Tag Archive | "F&I Express"

Wise F&I Integrates with F&I Express

ST LOUIS, Mo. – Wise F&I LLC a leading F&I product provider to automotive dealers announced the online integration of their Contract Administration Portal with F&I Express to provide a seamless experience for automotive dealers. Through the integration of ONWise and F&I Express, dealers have the ability to electronically rate and generate automotive F&I contracts with multiple product providers including the suite of products offered by Wise F&I such as GAPWise, WiseCARE, THEFTWise, and WiseTVP.

“Having a single sign-on process to access our products through F&I Express will increase efficiencies and improve customer satisfaction,” said Matt Croak, President, Wise F&I. “We feel by integrating our online capabilities with F&I Express we are able to provide a stronger service to our clients.”

Wise F&I, founded in 1989, has a long history in the automotive ancillary product industry and continues its technological advancement through the integration of their online contracting capabilities with companies such as F&I Express

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F&I Express Adds Mosaic Identity Services to its Aftermarket eContracting Platform

SOUTHLAKE, TX – Intersection Technologies Inc. – F&I Express® has added Mosaic Identity Services and its FamilyBeacon line of products to its aftermarket eContracting platform. FamilyBeacon features restoration of a victim’s identity to its pre-event status performed by professional identity recovery advocates rather than by the victim.

Mosaic provides fully-managed coverage to restore a victim’s identity on the victim’s behalf pursuant to a limited power of attorney. Mosaic’s commitment to customer value extends to covering the entire family, including: spouse/domestic partner, children sharing the same permanent address up to age 25 and all IRS dependents of the subscriber (regardless of age) who either share the same permanent address as the subscriber, are in an assisted living facility, nursing home or hospice, or have been deceased for twelve months or less. And unlike other providers, Mosaic offers a money-back guarantee, plus a three-year stay-fixed guarantee.

“Mosaic’s commitment to their customers makes them an asset to the F&I Express platform,” said Brian Reed, President and CEO F&I Express. “Identity Theft is the fastest growing crime in the United States and Puerto Rico and we are pleased to offer Mosaic’s products and services on the F&I Express platform.”

“We are delighted to partner with F&I Express,” added Jim Ganther, Mosaic’s President. “Their integration platform makes everyone’s job easier, and facilitates the distribution of services such as FamilyBeacon. And because the F&I Express program is free to dealers, we are seeing strong interest in this technology.”

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Adam Systems Joins F&I Express® Network of Aftermarket Providers

Southlake, TX – Intersection Technologies Inc. – F&I Express® is pleased to announce that Adam Systems has joined our F&I Express® eContracting platform utilizing the F&I Express network of Aftermarket providers. Through the F&I Express network of providers, Adam Systems dealers can gain electronic access to over 60+ providers of aftermarket F&I providers for eRating, eContracting and remittance in a seamless manner.

Founded in 1979, Adam Systems offers auto and powersports dealers a comprehensive, performance-driven, fully integrated dealership management system (DMS). This Microsoft Windows-based platform enables Franchise and Independent dealers to manage their operations with customized options to fit their needs.

“Adam Systems seamless integration into the eContracting capabilities of F&I Express and our 60+ providers, will allow dealers to electronically eRate and eContract all aftermarket F&I products. This enhanced functionality for Adam Systems dealers will provide their dealers a quick and easy process to ensure that all aftermarket products are prepared correctly and quickly while automatically being registered on their aftermarket providers system” said Brian Reed, President and CEO of Intersection Technologies.

Bruce Weaver, President of Adam Systems adds “Partnering with F&I Express empowers our common dealers to focus on promoting aftermarket benefits rather than system input. This will equate to a more pleasant customer experience during the delivery process. We thank the F&I Express team of professionals for making this new project a success!”

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Supreme Software – The Dealership Tracker F&I System Joins the F&I Express eContracting Platform

Southlake, TX – F&I Express is pleased to announce a strategic partnership with Supreme Software – The Dealership Tracker. Integration with F&I Express offers a network of over 60 providers that the Supreme Software dealerships may gain access for eRating, eContracting, eRegistering, and remittance right at their fingertips – no more 5-ply forms, multiple sites, or redundant entry. The Dealership Tracker integration with F&I Express helps its dealership save time and improve efficiencies.

Established in 1986, Supreme Software specializes in Finance and Insurance (F&I) software and tools. Priding themselves in not only providing the best and easiest-to-use software, but also a superior support system. Supreme Software services the automotive, RV, marine, powersport industries.

“Supreme Software’s integration with F&I Express will save time and money in the F&I department through eContracting with a single sign-on process,” said Brian Reed, President, and CEO of F&I Express. “And with 28 years of industry experience, we are excited to have them on board.”

“We are always trying to give our users the best and easiest to use system on the market and with this new integration with F&I Express it will save time and improve efficiencies for all of our users,” said Terry Adelman, President of Supreme Software. “We are excited to work with F&I Express and continue to grow with them and provide access for our users to a growing list of aftermarket providers in a fast and efficient way.”

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F&I Express Adds Portfolio to Aftermarket eContracting Platform

Southlake, Texas — Intersection Technologies Inc. – F&I Express added Portfolio to its aftermarket eContracting platform. “We are very excited to partner with a world class company like F&I Express to advance the Portfolio platform in the market,” said Dan Haugen, COO, Portfolio. “Their technology solutions and ease of integration made for rapid speed to market.”

Portfolio, a provider of reinsurance programs for more than 18 years, offers dealers quarterly cession reports for constant monitoring and growth partnership. The integration with F&I Express will now allow dealers to have a one-stop shop to electronically contract all of their aftermarket products, in addition to access to real-time customized reporting, officials said.

“Portfolio is a fantastic addition to the F&I Express,” said Brian Reed, president and CEO, Intersection Technologies Inc. – F&I Express. “The F&I Express platform will give their dealers and agents an easy way to prepare their contracts and remit their forms electronically. Like Portfolio, F&I Express stresses the deep relationships with agents and dealers that are critical in the aftermarket F&I industry.”

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Agent Summit 2014 Recap: Technology Showcase Panel

While most dealers have switched over to eRating, many have not switched over to eContracting all of their paperwork. Johnny Garlich, President, Heart Dealer Financial Services and moderator for the Technology Showcase panel led a discussion that addressed the latest offerings in technology, as well as the roadblocks and predictions for the future in the F&I office. The panel of experts each presented solutions and shared their predictions about what the F&I office of the future will look like.

Brian Reed, president and CEO, F&I Express opened the discussion stating, “Without any doubt in my mind, the industry is going toward electronic processing of all aftermarket product. It’s not ‘if’ it’s going to happen, it’s happening right now and I think everyone really needs to get on board with figuring out exactly what it means and how to make it easiest for the dealer. The key to success is to make it as fast and easy as possible for the dealer. The nature of an F&I manager is to get it done quickly and if there are roadblocks slowing them down, they are not going to like it. The big, big change, and where the market is going to bring this whole process together, is eSignature. Once you have eSignature, it really streamlines things and makes it that much faster for the F&I managers. Consumers expect that today.”

Nowicki, vice president of retail software, IAS, whose company provides single point eRating and eContracting through a menu says most of their users are on their menu. “I think the key for agents, is picking a solution where you can eRate and eContract all of your products in one spot. If they have to go to multiple websites, that is certainly not making things efficient for your dealers at all.”

David Trinder, CEO, F&I Administration Solutions, explained that some years ago, they adopted the strategy of linking their administration solution to as many dealer facing menus and other selling solutions as there are out there. He thought it was surprising to see that there are close to 30 menus and other systems to which they are now connected. “We have customers who are very close to having 100% of their volume being done electronically and we have customers who are now coming up with products that they are only processing electronically. So they are going to the dealer and saying if you want to sell this product, you have to process it electronically. With the extent of our connectivity, this strategy works very successfully.”

By doing this, Trinder says they have made it possible for an agent to walk into a dealership, ask the dealer’s preference in the way they present and sell their products, and easily align themselves with that preference. “Despite the connectivity part, at the end of the day, it still takes some effort to get to 100%. You can put all of the technology you want in front of an F&I manager but often, there still has to be some incentive to get them to use it. However, we have seen that even a little bit of incentive can be quite successful.”

Brent Allen, COO and president, StoneEagle, says StoneEagle is most known for its reporting functionalities. He was asked about how the industry would put eSignature into place. “We generally agree that if the manufacturer started to employ eSignature, and if the bank started to use more eContracting and eSignature, that would force the ‘I’ side to adopt it too, because the dealer would soon be more comfortable with it.” In the last year, Toyota was pushing 65% and Ford was right behind them. Nissan is also pushing the use of eSignature on the finance side. “We have seen a hard push in 2013 and it will get stronger in 2014. As a result, I think we will start to see a lot more acceptance on the ‘I’ side and that flows directly into what this panel is talking about – more acceptance of eContracting and eSignature itself is the key piece.”

So how do we move everything into this seamless process that everyone wants to achieve?

Garlich said that in his experience, the reticence in moving over to eContracting is not because they don’t like it, it’s because of the workflow, which he describes as longer and more convoluted. People simply aren’t going to jump on board when this is the case. “If F&I guys could go ahead and produce the document set and have it ready to go after the customer makes a menu selection – and do it all in one area – then I think you would find a lot of them would do it.”

While everyone has used the traditional key metrics, Garlich commented that StoneEagle is one of the leaders in reporting how that is changing from the traditional spreadsheet general agents have had for years into what we have today.

Reporting Tools

“We have had requests for more graphic presentation tools,” Allen pointed out, “We have been delivering a lot more reports via email – which you have to be careful with – you can’t put any personal and private information in an email but you can put statistics in an email.”

Allen continued, “We built a very specific app for an ipad or a tablet, so that when you sign in, the first thing it does is a pure graphic presentation. It’s bar charts and pie charts, because that was the feedback we got. You walk into a store and really the eye candy is the chart, not so much the data and then we work backwards into the data. So really they see what they want to see – in red, yellow, green – and then you drill down backwards into the actual data.” Oddly enough, Allen reported that despite the original push for this type of presentation, the adoption of it has not been as big as might have been expected.

Nowicki explained how SmartMenu, his reporting tool, can be used to show the results of using a menu versus not using a menu. “With our reporting tool, we do offer a lot of analytics that compare what numbers look like with and without a menu, and with and without certain sales tools on the menu. It gives the agents a way not only to measure those numbers, but to hold F&I managers accountable. If you can go into the dealer and clearly show a PRU difference of $300 per car with a menu in place, versus without, it’s a very easy sale. On the accountability side, you can now go in, look at every single deal and ensure that every single deal gets a menu and follows whatever process you put in place. So if your process is that every customer sees a particular type of menu, and has particular sales tool usage, you can monitor all that very easily from home or your iPad or wherever else.”

Another thing agents are demanding are more analytics that they can control. Nowicki continued, “it’s not a matter of us sending a report that’s in PDF form – that’s kind of locked down. I think what most of our agents expect is, in a perfect world, you would all like to take out your ipad, run reports, slice and dice data and drill down to what you’re looking for. We are working on developing reports that are interactive, give you more analytics, more capability, more filtering on demand, etc., all on your ipad.”

Mobile reporting has been around a while and has developed a lot in the past year. According to Trinder, mobile is the way to go. He thinks the industry will be fully on board with mobile reporting by the end of the year. He pointed out that the most important aspect of mobile reporting and tablets is the immediacy of data. “In my view, one of the real values of mobile and tablets is giving agents data on the road in real time. If you are looking for something that’s going to change your life in the coming year, as much as the technology within the dealerships might change, I think your expectations about how much data you’re getting and what you are going to understand from it is where you should be looking. Just before you walk in the dealership you should be able to see what kind of transactions they have done and how many there are. With these statistics, you can go and have the right kind of conversation with the dealer – right then and there.”

Is the F&I Office Going Online?

Garlich asked the panel how processes could be adapted to take into account the change in how people are buying cars and doing transactions. Millennials, especially, are wanting to do business away from the dealership.

Reed predicted we will see a lot more of the F&I office online in the future. “With the way that people are evolving in how they use the Internet and what they are demanding, I think that they are ultimately going to demand that the industry move the F&I office out of the office and move it more online. That’s going to be a big change for the industry. The goal here is not to lose F&I income; it’s to be able to give the customers what they want online and still maintain the profitability that you have today. I would say that in the next 5 years this is going to be a significant challenge to everyone in this room. And there’s not a magic answer. People who are trying to do some of this online today aren’t real good at it. I haven’t seen a really good result around this, or a very good process, but I think people have to start trying it, thinking about it and talking about how everyone is going to work together to make that happen as an industry, as consumers are going to be demanding that in the future.”

Others in the panel disagreed, including the moderator, whose immediate response, “that’s a bummer!” brought laughter from the audience.

Garlich said he sees the problem with selling remotely being that for many, they don’t have a process – their process is just a telephone call. “I can tell you we are not going to run 50-60% service contract penetrations trying to sell stuff over the phone, but I do think the consumer is going to call the shots on this. If they decide they want us to come to them in some way, shape or form, we need to start thinking about what that looks like and thinking about how what we do in a face to face environment can be translated into a remote environment. I think that what that means for us as general agents is that we change our selling style and our training processes to take into account these changes in the consumer preference.”

Trinder said he was not convinced that even in five years, most sales won’t still be happening in the dealership. He described a huge gap between the provider and the customer, with the agent and the dealership in between. “When the customer goes to look online, they are going to be on the dealership’s website more than likely. And the dealership isn’t exactly selling products from one provider. So the dealership has got to present products that aren’t theirs and which also may be from many providers. It’s a very interesting challenge we face and I am not sure how easily we’re going to solve it.”

From the perspective of selling, rather than consumer demand, Reed pointed out that more consumers are going to want self-selection and transparency of the process; so for a certain segment of the market, its going to be less about how you are going to sell, versus, how you are going to present. That involves a different skill set and a different approach. He brought to light an interesting comparison from his own experience as a consumer. “I go into an electronic store to buy a computer today and I know what’s going to happen once I say ‘I’ll take it.’ They are going to start hitting me up to buy a warranty for that computer. They grind me, grind me, grind me, but I say no, no, no. But if I go online and I buy my computer, configure my computer and then they say, ‘how about an extended warranty?’ and all these other add on products, I am more likely to buy in the self-selection process like they have online, than in the store when I am hounded by a salesperson.”

Norwicki countered Reed’s scenario and agreed with Garlich. “I don’t think that in five years we are going to have this ‘amazon.com’ approach to buying cars where you get online, complete the transaction online and the car just shows up in your driveway. That might come in time, and maybe in some urban areas, but I don’t think that’s going to happen anytime soon.” However, he noted that we are already seeing customers who have done their research on the vehicle they want to purchase, and they come to the dealership expecting a short transaction. And they don’t expect to be sold in the F&I office. “[The focus] is not so much on the sales of your products, but on the education of our customer. They can find out anything they want about a vehicle online, but they would be hard pressed to go to a dealer’s website and find out anything about F&I products . . . that information just isn’t there!”

Norwicki described the view held by some trainers, that pre-exposure to products is not advisable, as a “dinosaur philosophy.” He went on to say, “I think customers today demand and expect education and that’s really what our focus should be on – educating customers on these products, not necessarily conducting the whole sale online.”

At the end of the day, some of it just boils down to customer preference and personality. Allen commented that as a hands-on person himself, he would always want to go into a dealership, see and touch the actual car and talk to a person.

In conclusion, Nowicki summed it up with his final comments, “I think that the holy grail for eContracting is what we are striving for today. EContracting of all the ancillary products, all the service contracts, and eSignatures on all those documents, but there are obviously pieces missing – the lender funding packet, the odometer statement, the title, apps, all that stuff. So clearly we are not there yet. We don’t have 100% of that documentation done electronically, but don’t take that to mean there’s not value in using what’s already there.”

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