for our Dealer Clients”

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Agents and the Rise of the Digital Consumer


In the early 2000s, new technology and an innovative process were introduced to the automotive marketplace in the form of the F&I sales menu. The menu was initially met with a fair degree of skepticism by dealerships, but today’s menu-based process is accepted as the most effective way to sell F&I products. And from a regulatory perspective, menus are perceived to be the most compliant approach because they can offer every product to every customer in a flexible package.

The evolution of F&I sales has been a leading topic of discussion for many years. Questions have been raised regarding where the F&I conversation should start with the customer, how the process continues in the F&I office and whether information about F&I products should be featured on dealer and third-party websites. Much like the introduction of the menu, the prospect of change has generated doubts and hesitancy. However, the conversation should actually be focused on what online F&I really means and how the transition can be implemented.

The industry has been preparing to move more of the F&I process online, and the proof is the buzz generated at automotive events. At the Industry Summit in Las Vegas this past September, online F&I was the topic of several panels and was mentioned in a number of the presentations. It is recognized by many that regardless of what the F&I industry wants, the customers of today want more information about F&I products earlier in the process and this includes transparency on pricing.

Online F&I Defined

So what does online F&I really mean? And, more importantly, will moving F&I online mean the end of the traditional F&I office and F&I manager? Absolutely not. We believe the traditional F&I manager will be here for a long time to come. However, the F&I process and role within the dealership will need to transform over time. What will this digital transformation mean for the automotive industry and in particular to agents and providers?

First, there will be more customer research completed regarding F&I products before the customer even sets foot on the lot. The most critical step of moving F&I forward in the buying process is the customer education on F&I products during the initial shopping journey. This will take place either on the dealer’s website or on a third-party website, which will enhance the overall customer F&I experience by allowing them to inform themselves on F&I products in their own time. The dealer’s F&I website should not be a link off the homepage; it should be imbedded content specific to the dealers’ F&I products sold on the vehicle detail page (VDP) with pricing related to each specific vehicle.

Why is education so important? Recent surveys have indicated that the overall accuracy of awareness of F&I products by customers is relatively low. In today’s world of the Internet and Google, it is hard to name any other product in any category where it is so difficult to find good product information. And even if product information is available online, typically, the product pricing is not addressed.

The Big Three

There are several critical components of the online customer experience for F&I that will need to be developed and advanced as analytical data tells dealers what process, experience and content maximizes product sales for the F&I office. Specifically, the F&I industry will need to focus on three things: digital marketing content, consistent online and onsite processes and online pricing.

1. Digital Marketing Content

Most F&I product providers create sales brochures for their dealers’ F&I departments. There is some digital content available today for dealers who choose to offer a customer-facing tablet menu. However, dealers who present educational videos and promotional digital marketing content for tablet menu presentations are more the exception than the rule. Moving automotive F&I providers toward the ongoing development of online content will require a digital renaissance for companies and agents who largely distribute F&I products to dealers.

In the long run, the benefits to the F&I providers will be tremendous. The ability to move the focus from print to digital content will reduce overall marketing expenses by minimizing or eliminating print, storage and distribution costs. Better yet, creating digital marketing content will provide web analytics about what content creates the greatest customer engagement. Never before has an F&I provider been able to effectively manage creative content.

2. Consistent Online and Onsite Processes

It is also essential to have one process for all customers, whether they are on their computer or mobile device or at the dealership. As the Internet has evolved as a car-shopping tool, separate processes have been developed for Internet and in-store customers. But the majority of today’s shoppers start their process online and finish at the dealership. It’s important that the same information presented online is also available onsite.

Customers are more concerned with a streamlined process that saves time than they are with whether they are treated like an online or in-store customer. To them, the lines are blurred and irrelevant.

3. Online Pricing

That leads to pricing and how F&I products are presented. If you were exploring a dealer’s website and saw cars with no prices, what would you do? You would most likely leave that site and go look for another that has price information. The same applies to F&I products. If customers are going to be offered product information online, they also need pricing information — ideally, converted into a monthly payment or payment range.

There are several key components that need to be taken into account when placing F&I product pricing online. The prices must have established margins set by the dealer on a product-by-product basis, even down to the coverage level, if needed. And the prices must be specific to the dealer, vehicle and F&I product provider. The electronic rating needs to happen behind the scenes. It needs to go out to the product provider, get the eligible plans and rates, match up with content specific to the product and coverage and then be presented to the customer within seconds.

The bottom line is that the ability for dealers to offer online F&I as a part of the car-buying process is here. But it will require the industry to progress and develop the processes that are being brought on by the digital customer.

This advancement will result in many changes at the dealer level. It will also impact agents and product providers. There will always be a focus on how to effectively sell the products to customers at the dealership, but now it will be with customers who have started the education process while they were on their dealer’s website.

The agents who focus on helping the dealers with income development will need to help F&I professionals be better at bridging the online process with what happens in their office. The Internet has changed how customers shop for cars and now it will affect when and where F&I products are being sold to customers.

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MakeMyDeal Revolutionizes F&I Selling Process


ATLANTA  – MakeMyDeal, a Cox Automotive company that enables car shoppers and dealers to discuss and agree on the terms of a car deal online, today announced F&I Connect, a product that will bring the finance and insurance (F&I) process into the digital age. Powered by F&I Express® and offered as an extension of the core MakeMyDeal platform, F&I Connect enables dealers to promote their F&I products and prices in a controlled online environment while giving consumers the much-desired opportunity to learn about their vehicle and purchase protection options before finalizing their deal.

“Our research has shown that there is an opportunity within the current F&I process to better educate consumers about the value of F&I products, reduce the time they spend in the F&I office and improve their satisfaction with the buying process overall,” said Mike Burgiss, Vice President and General Manager of MakeMyDeal. “By bringing F&I information and pricing online, we are able to give consumers a better understanding of their protection options, which can ultimately have positive effects for the dealership in terms of satisfaction and sales.”

A 2015 study commissioned by MakeMyDeal showed that while 84 percent of consumers believed that F&I products may have real value, 54 percent said that they prefer to simply complete their purchase and leave the dealership as quickly as possible. This is problematic, the study showed, because there is a significant gap in consumer understanding of F&I products. However, 83 percent said that they are interested in learning about F&I products before entering the dealership, and 63 percent stated that they would be more likely to buy F&I products if they could learn about them on their own time, before finalizing their vehicle purchase.

MakeMyDeal F&I Connect, powered by F&I Express, is designed to do just that—provide dealers with the opportunity to present their F&I products online to educate consumers about their options and ensure that they are a part of the total purchase consideration set.

“F&I Express has the largest aftermarket provider network in the industry with more continually joining,” said Brian Reed, President and CEO of F&I Express. “Our digital platform provides dealers with instantaneous and accurate rates for aftermarket products. Powering F&I Connect allows us to bring the customer information earlier in the car buying process, resulting in more sales. It’s a win for everyone.”

The MakeMyDeal F&I product was launched in beta with select dealers in June of this year. Dealers who are interested in learning more should contact MakeMyDeal at 1-800-309-2040.

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Dent Wizard Teams Up With F&I Express to Offer Digital Solution for Automotive Dealerships


Dent Wizard, the leading provider of automotive SMART (small to medium area repair techniques) reconditioning services and paintless dent repair (PDR), has joined F&I Express, the largest automotive F&I aftermarket product network.

“We have been looking forward to Dent Wizard’s integration with F&I Express,” said Brian Reed, President and CEO of F&I Express. “This digital solution supports F&I managers to accurately eRate and eContract F&I products and services instantly within a deal. It really simplifies the process and allows the F&I managers to focus on the customer’s deal, not the paperwork.”

“Dealers who provide the best customer experience will have a leg up in the marketplace and win the most deals,” said Lindsey Bird, Vice President of Aftersales for Dent Wizard. “In an increasingly competitive marketplace, we want to provide dealerships with every opportunity to improve their customer CSI. eContracting with F&I Express is just the beginning and we look forward to additional digital advancements with them in the new year.”

Currently, F&I Express is working with many auto retailers across the US to improve F&I processes. The company has aggregated a network of nearly 100 automotive aftermarket insurance providers in an online portal accessible by its dealers.

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