Tag Archive | "F&I Manager"

EFG Companies Launches Training Portal for F&I Managers


DALLAS — F&I product provider EFG Companies today announced the launch of a new dynamic digital portal designed to boost F&I producer knowledge, reinforce training learnings, and reduce the cost of a poor hiring decision for a dealership.

The EFG Learning Opps Through Virtual Engagement, or LOVE, was developed in response to complaints from dealers and general managers about the short-term impact of sending F&I producers to training. When training isn’t reinforced in the dealership, officials noted, improvements are quickly negated by diminishing returns.

“It’s clear that using multi-sensory learning methods with interactive tools better enables F&I managers to effectively deliver measurable results to a dealership’s bottom line,” said EFG Companies President and CEO John Pappanastos. “That’s why we developed EFG LOVE for our F&I class graduates.”

In addition to fortifying the lessons learned from EFG’s in-classroom training, EFG LOVE equips dealers with information and best practices on how to both sell to, and employ, the soon-to-be largest generation in the workforce with the most buying power — Millennials.

Numerous industry studies have shown that the automotive retail industry faces a recruiting and staffing crisis. The 2017 National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Workforce Study reported that retail automotive suffered from a 43% turnover rate, an 88% attrition rate among female new hires, and a below average rate of Millennial new hires when compared to other industries. Additionally, 65% of dealers state that recruiting and hiring is their No. 1 challenge — greater than customer acquisition or generating revenue.

Officials note the company has placed hundreds of top performers at automotive dealerships across the country in its more than 40-year history. This has resulted in the deliberate buildout of a core-competency sourcing model to identify the core qualities of top performers. EFG LOVE pairs this top performer profile with industry statistics and trends to better enable dealers to develop high-performing teams.

“EFG LOVE helps shorten the onboarding time for new hires, keeps employees motivated, and accelerates the knowledge growth needed for a successful career,” said Steve Roennau, vice president of training and compliance with EFG Companies. “We created the content to enable the user to self-select actionable lessons in multiple digital formats. The more a producer can easily select materials that help them overcome their daily challenges, the more they will display the successful behaviors that they learned in our training.”

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EFG Companies: Dealers Must Embrace Industry Paradigm Shift


DALLAS, Texas — Staffing and customer engagement models are the top issues impacting the future health of the retail automotive industry, EFG Companies President and CEO John Pappanastos said today.

The F&I product provider’s chief executive delivered his comments as part of a state of the industry address the company posted on its website. Pappanastos encourage dealership principals and senior managers to quickly address those issues or risk becoming a dinosaur in today’s rapidly changing consumer car-buying mode, noting that digital buying habits, millennial and Gen Z consumers, and women are forcing industry change.

According to the National Automobile Dealers Association’s 2017 Workforce Study, retail automotive suffered from a 43% turnover rate — up two points from 2016. Additionally, the automotive industry experienced an 88% attrition rate among female new hires, and a below average rate of millennial new hires when compared to other industries.

Pappanastos said many retail automotive businesses lack a comprehensive plan to become an employer of choice, and instead rely heavily on traditional “bell-to-bell” hours, commission-only payment plans, and limited training. He urged them to immediately develop a strategy for hiring, training, and promoting the best and brightest employees to operate in a world where consumers are demanding a more digital process with a better customer experience.

The executive noted that a single poor hiring decision in F&I can easily result in up to $75,000 in lost profit due to onboarding costs and lost production, adding that the retail automotive industry’s focus on daily operations also hampers leadership development and obscures the growth path for millennial hires who, as a group, require opportunities for promotion.

The F&I product executive also touched on recent research from Cox Automotive, which showed that 80% of consumers want to complete at least half of the car-buying process digitally. He also cited a 2018 Deloitte study showing that “dealers create a fragmented and inconsistent approach to the customer,” which leads to inefficient customer contact, inconsistent messaging, and ultimately failure to sell and build loyalty.

“While I realize change is difficult, dealership principals must incorporate greater consumer-facing digital platforms into their dealerships,” said Pappanastos, adding that hiring employees who are experts in online customer engagement and digital sales approaches represents one solution. “Failure to do so will result in lost revenue. We must remember the old adage of ‘meet the customer where they are.’ And today’s customer is clearly online.”

Pappanastos also encouraged dealerships not to lose sight of compliance. “Job skills are easy to assess. What’s difficult is finding candidates who have solid character,” the executive said. “During these tumultuous times, dealerships must maintain a high degree of integrated compliance. The resulting fines, and damage to reputation, can result in significant business loss due to very clear and public online postings and reviews.”

Pappanastos remarks during his state of the industry address focused on the future health of the retail automotive industry and sounded a wakeup call to dealership principals to quickly embrace changing consumer buying preferences. He also encouraged future millennial and Gen Z employees to seek out careers in retail automotive, noting that exciting changes and their opportunity to make industrywide impact.

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Safe-Guard Canada Announces New Montreal Training Facility


ATLANTA — Safe-Guard Canada today announced the opening of a new training facility located just outside of Montreal to better service Quebec clients and their dealers.

The new location will allow Safe-Guard to broaden retail training and development support for dealers within Safe-Guard’s client roster, including BMW Canada, Harley-Davidson Financial Services, Honda Financial Services, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, Nissan Canada Extended Services Inc., Porsche Financial Services, and North American Automotive Group.

Safe-Guard offers a wide range of retail training and development, including certification courses, regional workshops and meetings, and train-the-trainer opportunities. The new Montreal facility includes a boardroom to host corporate and dealer personnel, a large training room that will be utilized for multi-lingual training, and business offices staged like real F&I offices to simulate real-world scenarios.

Safe-Guard’s F&I training curriculum includes product knowledge, sales techniques, compliance basics, and the customer experience — all led by expert Safe-Guard sales and training staff with real-world dealer and F&I experience.

“We’re very excited about the opening of our new Montreal training office,” said Scott Ashby, general manager of Safe-Guard Canada. “Our new facility will allow us to better service our Quebec partners and coach them on the latest F&I product knowledge, how to build value for their customers, as well as compliance standards in order that we can help them grow their businesses and create long-term customers.”

Safe-Guard has been serving Canadian customers since 2001 and has their main office in Mississauga, Ontario. The new Safe-Guard Canada sales and training facility in Montreal opened April 1, 2018.

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Innovative Lending Releases Loan Management Tool for F&I Offices


CHICAGO — Innovative Lending Solutions LLC announced the release of Stip Trac, an automotive loan management system designed to help dealers track cash flow, collecting necessary loan documents, or stips, and keeping an open communication line with car buyers before and after their purchase.

Stip Trac features a dashboard that allows users to track cash owed by a bank, set “contact-in-transit” limits, and track money in transit by salesman. It also provides status updates on any deal in transit, held at dealership, funded, etc. Users can also look up the age of a deal and missing stips, as well as add internal notes that can be viewed by all parties involved with the loan.

Stip Trac also allows dealers to add additional stips to a loan at any time, push welcome calls to the bank, and gain real references and referrals from customers. It also provides users with a “contact list” on their cell phone, and the ability to approve or deny stips as they are received.

The new tool also features a custom messaging so users can send an urgent message to the car buyer. It also offers automatic push notifications and a dealer-branded app that allow users to monitor a loan’s progress on their smartphones.

For the consumer, Stip Trac helps protect them from identity theft. It can also eliminate additional trips to the dealership to drop off loan-related documents, speeding up the finance process at the dealership.

“Stip Trac is a needed tool to improve the automotive loan process for car dealerships and consumers. Using Stip Trac removes a lot of the stress that today’s finance managers are facing today,” said Ed Maisonneuve, president and CEO of Innovative Lending Solutions LLC. “We truly built this so the delivery process is a smooth one. As a finance manager, I can’t tell you how many times a deal came into my office with missing documents, bad references, missing signatures. StipTrac 100% eliminates that.”

For more, visit www.StipTrac.com.

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American Financial Adds Trainer to F&I University Staff


American Financial & Automotive Services, Inc. is pleased to announce the addition of John Vecchioni to their team. John joined American Financial in July as a trainer with F&I University (FIU), a division of the Automotive Training Academy (ATA). John brings over 20 years of retail and training experience, and lends a comprehensive perspective to F&I, sales, and compliance. John’s training philosophy creates growth, both professionally and culturally. He is known for championing logical and conversational selling techniques.

John has the honor of being one of the Master of Ceremony speakers at the Industry Summit, taking place on August 29-31 at Paris Las Vegas. American Financial will also be conducting a workshop titled, “Needs Discovery Without the Interrogation,” which will be led by Dwayne Wiggins, F&I University Trainer. Be sure to visit American Financial at the Summit and welcome John to the team!

FIU provides cutting-edge F&I curriculum and online continuing education for today’s business manager. FIU is also at the forefront of digital solutions to streamline the business office by offering training on tablet technology and benefits analysis software.

Centered at the core of American Financial’s offerings are customized in-dealership development, the MasterTechTM F&I product suite, the ATA, FIU, and Compliance Programs.

For more information on how American Financial can assist your dealership, e-mail email hidden; JavaScript is required or visit www.AFASinc.com.

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F&I and Showroom Now Accepting F&I Dealer of the Year Nominations


TORRANCE — The search for F&I and Showroom’s next F&I Dealer of the Year starts today. Dealers, agents, F&I product providers, finance sources and technology vendors have until Friday, July 8, to nominate their dealership or client.

To complete the online nomination form, click here. Supporting materials for a nominee, such as newspaper clippings or awards announcements, can be emailed to email hidden; JavaScript is required.

“We’re not necessarily looking for that $1,500-per-copy F&I operation, although we’ve had a few F&I Dealers of the Year performing at that level,” said Gregory Arroyo, editorial director of F&I and Showroom and Auto Dealer Today. “What we’re looking for is the story behind the numbers. Is the dealership committed to regulatory compliance? Has the F&I team been together a long time? What does the organization’s online reviews and ratings look like? Is it active in the communities it serves?”

For the sixth straight year, The Warranty Group is sponsoring the competition. “It is with great pleasure that we once again sponsor this award,” said Charlie Robinson, President and COO of Resource Automotive, a subsidiary of The Warranty Group. “What I most appreciate about this award is that it recognizes not only top-performing F&I operations, but organizations that do it the right way, are committed to the communities they serve, and exemplify the very best this industry has to offer.”

The magazine will first select six finalists, or what F&I and Showroom refers to as F&I Pacesetters of the Year. A representative from each organization will be invited to Industry Summit 2016 (Aug. 29-31), where they’ll be honored during a special ceremony. They’ll also receive a two-night stay at the Paris Las Vegas, the site of this year’s conference, and a complimentary full-conference pass.

Dealerships selected as F&I Pacesetters will also be profiled in the magazine’s special conference issue and the September edition of F&I and Showroom magazine.

At the conclusion of the special ceremony, one finalist will be named the 2016 F&I Dealer of the Year. That dealership will appear on the cover of the magazine’s November issue, which will include a four-page profile on the organization. Past winners include David-Moore AutomotiveVaden Automotive GroupSerpentini Chevrolet of StrongsvilleLithia Motors Inc.Riverside Auto GroupThe Suburban Collection, and Tuttle-Click Automotive Group.

To nominate your dealership or dealer client today, click here. For questions about the online nomination form, please email email hidden; JavaScript is required.

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