Tag Archive | "MaximTrak Technologies"

CIO Review Recognizes MaximTrak for ‘Revolutionizing Automotive Retail’


WAYNE, Pa.For the second year in a row, CIO Review magazine has recognized MaximTrak Technologies as a leading automotive technology solutions provider, featuring this year company president Jim Maxim, Jr. on its cover.

CIO Review profiles technology solutions that can redefine the business goals of their users. In naming MaximTrak, it noted that the company’s digital F&I platform that exceeds dealership and customer expectations. This tool called FLITE does so by combining the latest digital technology, streamlined transaction processes, customer-centric educational videos, visual sales presentations, interactive surveys, and custom package building to improve margins and product penetration for auto, powersports and RV dealerships. Readers can download a copy of the complete issue from the MaximTrak website.

CIO Review and its review board recognized that the digital F&I technologies and customer-centric focus we pioneered for dealers are becoming understood as critical focal points of the automotive industry,” said MaximTrak Technologies President Jim Maxim, Jr.

To assist with its 2015 evaluation of contenders, the magazine assembled a panel comprising CEOs, CIOs, chief marketing officers, venture capitalists and analysts. “In our selection, we looked at vendors’ capability to fulfill the burning need for cost-effective and flexible solutions that add value to the complex automotive landscape,” the editors said.

CIO review points out that dealers using MaximTrak can realize significant increases profitability. Dealerships using MaximTrak report an average 33% increase in service contract penetration and $538 per car higher PVR (Per Vehicle Retailed). For Harley Davidson Financial Services (HDFS) and its private labeled solution called MenuLink, MaximTrak helped boost average dealer increases of over $350 per bike.

“Right from our conception, we knew that technology could streamline and improve dealership F&I departments,” CIO Review quotes Maxim. “Our job was to move the F&I needle and enhance profitability, all the while ensuring compliance and providing tools to enable a better customer experience,” he said.

MaximTrak Technologies, Inc. is the automotive, motorcycle, boat, RV, and power sports industry’s premier F&I Menu and Reporting Systems provider. The MaximTrak platform transforms the vehicle delivery process into a customer friendly program that converts conventional F&I wisdom into consistent, repeatable and sustainable results.

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Overcoming Dealer Objections to Technology


The technology used to facilitate the F&I sales and contracting process is constantly evolving; what worked – or didn’t – yesterday could be completely changed tomorrow. From eContracting and eSignatures, to menu and other F&I product quoting and contracting systems, agents have their hands full when it comes to convincing dealers to adopt new technologies. Some dealers are comfortable and don’t want to change, while others are resistant to change, no matter what that change may be. The challenge for agents is convincing those dealers that while there will be some initial frustration while their staff adjusts, the long-term benefits will lead to a much more profitable, efficient and successful process.

Agents and providers often view technology as an ongoing source of developing solutions to make the processes that make up the F&I office more accurate, efficient and profitable. And they are eager to get all their F&I managers on board. Human error is eliminated, contracts are submitted quicker and the customer experience is smoother – everyone in the F&I process, from the provider, to the agent, to the dealer, to the end consumer benefits from new technology. The problem is that the F&I manager does not always see it that way, and as obvious as the benefits may seem to the agent, the F&I manager resists with every objection they can think of.

Some managers, particularly those who are experienced in the F&I office but did not grow up with technology, may see new technology as a commentary on their job proficiency. Others object simply because it changes the way they are accustomed to doing things. Change in any form can be painful, particularly for those who have experienced success without technology for decades.

“It is not always the easiest process to convert a dealer who is not using technology,” said Jim Maxim, Jr., president, MaximTrak Technologies. “People usually take the path of least resistance, and if the dealer allows them to continue paper rating and putting the forms through the impact printer because it has worked for 25 years or more, they just will not change. But you have to embrace change, because if you don’t, you’re going to get left behind.”

To be effective, agents must be comfortable using the technology themselves. They need to be educated on how it benefits everyone in the F&I process. Only then can they effectively convey this to the dealer principal and then adequately convince and train the F&I manager.

“Agents need to be up to date on all the technology available,” said Steve Pearl, president, The Oak Group. “The agent needs to know all of the positives and negatives of every piece of technology, as well as how it will assist the F&I manager and dealer principal.” But, he went on to say, it is an uphill battle at times. “You can’t say that dealers in general are falling short with technology adoption. It is a very specific, dealer-by-dealer process. What we tend to find is that with the dealers who are falling short, it tends to be an age-based item; not everyone reacts that way, but certain people are resistant to change. They have always done it one way, and they don’t want to change; that’s not the case every time, but it tends to be one of the bigger issues.”

“I’m not sure I’ve ever heard the words ‘switch and easy’ used together to describe any technology transition,” said Patrick Donahue, president and CEO, Agents Management Group. “Regardless of the potential or immense upside, this is change, and human nature rarely deviates. Those that seek change reach a comfort point faster than those who feel they are being unfairly penalized or compromised by the structure that comes with technology.”

Mick Rabley, agent, Great Lakes Companies, categorized dealers into two types: “Those who embrace technology and others who pretend they embrace technology. The dealers that embrace technology are positioning themselves to make the technological transition. There are challenges, but they are meeting those challenges and finding the way to succeed. The dealerships that don’t embrace technology use every excuse created to circumvent the transition. The difference between these two types of dealerships is the ones that embrace technology have an individual with authority driving the technology through the dealership, and have the commitment from the dealer and department managers to succeed in this endeavor.”

Overcoming the Objections
There are a few ways to handle some of the top objections dealers offer for their resistance to new technologies. The first objection is that they tried it once in the past and had a bad experience, or have heard horror stories and are hesitant to make the leap; this is where the agent can point out that what might have been an issue even a year ago has drastically changed today. “I have seen more change in the last five years than in the previous 20 in technology in the automotive world,” said Bill Kelly, partner, Automotive Development Group.

“We are better off than we were even five years ago, but we’re not where we need to be,” noted Pearl. “The cost of new technology is coming down, and there are good providers with good solutions across the board working on getting the technology to a place where it is easy to use and at an affordable price. At the end of the day, for the agent, convincing a dealer to use a new technology comes back to the basics of selling. No matter what type of sale it is, the customer – in this case the dealer – will buy when they perceive that the value they’re receiving exceeds the price they are paying. There is value in the new technologies, but that value has to exceed the price; as providers are increasing the value, adding more bells and whistles, they are also decreasing the pricing, and I believe if we keep crossing that threshold, what will occur is more technology will be used. And that is an extremely important thing.”

Another objection is the lack of a common point of entry among the various technology solutions. “Technology comes at F&I departments from every compass setting,” noted Donahue. “Product providers, service providers, lenders, software firms, regulators, manufacturers and DMS providers all have some technology to offer. Unfortunately, very few of these systems talk to each other and even fewer have an open architecture that encourages use in concert with other systems.”

There are several solutions on the market today, however, to help address that problem. These third-party systems act as a single point of contact for the F&I manager, streamlining the process and simplifying data entry, and agents should educate themselves on what those solutions are, and what benefits – and drawbacks – each one brings to the table. A good agent can overcome this objection by knowing the system they believe is the right choice for that dealership – and be able to explain it in a way that makes the value clear. If the agent cannot explain how their chosen solution is different from the rest, then it will be a hard sell to convince a dealer of the benefits.

Another challenge for agents is that the dealership has hardware that is not capable of running the more advanced technologies. Today’s software programs require more computing power and faster Internet speeds, and for some dealers, that is a barrier to entry.

“Dealers are slow to adapt because it usually means that they will need to increase their Internet speed and get better computer equipment in the finance office,” said Kelly. “The efficiency and speed, along with the added benefit to the back office, should push every dealer to have the best computer equipment in the finance office.”

Rabley listed the top objections he has come across from dealers who don’t want to change their F&I technology:

  • Resistance to change – we’ve always done it the old way and it’s difficult to learn the new process.
  • Double entry – due to the lack of integration, the cost or reluctance to purchase the integration option, information has to be input multiple times.
  • Different processes – the F&I sales process is intricate and detailed enough without adding four or five different protocols for different products.
  • Lack of training – dealers get the new technology but have no idea how to use all the features to their fullest.

The Value of Training
Once a dealer has been convinced of the benefits of a new technology solution, and has implemented it in the F&I office, the agent’s job is not done. Effective training on how to properly use the technology is a key element in getting the F&I managers to embrace the changes and realize the full potential the agent promised.

“There has to be extensive training in order to get the dealership personnel comfortable with the change,” said Rabley. “This cannot be a ‘one size fits all’ training process; everyone learns differently. There are visual, audio or kinesthetic learners, and the training needs to be suited to impact each type. Again, the ‘one size fits all’ training creates a struggle for the dealership and the technology provider.”

Maxim agreed that training is necessary, but he believes in a more unified approach. “At the dealer level, it is important to develop a standardized training practice that your reps can become very good at in the field. Too often, what we see is that there are different processes all over the map for every single dealer, and if you have a new rep come into the territory, the process and/or business practice may be very specific to that dealer. So what agents need to do is get one common business practice across all dealers and all reps, so they really leverage their time and efforts.”

No matter which approach an agent chooses to go with, the content is ultimately what matters. “We monitor our dealerships to make sure the new technology is used 100% of the time,” said Pearl. “What we find is that, inevitably at large dealership, 2-3 embrace it, and the rest don’t. So we work with them, talk to them, teach them how to use it. That is one of the major pieces that we do when consulting with the dealer.”

“Today’s technology training we perform is one of facilitation,” agreed Donahue. “We have providers that all offer helpdesk-type resources and tutorials that demonstrate benefits of an individual product or performance driven technology. We make certain our F&I managers have been prepared to excel in the use of new technology. And we are in active discussions with our providers to become certified in the use of their equipment, which would allow us to provide seamless resources for all technology within our offerings.”

“We incorporate the technologies right into our weekly training visits as well as during our F&I workshops,” said Kelly. “We also use the technology tools as often as we can to help solidify our training initiatives.”

Success Stories
There were many encouraging success stories from our experts, where a resistant dealer finally realized the value in switching to a new technology, which in turn resulted in processes becoming more efficient and accurate, which led to increased profits.

Donahue shared one such story about five experienced finance managers in a large dealership, who were not well versed in the use of technology. They were suddenly required to use a touch screen solution in their presentations, and not only were they resistant, they seemed to view the requirement punitively – as if prior to that point, their performance had not been up to par. Over a two-year span, all five of these original managers were replaced, and the new employees came in with the expectation that the use of the technology was nonnegotiable – it was simply the way business was to be conducted. The new managers also happened to be on the more youthful side, and were naturally more comfortable using the required technology. The end result is that productivity, accuracy, efficiency and yield all are up at that dealership. The volume increased as well, yet they did not have to expand their F&I department because of the newly increased efficiency, thanks to the technology, now securely in place.

Rabely had his own story illustrating that sometimes, no matter how great the system is, it takes buy-in from the whole dealership to effect the change. “One of our dealer’s F&I departments did not want to take the technological plunge with a provider because of the myriad of reasons we usually hear: It takes too long; I have my process I don’t want to interrupt; it’s double entry; I would rather print the contract on the DMS than online; the dealer cost sheet is easier to use; and my dog ate my term paper. After a few months there were so many rating errors, it was decided we needed to train the support staff on how to use the Web site to rate and submit the contracts to the provider. Finally, the support staff said, ‘how come F&I doesn’t use this portal? It is really easy to use and it’s idiot proof.’ Guess what motivated the Financial Services department to start using the portal?”

At the end of the day when the agent is able to clearly articulate the value and the dealer embraces the change, new technology can catapult the dealership into the next level of sales and profit. Change is never going to be easy, especially with how quickly technology is changing, but the agent who knows the objections and is ready to counter them, and has the skills and knowledge to guide the dealership through the process, will be well prepared for anything the future might hold.

“Finance people and dealers that accept and push for new technology, and listen to their agents, will be the dealers who continue to thrive,” said Pearl. “They will be at vanguard of what is going on in the future. People who resist the technology will be a step back. They won’t make the income that’s necessary, won’t be compliant, will sell less cars at less gross, and they will expose themselves to much more litigation in the future.”

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New Report Explains How Auto Dealers Using eMenu Boost F&I Penetration and Per Vehicle Profit


Wayne, Pa. – MaximTrak Technologies reports in an eBook now available how F&I managers can boost product penetration to increase profitability on every vehicle sold. In a nationwide study that was sponsored by a major domestic manufacturer, MaximTrak reports dealerships like Monroe Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep-Ram reported an average PVR increase of 33% after adopting eMenu technology. “That’s huge money,” said Ralph Mahalak, Jr., dealer principal.

Dealers using MaximTrack’s cloud-based application say it also speeds up deals, shaves time for customers in the F&I office and adds simplicity that makes even novice F&I managers more professional and successful. Dealers share their experiences in the report, “How Cloud Based F&I Menu Systems Boost Service Contract Penetration 33% and PVR 27.”

“We undertook this study to verify that eMenu utilization, when compared to using no menu system, can dramatically boost a dealerships’ F&I profitability,” said Jim Maxim, Jr., president, MaximTrak Technologies. “The dealers in this study report new car vehicle service contract penetration lifts of 32% and used car VSC lifts of 33% – and they also had new-car PVR and used-car PVR boosts of $302 and $203, respectively, using the MaximTrak application versus not using the MaximTrak process.”

Mahalak said the F&I menu tool helps his staff focus on presenting solutions and not on the menu process itself. “We actually offer fewer products on the menu now, so more time is available to spend on what we sell best,” he added, “and built-in reporting tools give us daily insight to what our finance managers are accomplishing for the week, month, and year to date, which helps with accountability.”

This sort of structured menu presentation also keeps customers happier by making the F&I process more efficient for them. “We’re shaving off minutes from every F&I presentation, and for customers who don’t want to be in the finance office in the first place, those 10 or 15 minutes are significant,” noted Fred Barabani, F&I manager for Buckeye Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram, Shelby, Ohio, which participated in the study.

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Chrysler Group LLC Selects MaximTrak as F&I Menu, Reporting and e-Contracting Provider for Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram Truck and Fiat Dealers


Wayne, Penn. – Chrysler Group LLC selected MaximTrak Technologies as its F&I Menu, Reporting and e-Contracting provider for its Mopar Vehicle Protection products.

MENUCONNECT, the cloud-based platform developed by MaximTrak for Chrysler Group LLC, enhances the presentation of value-added aftermarket options to consumers and drives increases in F&I product sales and customer satisfaction ratings for Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram Truck and Fiat dealers. In a recent study by Chrysler Group’s Mopar Vehicle Protection unit, Chrysler Group dealerships using MENUCONNECT realized a service contract penetration increase of 33 percent and dealer per vehicle retail gross profit growth of 27 percent.

“We are seeing increases in PVR and total product penetration, and no customers are coming back complaining we neglected to explain or offer something to them,” said F&I Manager Fred Barabani of Buckeye Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram, Shelby, Ohio.

Standardizing the F&I product presentation, this structured menu keeps customers happier. “We’re shaving off minutes from every F&I presentation, and for our customers, those 10 or 15 minutes are significant,” Barabani said.

MENUCONNECT’s reporting application automates the management of the F&I department and provides dealerships with real-time sales and performance statistics. These reports help managers identify opportunities for improving productivity and profitability. MENUCONNECT’s fully automated, paperless workflow will greatly improve the efficiency of the selling process for Chrysler Group dealers. This feature provides access to real-time rates, menu presentation tools and electronic contract submissions. The solution integrates with the dealership’s dealer management system, so data is easily pulled into F&I presentation tools. MENUCONNECT’s e-Contracting platform eliminates paper and significantly streamlines the F&I process.

“Use of MENUCONNECT for F&I will also enable Chrysler Group dealerships to reduce contract errors, increase customer satisfaction index (CSI) scores and provide customers with complete legal disclosures to meet compliance requirements,” said Jim Maxim Jr., President of MaximTrak.

With MaximTrak’s MENUCONNECT, Chrysler Group dealerships will electronically register all F&I related contracts directly with Chrysler. The system will reduce errors in contracting, increase productivity, sales volume and greatly enhance the quality of time consumers spend in the F&I Office.

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MaximTrak Technologies Launches MobileTrak, Fully Mobile iPad and Android-based F&I Menu System


WAYNE – MaximTrak Technologies, announced the launch of MobileTrak, a fully mobile F&I menu, reporting and e-contracting platform for the Apple iPad and Android devices. MobileTrak enables a completely virtual F&I experience and empowers dealerships with new portable tools to more effectively present products, interact with consumers, and ultimately increase Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) scores and dealership profitability.

MaximTrak is a systems developer for the retail automotive, motorcycle and powersports finance and insurance industry (F & I).

The entire MaximTrak digital platform can be utilized on iPad and Android devices including the company’s flagship product lines: MenuTrak™ (F&I Sales), Dashboards™ (Enterprise Reporting) and E-Trak™ (e-Business Suite for e-Rating, e-Contracting, e-Signature and e-Remittance).

MobileTrak also eliminates the need for duplicate data entry into multiple systems because of the Certified DMS Integration the Company maintains with all major Dealer Management Systems including Reynolds & Reynolds, ADP, DealerTrack, Auto/Mate, ACS as well as the RouteOne credit application system.

MobileTrak effectively untethers the F&I Manager from his desk, allowing him to operate a virtual office. Utilizing the iPad or Android operating devices, products can be moved in and out of packages, terms and rates can be adjusted in real time, down payments can be increased and products can be discounted.

To assist the F&I manager in presenting product features and benefits, MobileTrak includes a comprehensive suite of interactive Sales Tools for each F&I product sold, as well as statistical and other visual information that can be reviewed with customers.

Real-time reporting is built into MobileTrak, as it includes the MaximTrak Dashboards™ reporting application, which automates the management of the department and provides dealers with real-time sales and performance statistics.

“MobileTrak has taken the interactive nature of sales and menu tools to new level for mobile users in the F&I office,” said Jim Maxim Jr., President of MaximTrak Technologies. “The enhanced connectivity through our F&I Network™ to product providers places real-time rates and quotes right in front of the consumer.

For instance, MobileTrak could get a direct quote from the insurance company or administrator and show it live on the tablet for the consumer to view, purchase and execute a signed contract without having to print forms or go back into a Dealer Management System. There is no need to be in the office any more to sell F&I products; with MobileTrak you can conduct the entire F&I sales process right on the showroom floor.”

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MaximTrak and F&I Administration Solutions Announce Strategic Partnership, Integration


WAYNE – MaximTrak Technologies announced a strategic partnership and integration with F&I Administration Solutions, LLC, a provider of software for the administration of automotive F&I products.

This integration enables auto dealers to electronically rate, contract and register contracts for all providers through the SCS Auto administration platform without having to leave the MaximTrak system.

“We are very pleased to have completed this integration as it further expands the reach of MaximTrak. Our strategy is to open up our network to other providers and enable connectivity to all parties. We have a collaborative approach and our new platform not only offers product integration to MaximTrak directly but also through industry partnerships such as F&I Admin,” said MaximTrak Technologies President & CEO Jim Maxim Jr.

“This integration dovetails with our mission to enable every possible channel for providers and dealers to more efficiently conduct electronic transactions,” said David Trinder, CEO of F&I Admin.

“With our connectivity to MaximTrak, auto dealers can now conduct an entire transaction, from quote to contracting, without leaving the MaximTrak menu. It makes the entire process extremely efficient and also enables my provider customers to present products on the MaximTrak system with no added effort.”

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