Tag Archive | "F&I Performance"

GSFS Group Launches F&I Performance Reporting Tool

HOUSTON, TX — On Tuesday, F&I product provider GSFS Group launched a new centralized online performance reporting tool for F&I products called Dealer Executive Dashboard. It’s designed to help users update income strategies and improve profitability.

The online data solution provides dealers and agents with access to extensive claims analytics, customer retention data, performance reports, dealer comparisons, and participation structure information. It features a user-friendly design and can be used on mobile devices, according to the company.

“We saw a pain point for our clients when it comes to information and wanted to find a solution. This gives our clients the ability to access info anywhere and anytime,” said Steve Amos, president of GSFSGroup. “I am proud of our team for creating, developing and launch this tool. We will continue to build and push the market forward using tomorrow’s technology.”

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United Development Systems, Inc. (UDS) Announces Fernando Romani as Regional Manager

CLEARWATER, Fla.- United Development Systems, Inc. (UDS), a Clearwater, Florida based F&I Performance firm, has announced the addition of Fernando Romani as Regional Manager. Romani will assume responsibilities for UDS Dealer Partners in the South Florida market, with a keen focus on F&I department development with current partners and market share growth through new partner acquisitions. Prior to joining UDS, Romani excelled as the F&I Development Manager for AutoNation and was responsible for the operational efficiency of 33 locations throughout South Florida. He worked closely with the individual store managers to implement F&I processes that consistently moved the needle in a positive direction. “His decades of experience and achievements are exactly what UDS looks for in a representative,” says Randy Crisorio, UDS President and CEO.

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The Value of Agents

I recently had the pleasure and was honored to engage the Agent Summit as Keynote Speaker for our industry. Although the title of this address was billed as ‘The Value of Agents and Agencies’, the underlying theme for the two hundred plus attendees was truly ‘The Value of Us’.

We examined the flow of Direct and Indirect Marketing of F&I Protection Products and answered the call as to the strengths of Indirect Independent F&I agents competing with large companies marketing on a direct basis. The difference clearly centers on Deliverable Value and we broke down that value into three segments:

  1. F&I Protection Products
  2. F&I Performance
  3. F&I Profit

The presentation of a dozen or more F&I Products resulted in an interactive overview of each product with a look ahead seeking validation for long term success. This demonstration accentuated the flexibility of the independent F&I Agent in bringing custom products for today to their Dealer Clients as opposed to Direct Marketers calling headquarters to see what might be possible down the road. But then I asked a very important question of the audience:

How many products are too many to be?

There were quite a variety of answers, but the fifth or sixth response hit on the answer I was looking for: As many products that will fit on a one page menu!

Eureka! We’ve got it! The underpinning of menu rests with letting the customer decide and they’ll buy more than you could ever sell them. That said, a single page with a variety of selections is reasonable and bombardment is not.

On the subject of Menu and Selling, we easily transitioned to F&I Performance. A primary topic of performance is of course a quality selling system through a menu process. I showcased the UDS system by displaying the presentation page (present with enthusiasm-no selling) followed by a second page which delivers a step sell platform plus three payment deviation boxes (Advanced Equity, Lease & Custom) and finally a third confirmation page of products purchased and those declined. We moved to the meat of onsite coaching and support, the process available to assist dealer client in staff recruitment and transparent incentive programs to stimulate growth. All of those initiatives lead to accountability and evaluation through logging, tracking and trending. That led us right into the key metrics that require regular review in today’s F&I operation.

  • Finance Control & Product Penetrations
  • Average Finance Reserve
  • $ Per Retail Unit
  • Products Per Retail

Then, we surprised some attendees when we talked of drilling down into the whole pie such as:

  • Product Profit Per Delivery
  • $ Per Cash Deal
  • $ Per Lease Deal
  • $ Per Internet Deal

It is all relative to the bottom line. F&I Training was the natural next subject as we closed on performance metrics. So… we look for staff to be fully prepared to build good cases of need for each F&I product offered. Then training is essential and can and should be offered in three important formats:

  • Live Organized Training
  • Topical Webinars
  • Online Support 24/7

The offering should include at least two Certification programs:

  • F&I Certification – 5 Day
  • Ethics and Compliance

In addition, we talked about the importance of Eight Core Modules that serve the expertise of an F&I Manager and they are:

  • Control Through Finance – Selling System
  • Aftermarket Strategies – F&I Product Value
  • Retail Leasing – Gaining Commitment
  • Secondary Finance – F&I Service Sales

With the details of F&I Performance surveyed, just one deliverable remained – F&I Profit. This deliverable centers on profit participation as marketing devices but one critical point was emphasized:

Participation programs lose their punch if you are not reaching performance goals.

We then looked at the profit opportunities which all equal ‘Cash Flow and/or Personal Wealth Building’ that are presented in today’s market place. They include:

  • Management Fees/Overrides
  • Earned or Guaranteed Retro’s
  • Reinsurance Options ( CFC’S & NCFC)
  • Dealer Owned Warranty Companies

Remember, “they are just Marketing Devices.”

Some agents sell product and some sell profit participation but the majority of F&I Agency leadership would agree that it’s F&I Performance that leads the way and in 2011 there are many more factors that F&I Agents must be prepared to deliver than ever before. This piece exposed how advanced F&I Agency has become and applauded the hundreds of millions of dollars in permanent income fostered for dealerships every year by the effort of a professional F&I agent.

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A Simple Idea To Boost A Dealer’s F&I Performance

One of the key functions agents and F&I product providers provide to their dealer clients is help improving F&I performance. A unique part of that function is to help implement policy improvements that the F&I staff may not have the ability to accomplish within the political structure of the dealership.

One of the most critical of these policies is the practice of customers not being turned over to F&I at the time of the sale. What happens is that the sales department sells a car to someone, writes up the purchase order and arranges for the customer to pick up the vehicle at some future date without seeing the F&I manager.

Then, the customer shows up a few days later with a bank or credit union check in their hands all ready to pick up their new vehicle. Many times, in this situation, the F&I manager could have gotten the financing on the deal if he had seen the customer. Unfortunately, he simply did not get the chance.

This practice is amazingly common in many dealerships and is certainly damaging to the dealer’s F&I numbers. It is also the cause of a great deal of frustration for many F&I managers.

When a customer shows up at the door of the F&I office with a bank check in hand, there is not going to be much, if any, aftermarket income made with those customers. And, there is definitely not much of a chance that the F&I manager is going to persuade the customer to jump back in their car and drive back down to the bank to get another check for $2,500 for that service contract and paint sealant.

A portion of this frustration for the F&I manager is that controlling this particular practice is very difficult to do, and no matter how much they complain about it, it still goes on.

Oftentimes it is that they simply do not have the authority to tell the sales department to turn everyone.

The fact is that the dealer principal or general manager needs to take control of this practice. And they need to be motivated to make sure it is corrected.  A firm policy within the dealership should exist that requires sales personnel to refer 100 percent of the customers, at the time of the sale, to an F&I manager.

Additionally, the agent or F&I product provider needs to make a compelling case as to why they should get excited about it. You need to be smart.

First, here are some facts:

  • No lender will give a loan without a purchase order. None of them.
  • It is very important that the purchase order be correct, compliant and approved by management.
  • The purchase order should be printed and professional looking.
  • And who’s the most qualified to assure all of the above? Of course, F&I.

Therefore, it makes perfect sense for the GM or dealer to set a policy that EVERY purchase order will be generated in the F&I office before it leaves the dealership.

Now F&I has control. They get to see every deal before it sails down the street. “But wait”, you say, “I can’t get the GM or dealer to do that. They just let sales run things the way they want to!”

Then give them a compelling reason to implement this policy. Here’s what you do:

For the next month, have the F&I department keep a log of every customer that isn’t turned over to F&I at the time of the sale.

Then, at the end of the month, generate a report for the GM or dealer principal. In this report you want to show the number of people who weren’t referred to F&I and then multiply that number by your average dollars per finance deal (not per retail).

The resulting figure is the potential lost income from those deals, if F&I had seen them and been able to get the financing.

Here’s a recent example from an actual dealership:

  • Retail units delivered – 96
  • Customers not turned at time of sale – 26
  • Average income per financed deal – $966.30
  • Potential income from those deals if financed – 26 X $966.30 = $25,123.80

This dealership lost the opportunity to make an additional $25,123.80, simply because they didn’t give the F&I department the chance to get the financing. It’s simple math.

If you take the time to keep track of those customers who aren’t turned and do this report, you will definitely get management’s attention.

Now, they may not react immediately, but be patient. This will work. If it doesn’t change after the first month’s report, do this calculation for the boss again for the next month (And the month after, if you have to). Sooner or later, the dollar amount you are revealing will have an influence on the GM and/or dealer (In the example above, the second month’s report is what got the policy implemented).

The effect of approaching the problem this way is that you are showing first, that there is a good dollar reason for 100-percent turnover at time of sale; and second, you are showing the dealer that you are on top of what is going on in their F&I department.

Do not show any emotion or debate this with anyone. It is not about how anyone feels about it nor should it be about anyone’s opinion. All of that can trip you up. It is simply about net profit. Just calmly show them the numbers. Don’t sell, just report.

I once had a GM say to me after reviewing this report, “Yeah, but we don’t know how many of those people would have financed”. And I said, “You’re right, and we never will. All we know for sure is that we lost any potential income that could have been made and we’ll never get it back”.

It drives them nuts, believe me. They will do something about it, sooner or later. Every dealer and general manager is unique, but every one of them I’ve ever met wants to make more money. Try it. It works.

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