Tag Archive | "DMS"

Finance Express Rebrands Software Suite

RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA – Finance Express has a new name for its suite of software tools for independent dealers. Called the FEX DMS, the rebranding is based on terminology the company’s clients and employees have used for years to describe its product line.

The rebranding also represents the company’s efforts over the last few years to broaden its footprint in the independent dealer market, reported F&I and Showroom magazine.

“We are rebranding our suite of products to better reflect our long term commitment to providing dealer management solutions,” says David Huber, CEO and President of Finance Express.

At its outset, the Finance Express technology was launched as a lender portal. Since that time, through acquisitions, system development, and integrated partnerships, the company has evolved into a major player in the dealer management solutions space.

“We see the FEX DMS as the core technology of a dealer’s operations,” said JeffMcCurry, vice president of development for Finance Express. “Our primary responsibility is to enable the dealer to use best of breed technologies through integration.”

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Open Dealer Exchange, CUDL Announce DMS Integration

SOUTHFIELD — Open Dealer Exchange LLC announced an agreement for integration with CUDL. Through the alliance, CUDL will be offering direct credit application and contract validation data integration from the dealer’s point-of-sale system directly to the CUDL system.

“The agreement with Open Dealer Exchange allows our credit union members a more streamlined approach during the contracting process,” said Tony Boutelle, Credit Union Direct president and CEO. “With our combined technology expertise, lenders will have access to critical information directly from the DMS, something that is tough to do today without the connection to Open Dealer Exchange.”

Open Dealer Exchange, a joint venture between ADP Dealer Services and Reynolds and Reynolds, integrates a finance source or F&I product provider directly within an auto dealership’s DMS, according to the company. From within the DMS, dealers will be able to send complete customer and deal information directly to CUDL then complete the credit application process within CUDL. They also will have the ability to perform contract validation on each deal directly from their DMS.

“Our agreement will enable CUDL to take their credit and contracting services to the next level, which is a step in the right direction for the industry as a whole,” said Steve Luyckx, general manager for Open Dealer Exchange LLC. “Dealers have had limited or costly connectivity between their lenders and their DMS, and this alliance bridges that gap and combines the strengths of each system.”

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Open Dealer Exchange Partners with VW Credit to Launch First Two Phases of FinanceSource Dealer Program

SOUTHFIELD – Open Dealer Exchange, LLC, announced a partnership for integration with VW Credit, Inc., the captive finance company which provides financial products and services specifically to Volkswagen and Audi dealers and their customers throughout the U.S.

The partnership includes processing credit application and contract data within the dealer management system (DMS) as part of VCI’s FinanceSource™ dealer program. The FinanceSource program allows VCI and various dealer service providers (DSPs)—like ADP Dealer Services, Inc. and The Reynolds and Reynolds Company—to streamline the F&I process within the DMS to expedite application processing and ensure accurate and validated contracts.

“This integrated solution will help our dealers improve profitability and the overall sales experience by creating a more efficient and smooth funding process,” said David Wicks, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for VCI.

Successful pilot programs with Audi and Volkswagen dealers using ADP and Reynolds and Reynolds systems in California and Massachusetts have showed promising results. Full dealer rollouts will continue on a state-by-state basis over the next 24 months.

“Open Dealer Exchange is proud to partner with an industry leader like VCI to provide technology solutions that allow the dealer and lender to interact seamlessly within the DMS. There’s no need for their dealers to ever leave the DMS in the first place,” said Steve Luyckx, General Manager for Open Dealer Exchange.

“And, with our solutions, a dealer doesn’t have to worry about the integration costs associated with third-party portals that go outside their normal workflow.”

Open Dealer Exchange, founded in 2009 as a joint venture between ADP Dealer Services and Reynolds and Reynolds, integrates a finance source or F&I product provider directly within an auto dealership’s DMS.

By eliminating the need for dealers to log into multiple systems or re-key data into various applications during a vehicle sale, this innovative process results in increased operational efficiencies, reduced contract errors and a more streamlined process with a lender or provider’s franchised dealerships.

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Microsoft, Nissan Forge DMS Relationship

REDMOND — Microsoft Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. announced a strategic relationship to collaborate and create a next-generation dealer management system based on Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

The solution will utilize the Windows Azure platform, taking advantage of the economies of scale and flexibility offered by Microsoft’s public cloud offerings, according to Nissan.

“Customer loyalty and retention are essential to the success of any business. Microsoft Dynamics CRM helps businesses better understand and build deeper relationships with their customers and partners,” said Kirill Tatarinov, president, Microsoft Business Solutions.

The new DMS will initially be rolled out to Nissan’s dealership networks in Japan and other strategic regions across the globe, according to the company. The system will have the flexibility to be customized for the needs of a specific country, region or automotive manufacturer, with broader availability to be explored in the future, reported F&I and Showroom magazine.

Nissan also intends to explore how Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Windows Azure can work together as a platform to deploy applications across the company’s global network and to standardize its information architecture on the cloud, according to Nissan.

“We are delighted to be working with Microsoft to deliver the next-generation dealer management system,” said Andy Palmer, executive vice president of Nissan. “Nissan is seeking a solution that will help meet our business needs, especially to better understand our customers and dealers.”

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Menu Selling the Electronic Way

There are a variety of software programs and software providers, in the market, that offer profit-making solutions for Agents to help their dealer-clients manage their business successfully. But what is the best menu systems comprised of, how can an Agent ensure that his or her dealer-client is going to use the program?

Around 2002, the concept called Menu Selling caught my attention. It was clear to me, from my F&I Sales and Compliance training experience, that the concept of closing F&I products on a menu could only be effectively done with the ability to change and adjust for customer preferences and choices on the fly. It had to be electronic.

Yes, menu selling is gaining traction in dealerships but what should an agent or dealer look for “most” in an electronic solution. Simplicity in design should be something that every software designer should keep in mind because the normal user does not have the technical background or know-how to act as a programmer. Simplicity in design requires that the user can easily function within the software, and that the software will give the user the ability to capitalize on profit opportunities

It’s important that the F&I manager can promote their products in the most positive light. Having also been a general agent myself, it has provided me with the insight of what an agent really looks for in a product and with the knowledge of what the dealers are looking for. Agents are very busy, and with business being so highly competitive, they need software that they and their dealer-clients can count on. They need products to do what they are supposed to do, and from a company that is responsive to their needs, as well as those of their dealers.

Where have menus been and where are they going?

It’s very interesting how far menu programs have come. The first menu systems were excel programs. Along came the internet. The internet made the menu business possible as a third-party web-based solution. Then .net solutions enabled menu to be managed at a centralized location and be distributed anywhere in the world. Once web solutions were available, integration to the Dealer Management Systems (DMS) had to happen. The integration to the DMS was at first hostile in nature and that didn’t allow for a seamless process. Today most DMSs are making it possible to integrate much easier. Integration will continue to become friendlier in the near future. Friendly integration will give menu companies the ability to focus on making their sales solution more efficient and flexible.

The next big challenge and greatest area of growth for technology in our industry is belonging to the concept of E-rating and E-Contracting. It may not have been so clear in prior years, but this is an area in which Menus can play a very important role. This is because menus are becoming the hub between the DMS and vendor when it comes to rating and processing product contracts. As rating becomes more efficient, menus will make it easier to sell products and process them. Then everyone wins! Sure every menu company says they E-rate and E-Contract but why isn’t everyone using it? They aren’t, because for the most part it isn’t very efficient to rate and enroll all of the F&I products. Stay tuned, I think we are going to see significant improvements.

Reporting Tools are a Great Enhancement to Your Menu

Reporting tools are another product that is very important to agents and dealers, and they are often sold hand-in-hand with menu software. Reports evaluate a dealer’s front and back-end profits and do so in a unique way. Independent agents should be the dealers’ primary consultant when it comes to F&I profitability. Therefore, the agent needs to know daily where the dealer’s profit picture stands. When they walk in the dealership they should not have to ask how many F&I products have been sold. They should already know. Web-based F&I reports give the agent the ability to check their iPad, via 4G, before they walk in the door, so they have this information.

The best reporting software package designs will allow the users the ability to create a page of widgets that include ranking charts, reports and other personal controls. It is also important for an agent to provide their dealers with customized reports. Anyone can add up numbers and compare data, but what makes a reporting company different is their ability to see the data in a way that wasn’t quite evident. The focus should be on drawing comparisons from all the data, so an agent may deliver something to their dealer that sets them aside from their competitors yet gives our dealers the information they need to motivate their employees.

What’s the Agent’s Role?

Can an agent just have Menu and Reporting installed in a dealership and then walk away? Not if they want to get the most out of it. The agent’s primary goal to begin with is to get dealership personnel comfortable and confident enough to use the software on a consistent basis.

What can the agent do to help the dealer in this process? After a dealership has incorporated a menu, reporting and possibly other tools into its F&I process, there are a few additional ways an agent can stay involved so that the dealer is successful in learning and using the software programs.

The first thing they can do is make sure the tools are installed and kicked off properly. That starts with preparation. If necessary, make sure the reporting company gets the sales and F&I logs so it’s certain that all fields are mapped over correctly. The important thing is for the agent to stay active in the process. They should expect the menu/reporting company to do the heavy lifting, but if the agent is not involved, the dealer doesn’t always fully comply with what’s necessary for accurate menus and reports.

The agent needs to make sure the dealer starts using the tools from the very beginning. If the company has the right reporting in place, such as a menu usage report, it’s easy for the agent to stay on top of it from their office. If they aren’t using the products, find out why and fix the problem.

It’s very important that the agent has a company working with them as a software partner in their accounts. They need to trust that they will always do what’s in the agent’s best interest and be highly responsible to their agency and dealer’s needs. If the company they are doing menu/reporting with is uninterested or doesn’t answer the phone or return calls, its time to get a new partner.

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Wolters Kluwer Financial Services Teams with Integrated Dealer Systems

MINNEAPOLIS – Wolters Kluwer Financial Services announced that Integrated Dealer Systems, a provider of dealer management software (DMS) for the recreational vehicle (RV) and marine industries, will integrate the Wolters Kluwer Financial Services’ AppOne® platform with its Astra G2 product.

The integration will help RV and marine dealerships manage the sales and F&I process more efficiently.

AppOne helps to automate the indirect lending, credit approval and compliance processes for vehicle dealerships and lenders. Astra G2’s Sales and F&I module helps dealers seamlessly manage and monitor every step of the sales process from prospect management through the closing.

Through a new AppOne interface in Astra G2, dealers can pull all of the needed financial data already entered into the DMS system to populate credit applications and easily submit them to lenders for approval via AppOne. This eliminates duplicate data entry, helping make the processing of loan applications faster and less error-prone.

Once submitted, dealers can also access and print Wolters Kluwer Financial Services’ state-specific Bankers Systems® loan documents, including retail installment contracts and required ancillary forms, from within AppOne.

The Bankers Systems line of documents is built upon more than 50 years of experience and is protected by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services’ limited compliance warranty.

“This relationship will allow our dealers to save time and simplify both the credit application and contract creation process,” said Grant Farrer, dealer development manager at Integrated Dealer Systems. “At the same time, we can help them connect with lending sources that are using AppOne.”

“By helping more dealerships access AppOne, our lender customers can gain peace of mind knowing that the challenges surrounding document preparation are being addressed before each loan application crosses their desk,” said Jason Marx, vice president and general manager of Indirect Lending and Mortgage at Wolters Kluwer Financial Services.

“We are excited to work with Integrated Dealer Systems and further our commitment to the recreational lending market.”

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