Tag Archive | "Ristken Software Services"

US Equity Advantage and Ristken Enter Agreement


Orlando – US Equity Advantage (USEA) entered a long-term agreement with Ristken Software Services to provide bi-weekly loan services through Ristken’s Menu-Pro platform. Ristken’s clients include some of the largest companies in the automotive and insurance industry including Zurich, Ford and Ally, as well as hundreds of general agents across thousands of dealerships.

Dealers using Ristken’s Menu-Pro will be able to quote bi-weekly payments in their menu presentation to customers and enroll them through a paperless process that is fully integrated with the DMS. By utilizing AutoPayPlus, dealers help their customers afford more F&I services and products without extending the term or increasing the monthly payment.

“We pride ourselves with working with some of the largest companies in automotive. US Equity Advantage is the premier bi-weekly service in the industry and they have an excellent track record of service and compliance,” Patrick DeMarco, president, Ristken Software Services.

“We have known the team at Ristken for many years and watched them become one of the predominant menu systems on the market today,” added Robert Steenbergh, CEO and president, US Equity Advantage. “Our companies share a focus on technology innovation and growth and we look forward to a successful partnership.”

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Mobile Menus Pave the Way to the Future of F&I


Technology is a driving factor in our lives today, and the menu market is no different. Consumers have access to it in their personal lives, and use it to research everything from the food they eat to the big-ticket purchases – like cars – that they make. Many of them are getting to a point where they even make those purchases online, via companies like Peapod.com, or from dealerships that offer Internet purchasing.

What that means to the average dealer – and agent – is that consumers today live on their technology. They trust it, they purchase on it, and they are getting to a point where they are more comfortable with it than they are with older, paper systems. They will gravitate and trust dealerships and products that are presented to them in a format they are already comfortable with, making the process smoother, and putting them in a less defensive, more open to buying state of mind.

To facilitate this transition to the new mobile menu world, we invited several players in the mobile menu software business to give us a little information about their products, and some insight into where they see the market going. While they range in opinion as to whether dealerships should hand an iPad over to the customer to walk themselves through a presentation, or whether the F&I manager should keep control of the process, they all agree that the platform itself is the future of the business.

Digital is shaping the future of almost every industry, and ours, in particular, is starting to see the beginnings of a revolution in what consumers want out of a vehicle, but more than that, they want the process of purchasing it to feel like it belongs in the age of Internet shopping and digital downloading. By providing agents, and through them dealerships, with the tools to meet this consumer need head on, the whole industry will win with happier customers and increased sales.

To read about each product, and how each of these companies sees the future of F&I menus, click on their name below.

Mobile Menu Roundup

IAS

Matt Nowicki, Vice President, Retail Software
IAS

1. Please give a brief overview of your mobile offering.
We have two different mobile offerings: one of them is an interactive F&I interview and survey application called SmartPad. The other is an extension to our SmartMenu desktop application called Interactive Menu.

Read More »

The Impact Group

Mark Thorpe, President
The Impact Group Inc.

1. Please give a brief overview of your mobile offering.
Since Impact’s beginning, we have developed our applications with a belief in the importance of technology in the F&I process, and with the future of technology in our business constantly in mind. As we all know, the “mobile menu” has become a hot topic in our industry over the last several months.

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iTapMenu

Shawn McCool, Game Changer
iTapMenu

1. Please give a brief overview of your mobile offering.
iTapMenu is an all-new version of the F&I menu utilized on the iPad. The patented application provides an industry exclusive menu structure and true “drag and drop” capabilities with instant calculations.

Read More »

MaximTrak Technologies

Jim Maxim Jr., President
MaximTrak Technologies

1. Please give a brief overview of your mobile offering.
MobileTrak is an enterprise level mobile solution for the F&I Industry. It enables Dealers and F&I Managers to cut the cords from the “traditional” F&I Office while making presentations, handling objections and contracting F&I business. MobileTrak leverages the MaximTrak platform in a mobile-optimized offering for dealerships, agents and administrative companies.

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MenuSys LLC

Erick Woods, President
MenuSys LLC

1. Please give a brief overview of your mobile offering.
The MenuSys Tablet Experience brings together many critical selling tools; these features are designed specifically for tablet computers. Included are customer interviews, product sales charts (VSC, GAP), brochures, a drawing pad for adding your own unique touch and, most importantly, it features the Tablet Menu.

Read More »

Ristken Software Services

Patrick DeMarco, President
Ristken Software Services

1. Please give a brief overview of your mobile offering.
Ristken is currently deploying a multi-module, multi-phase technology platform named iCollaborate. This platform is designed to extend the existing functionality of Ristken’s platforms while at the same time enhancing and adding functionality that is well suited to leverage the emerging mobile, tablet and “kiosk-like” platforms.

Read More »

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An Interview with Ristken’s President, Patrick DeMarco


In this View From the Top, Ristken’s President Patrick DeMarco shares with our readers the tools, solutions and platforms offered through Ristken as well as what is on the horizon for F&I.

Tell us about your company and the products that you offer.

Ristken is a leading provider of technology based solutions dedicated to increasing the productivity and profitability of dealership finance departments. Our customers include the Service Providers, OEM’s, and General Agents that serve the dealerships.

Our core offerings include market leading F&I Reporting tools, menu selling solution, as well as a suite of e-Business solutions incorporating e-Rating, e-Contracting, and e-Remittance into the F&I process.

Ristken’s Reporting Platform is a web-based software application providing quick, accurate reporting for virtually any performance metric in the Finance departments of automobile dealerships. Agency and Service Provider personnel and their respective dealerships can essentially track and manage Finance department productivity in real-time. It is easy to use, extremely powerful, and entirely customizable to the dealership. We consistently find that once a dealership is up and running, they make it an everyday part of their operations and quickly realize that the old way of tracking business with handwritten logs and cumbersome Excel spreadsheets is entirely obsolete. With on-demand performance metrics, unlimited reports capabilities, objective setting and tracking, and real-time rankings, it is extremely powerful.

Ristken’s Menu Platform is a web-based menu selling software application enabling the dealership’s Finance personnel to quickly and easily calculate, configure and present multiple payment product options to customers within a consistent and collaborative selling process. Our Menu integrates collaborative sales tools, compliance tools, as well as Electronic Rating and Contracting.

We also offer full e-Business capabilities including e-Rating, e-Contracting and e-Remittance. This is actually the fastest growing segment of our business as more and more dealerships realize the increased speed, accuracy and efficiencies of going paperless.

How does your product offering differ from other providers?

Firstly, I believe that our approach to how we build the products naturally differentiates us; simple to set-up, simple to use, yet powerful, highly customizable and most importantly reliable to the end user.

We are also one of the few companies that have Certification with each of the major DMS providers including ADP, Reynolds & Reynolds, and DealerTrack. This ensures complete security, reliability, and flexibility regarding DMS integration, which is important. We estimate that the DMS companies that Ristken has sanctioned and Certified integration relationships with, allow our products and platforms to be integrated in over 90 percent of the dealerships in the United States. Ristken also integrates with other Tier 2 and Tier 3 DMS and DSP partners and is consistently pursing additional integration relationships.

We believe our menu has one of the most powerful and flexible payment engines in the business. Additionally, because of our decade of experience with our solutions running in thousands of dealerships across all 50 states and Canada, our products and technology have evolved and continue to evolve to easily handle the endless scenarios that arise from dealing with such a broad footprint across every region and state.

Our Reporting software is a dedicated sales and productivity tool integrated directly with the DMS. It is not just pulling metrics from the Menu platform but is in fact a comprehensive stand-alone reporting solution. So many companies claim to have a reporting application yet most are simply a set of reports that are generated from the menu, I don’t consider that a comprehensive reporting application. I believe our reporting application to be unmatched in the industry in its power and flexibility to create the widest range of customized reports to accommodate any dealership’s reporting needs.

Our e-Business platform differentiates itself as simply being one of the few proven, scalable, working solutions processing over 1 Million contracts annually. It is also designed as a stand-alone platform to integrate with any menu, or to be utilized outside of the menu selling process. The key here is that we don’t require you to be logged into the menu to access e-Rating or e-Contracting, which makes it flexible enough to be used outside of the F&I office such as on the Service Drive or selling protection products direct to consumers.

We understand that there will always be another bell or whistle out there to consider, but at the end of the day, what really differentiates Ristken now and into the future is our combination of deep industry experience, robust technology, and our unwavering commitment to excellence in service and support.

How does Ristken work together with agents?

We understand the value and importance of agents to our company but more importantly to the health of the industry as a whole. In fact we have hundreds of general agents who distribute our products to thousands of dealers across the US and Canada. Because of our base of high-profile enterprise-level service provider clients, this fact sometimes gets lost in the marketplace. But I want to be clear on this, general agents are and will continue to be an important segment of our business, and we will continue to provide the highest level of service, support and training to help make them successful with our products. We want our agents to be confident that Ristken’s products offer them a competitive edge when they bring these tools to their respective dealerships.

Tell us about Patrick DeMarco and the path that led him to be the president of Ristken.

I have been fortunate in my career to have a good balance of automotive and technology leadership experience. Early in my career I built a solid foundation of automotive experience holding positions with both Ford Motor Company and Nissan North America. As the Internet boom began I launched my career into the technology sector by co-founding an Internet company and then restructuring another technology company. After we sold those companies, I went back into the auto space and became an Executive Director running a business unit for J.D. Power and Associates. While in that position I met Matt Twyman the founder and CEO of Ristken Software Services and the rest is history.

Looking back over the past five years, how has the industry changed and how do you see it changing in the future?

First and foremost the appetite to adopt technology in the retail automotive sector has greatly increased. We are constantly being challenged by our service providers and dealers to provide more robust solutions. Additionally the downturn in the industry and the overall economic climate has forced everybody to be more competitive and efficient. Technology has played an important role in driving efficiency, productivity and profitability. I don’t see that changing in the next five years. What I do see is technology continuing to drive improvement and institute change in the current dealership operational processes. I believe this industry will look very different five years from now basically due to the fact that the users (our clients) will not accept antiquated solutions. Remember the F&I manager of the future is sitting in a dorm room right now and they will demand cutting edge solutions to do their job!

What products do you believe will drive your future success?

I believe it’s a fairly simple equation. Build innovative products that solve business problems for our clients, continue to provide world class customer service, and act with integrity. I think if we can accomplish those at the highest levels, our future will be very bright.

What technology or services do you believe will drive your future success?

This is a sensitive question and I don’t want to reveal too much, but I will tell you that we are currently developing solutions that we think will change the way both consumers and dealers conduct transactions. Additionally, I believe you will continue to see growth in the e-Business forum and clearly mobile applications will be the norm in the future.

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Ristken Software Services Completes Certification within Reynolds Certified Interface Program


Ristken Software Services, a leading provider of software based productivity and eBusiness tools for the retail automotive market, announced today it has become a certified vendor in the Reynolds Certified Interface (RCI) program.

The Reynolds RCI program helps ensure that technology and software providers have the ability to exchange data within the Reynolds Dealer Management Systems (DMS), while also helping ensure the security, integrity, and privacy of dealership data.  By successfully concluding the certification process, Ristken stays on the forefront of the industry’s trend toward certified DMS partnerships for third-party technology providers.

Ristken’s certification in the RCI Program provides a host of benefits for dealers, including significant improvements in speed, reliability and security. Through the approved interface, Ristken will be able to better service, support and control dealers’ information within the Ristken applications.

In addition, RCI includes authentication through Reynolds-developed application program interfaces that help ensure that only RCI approved vendors integrate with dealership systems.

“RCI Certification demonstrates our commitment to provide unparalleled long-term reliability and data security to our dealership clients,” stated Patrick DeMarco, President of Ristken Software Services.  “We will continue to embrace industry leading data security standards, which benefit our dealership clients as well as the entire industry.”

“The Reynolds Certified Interface Program continues to add prominent third-party service and technology providers across a wide array of dealership operations,” said Trey Hiers, vice president of Marketing at Reynolds and Reynolds.  “Ristken is an important addition.  Their presence in the automotive industry and among dealerships is impressive.

With certification, Ristken has taken one more step to reinforce business trust with their customers and trust in how they handle their customers’ data – through a safe, secure, and verifiable process.”

Ristken now joins a list of more than 100 notable companies in the Reynolds Certified Interface program.

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Ristken Selected into NIADA National Member Benefit Program


The National Independent Automobile Dealers Association (NIADA) has selected Ristken Software Services for their National Member Benefit Program.

Ristken will provide NIADA members preferred pricing for their web-based software solutions. Ristken’s solutions will drive productivity and profitability improvements across their membership’s sales and finance activities. With the industry’s rapid adoption of technology driven productivity tools, Ristken’s easy-to-implement, easy-to-use software solutions will serve NIADA members looking to stay competitive in their respective markets.

Through the new partnership, NIADA members will have access to Ristken’s robust suite of software solutions including: MenuPro, the menu-selling solution enabling a systematic, engaging and more effective sales presentation for finance and insurance products and services; Pro Tracking, a comprehensive, customizable reporting tool providing actionable insights to improving the productivity and profitability of finance and sales activities; and EquityDriver™, a bi-weekly payment program delivering accelerated equity and shorter loan terms to customers.

Additionally, Ristken will offer NIADA members its set of eBusiness services, including eRating, eContracting and eRemittance to increase the speed and accuracy of the dealership’s entire F&I process.

“We are very excited to be a select partner of such a highly respected and influential organization such as the NIADA, said Patrick DeMarco, President of Ristken. “With more and more independent dealerships utilizing technology to improve their operations, we see Ristken’s web-based solutions as a great fit with the near term goals of the NIADA membership base.”

Scott Lilja, VP of Member Services for NIADA stated, “As our members continue to look for new F&I services revenue, Ristken will be an integral NIADA member services partner in accomplishing that objective.”

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EFG Companies Partners With Ristken Software Services


LAS VEGAS — EFG Companies, a performance management company for automotive retailers, announced at the 2010 F&I Conference and Expo that it formed a new partnership with Ristken Software Services. This long-term arrangement will combine dealership technologies from both companies in solutions that will support both sales and F&I improvements for EFG’s dealership clients.

“We are excited to integrate Ristken’s proven technology solutions into the EFG dealership performance model that has been instrumental to the financial success of our clients for more than 30 years,” said John Pappanastos, CEO and president of EFG Companies. “This move brings together EFG’s robust sales execution and personnel management technology in SalesEDGE CRM with Ristken’s productivity tools and eBusiness solutions, including e-rating, e-contracting and e-remittance.”

As part of the relationship, EFG will also integrate Ristken’s menu selling solutions that allow dealers to effectively present all F&I products to their customers while ensuring legal compliance within the F&I department.

“Ristken is proud to be selected as a key technology solution provider for EFG in implementing their strategic vision for elevating dealership performance,” said Patrick DeMarco, president of Ristken. “In today’s environment, operational and productivity improvements are the keys to driving profits. EFG is on the forefront of providing solutions that directly address these opportunities, and we see Ristken’s platform of eBusiness solutions as a perfect match for EFG and their clients.”

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