Tag Archive | "DMS"

Mechanical Breakdown Protection, Inc. Partners with Provider Exchange Network


LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. – Mechanical Breakdown Protection, Inc. (MBPI), a top rated administrator, is pleased to announce a partnership with Provider Exchange Network (PEN). This innovative technology cuts costs, increases efficiency, and adds a new element of customer satisfaction. This partnership will help the F&I office increase sales penetration and improve dealer and customer satisfaction by decreasing customer delivery time.

PEN is an electronic data exchange that streamlines the sales process by integrating the F&I product provider with the dealer’s point-of-sale system, whether through a menu or directly with the dealership management system (DMS) desking software. This unique integration approach eliminates the need for separate applications to enable eContracting for aftermarket products. Functions include electronic ratings, forms preparation and contract origination.

“MBPI’s new partnership with PEN will allow dealerships a new and effective way to offer our wide range of F&I products to the consumer. It will also eliminate the need for double entry, which makes life easier for F&I Managers.” – Barry Kindler, MBPI National Sales Manager

To learn more about MBPI, visit the website at mbpnetwork.com.

To learn more about PEN, visit the website at www.providerexchangenetwork.com.

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DealerSocket Announces Integration With FetchAQuote.com


SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. — DealerSocket’s newly launched iDMS platform for independent dealers is now integrated with FetchAQuote.com (Fetch), an electronic auto insurance service, the companies announced this week.

Independent dealers can use Fetch, which offers a large selection of nonstandard insurers that specialize in insuring customers with poor credit and bad driving histories, to help their customers secure affordable car insurance quotes in a matter of seconds, according to the companies.

“Our independent dealers often work with customers who have no insurance or are extremely difficult to insure. One of the biggest benefits of offering Fetch to iDMS users is that it helps buyers get insured quickly, cheaply and at all hours of the day. We focus on integrations that will save our dealers time and money. Fetch does both, so we look forward to a long and fruitful partnership,” said Jennifer Lee, vice president, product development at DealerSocket.

Fetch is accessible to iDMS users without a login or password. They can simply click on the “More” icon and select “Save Customers Money on Car Insurance” within the Deals module in iDMS. From start to finish, according to the companies, the entire process takes less than six minutes.

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Auto/Mate Appoints New Head of Marketing


ALBANY, N.Y. — Auto/Mate Dealership Systems has appointed Patrick Reilly as its new head of marketing, the company announced today. He will oversee the development of a corporate marketing strategy that will increase awareness of Auto/Mate’s position as a DMS provider, fulfill the company’s growth objectives and drive revenue.

“Patrick brings a wealth of marketing knowledge to this position and I’m excited to have his energy, expertise and guidance for achieving our ambitious vision for Auto/Mate’s future,” said Mike Esposito, president and CEO of Auto/Mate Dealership Systems.

The new head of marketing comes to the company with more than 25 years of professional experience in marketing research, advertising, branding, and strategy for technology companies and agencies. Before joining Auto/Mate, Reilly held senior marketing positions with CommerceHub, a cloud-based retail marketing platform, and Pitney Bowes Software, a global data, location intelligence, and customer engagement solutions provider.

“In addition to having a great product, Auto/Mate has a compelling brand, story, company culture and message,” Reilly said. “I’m looking forward to executing a strategy that will convince auto dealers that this DMS solution is their best choice.”

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Traffic Control’s Product Suite Now Available Through Auto/Mate’s DMS


ALBANY, N.Y. — Auto/Mate announced this week plans to integrate Traffic Control’s customer relationship management (CRM), internet lead management (ILM) and employee activity management (EAM) systems into its own dealership management system (DMS).

The integration, officials claimed, should deliver enhanced sales, lead and productivity management capabilities to users of both Auto/Mate and Traffic Control solutions.

“Traffic Control’s employee activity management system takes CRM and ILM functionality to another level, because it gives dealership employees both a destination and directions on how to get there,” said Mike Esposito, president and CEO of Auto/Mate Dealership Systems. “Employees are assigned specific tasks so their productivity has a purpose, instead of just doing busywork that doesn’t get results.”

According to Traffic Control Founder Brendan Hurley, users of both companies’ solutions should not expect to see higher costs for the products due to the integration of their systems.

“Auto/Mate’s integration process is very affordable which is great because we don’t have to pass high integration and certification costs through to our dealer customers,” Hurley said. “We share Auto/Mate’s roots: we are car people. The familiarity and ease that dealers experience using Auto/Mate is shared by Traffic Control users.”

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F&I Express® Announces Strategic Partnership With Frazer Software


Grapevine, Texas – F&I Express, an award-winning leader of digital solutions for automotive dealerships, announced today a strategic partnership with Frazer Software, a popular dealer management software (DMS) for independent used car dealerships. The integration of F&I Express with Frazer Software provides more than 16,000 independent dealerships with the ability to digitally rate and eContract, capturing electronic signatures, and submit contracts for over 130 F&I aftermarket product providers all within the Frazer platform.

Since 1985, Frazer has provided high-quality automotive software to independent used-car dealerships across the United States. The incorporation of F&I Express eContracting within Frazer Software allows for an even more streamlined process for dealers. Independent dealers using Frazer Software are able to digitally send the customer’s deal information directly over to F&I Express to complete the contract. They are ensured of 100% accuracy and error-free contracts quickly, sending the contract digitally to the customer for signatures. Once signed, the digital contract can be easily tracked and submitted.

“Our primary mission at F&I Express is to provide automotive dealerships with digital solutions to make the F&I process easier, faster, and 100% error-free,” said Brian Reed, President and CEO of F&I Express. “The integration with Frazer allows us to serve a wider range of dealers and provides them with new functionality that streamlines the total process. Dealers who use eContracting with Frazer DMS integration will find the process to be error-free and even more efficient.”

By entering just the VIN and mileage, the F&I Express platform automatically displays the plans available and calculates the contract price. The chance of human error is diminished, and the need for dealers to look through pricing information is removed. Customer satisfaction increases with a faster, error-free process which saves time at the dealership. Additionally, Frazer Software customers now have access to over 120 providers through the connection with F&I Express, an exceptional increase over their current network.

“We are very excited for our dealer customers” said Michael Frazer, President of Frazer Software. “The Frazer DMS will now be instantly integrated with an additional 130 companies”

The integration between F&I Express and Frazer Software significantly improves the process for independent dealers. A complete digital platform, independent dealers now have more options than ever to serve their customers.

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F&I Is Not About Menus


Everyone in our industry has their own vision of what our new, hyperconnected world, tomorrow’s vehicles and the F&I department of the future might look like. It seems every manufacturer, DMS provider and F&I menu software company has their own high-tech version of what the sales and F&I process needs to become. In this geekoid future of Snapchats, Instagrams, and Tweets, we’ll discover a glorious new world filled with cars that drive themselves and products that sell themselves, which are then delivered right to our doorstep via Amazon drones.

The ultimate fiction of this shiny new techie-world of virtual reality goggles, wall-size touchscreens and chat-bots is that somehow computers and menu software will soon be able to discover and fill customer needs, create customer interest, overcome objections and entice people to buy more stuff. And they’ll be able to pay for it all with digital money that rains down from a virtual cloud. Yeehaw!

Now I certainly don’t profess to know what the future holds. However, I do know that, while technology, computers and software can do a lot, there’s one thing they can’t do and won’t ever be able to do: care. Only a human being can care about another human being.

The Easy Button

Dealers, F&I managers and agents (and F&I trainers!) are always looking for an “easy” button — that new product, word-track or “close” that will magically get customers to buy F&I products with little or no effort. Whether it’s menu-selling software, a new closing technique or a video product pitch using a spokesmodel, hope springs eternal that someone has found a quick, easy and foolproof way for an F&I manager to sell more F&I products and make more money in less time with less work.

The latest easy buttons are the high-tech electronic F&I menus that have more bells and whistles than a $35,000 Tesla. The only difference being they’re actually available, and you don’t have to stand in line to buy ‘em. Some of these menu software companies now offer desktop or large tablet touchscreens or their menu on an iPad. Some even include computer-generated graphics and video product presentations. Most allow the customer or F&I manager to easily move products around to see how adding or removing them will change their payment.

Some of these menu software programs are truly impressive. They have the ability to combine previous purchase information and new customer data to determine which products they’re most likely to buy. These menu software programs mine the dealership’s own data to see what F&I products the customer bought last time, as well as the odds the customer will purchase a specific F&I product this time.

Even I have to admit this is a huge improvement. In prehistoric times, we actually had to get off our butts and walk down to the accounting office and pull the customer file out of the file cabinet to see what F&I products they bought for their last vehicle.

Many of these software programs include self-serving “customer surveys” that are designed to eliminate the needs discovery process. I put the term in quotes because these brief surveys include a few questions designed to replace the antiquated idea of having an actual conversation with a customer. Most software designers aren’t too keen on human conversation, so the assumption is that most consumers would prefer little or no conversation.

Once the customer completes the survey, the F&I software operator knows which products they should offer the customer. Apparently, knowing the answer to only six or eight questions allows a computer to know all of the products a customer is likely to buy. Here’s what the computer says you need, here’s what it covers and here’s your new payment. Now talk yourself into it.

All of these menu software programs can structure the deal and create a menu designed to ensure maximum profit. And all are promoted as a surefire way to increase F&I product sales and profits. On the surface, they are certainly pretty slick. And this futuristic dream of software that sells F&I products continues to be updated, upgraded and improved upon every year in an effort to move us all toward what they really desire, which is to get agents and dealers to buy their software.

But is a high-tech menu on a big screen what the customer wants?

Do you really believe most human beings desire less human interaction and more preprogrammed, premeditated, computer-generated digital sales presentations based on odds, algorithms and logic traps? Do you really think self-serving software created specifically to benefit the user, not the customer, is the way anyone wants to buy anything? No one who has ever been trapped in an automated phone system loop, those automated torture devices that misunderstand what you say or require an endless series of button pushes to complete even a simple task, wants to envision a future with more of that.

That’s not progress. That’s hell on earth!

Putting Technology in Its Place

We have cameras in hundreds of F&I offices and record thousands of F&I transactions every month, and I have yet to hear a customer request a better menu, complain because the options were offered on a paper menu or demand to see a touchscreen version. In reality, most customers couldn’t care less how F&I products are offered. While one generation may prefer viewing a menu on a computer screen to a paper version, they certainly aren’t going to buy any F&I products because of a pretty menu.

All a customer wants to do is get their paperwork completed as quickly as possible so they can take delivery of their new vehicle. The fact is, most customers do not walk into an F&I office wanting to buy additional products. Nor do they want to be forced to wait while an F&I manager creates a custom menu with those products. If customers are being forced to wait while a menu is being prepared, we’re wasting their time. Can you imagine a restaurant forcing every customer to wait while a custom menu is created just for them? That restaurant wouldn’t last a month.

What a customer is really buying is the F&I person presenting those products. Customers appreciate having someone take time to review the options, answer their questions and help them make an informed decision. They resent having to listen to a sales pitch. It doesn’t matter whether that sales pitch is made using a brochure, a paper menu or a 60-inch flat-screen monitor. It’s still a sales pitch.

Every customer asks themselves this question: “Is this person trying help me, or is this person trying to sell me?” How they answer that question in their own mind will determine whether or not we’re able to sell them. If they think that F&I person is trying to help them, they’re going to be very interested in what they have to say. If they think that F&I person is trying to sell them, they couldn’t care less what that person has to say.

Helping customers demands that an F&I professional seek out, with eagerness, reasons why the customer needs each and every one of their products, and helping them see how that product will benefit them. If a customer trusts that person, believes they know what they’re talking about, and feels like they’re genuinely trying to help them, they will value that individual’s knowledge, expertise and input. It doesn’t matter whether those products were offered on a high-tech menu or a bar napkin.

F&I is not about menus. It’s about helping customers make an informed decision about the options available in connection with their purchase. Customers don’t buy F&I products because they understand every nuance of the coverage. They buy them because they feel someone understands their unique situation and is trying to help them make the right decision for them and their family — in other words, an F&I professional.

In the F&I office, we have a responsibility to offer every customer every product every time. You don’t need a custom menu to do that. We don’t need F&I software operators spending more time customizing menus. We need F&I Professionals who are genuinely interested in helping customers, and care about people. Because customers don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care. And no menu can do that.

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