Tag Archive | "StoneEagle"

APT’s Pazik to Helm Agent Summit Tech Panel


LAS VEGAS — Organizers of Agent Summit have announced that Randy Pazik, president of Accelerated Profit Technologies, will lead a panel dedicated to new technology at the event, which will be held May 9–11, 2016, at the Venetian Palazzo Las Vegas.

“The flood of new technology into the dealer and agent segments can at times be overwhelming, but it can’t be ignored,” said David Gesualdo, show chair and publisher of Agent Entrepreneur andF&I and Showroom. “We are counting on Randy and his team to help us sort through the wealth of new developments and focus on the ones that drive F&I product sales.”

The panel, “Technology on the Move — New Horizons” will begin at 4:45 p.m. on Monday, May 9. Pazik will be joined by Thomas Elliott, executive vice president of StoneEagle; Kumar Kathinokkula, COO of F&I Administration Solutions; Tony Luciano, vice president of information technology for Allstate Dealer Services; Jim Maxim Jr., president and CEO of MaximTrak; and Carrie Profaizer, vice president of information technology and division CIO for Protective Asset Protection.

Pazik pledged to challenge his panelists to reveal not only what they are working on and have brought to market but how their solutions are performing in the real world.

“What the agents in attendance get out of this session depends on the questions we ask,” Pazik said. “How do agents, dealers and customers — particularly Millennial customers — interact and respond to new technology? I want to know what these providers are doing to make sure their products are relevant to the market.”

Registration for Agent Summit is now open at the event’s website as well as by phone, fax and email. Attendees who register by April 4 will enjoy a $100 discount. To inquire about sponsorship and exhibition opportunities, contact Eric Gesualdo via email hidden; JavaScript is required or call 727-612-8826.

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StoneEagle Integrates with Auto/Mate DMS


ALBANY — StoneEagle has completed integration with Auto/Mate’s Dealership Management System (DMS), the companies announced this week. Dealer groups using Auto/Mate’s DMS and StoneEagle’s web-based applications will now benefit from seamless and real-time data updates in both systems.

“Auto/Mate believes that the more technology vendors we integrate with, the more choices our dealers have, allowing them to lower costs and increase efficiencies,” said Mike Esposito, president and CEO of Auto/Mate. “Our Open/Mate program offers vendors an affordable and easy way to integrate their applications with Auto/Mate’s Automotive Management Productivity Suite (AMPS).”

StoneEagle offers a range of web-based applications to help dealers manage performance, accountability and production across their F&I and service departments. StoneEagle solutions are designed to automate manual tasks, deliver accurate information, increase profitability, and maximize customer satisfaction, officials said.

“Integrating with Auto/Mate greatly increases efficiencies for our dealers using the AMPS DMS,” said Jason Gillette, vice president of sales and marketing for StoneEagle. “Seamless integration keeps all data in both systems up to date and accurate, eliminating double entry and manually generating reports from different DMS systems.”

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Autosoft, Inc. Certifies StoneEagle Technology Solutions For Integration with FLEX DMS


WEST MIDDLESEX, Penn. – Autosoft, Inc., a leading national dealer management systems (DMS) provider, announced that StoneEagle has completed the certification process for integration with the FLEX DMS as part of Autosoft’s FLEX Connect program.

StoneEagle offers fully supported web-based applications that help dealers manage performance, accountability and production across their F&I and service operations. These solutions are designed to automate manual tasks, deliver accurate information to drive performance improvements, increase profitability, and maximize customer satisfaction:

  • SEcureMetrics: Tracks F&I, sales and service profitability by individual dealer, dealer group and dealer personnel. SEcureMetrics generates powerful reports, accessible by authorized users, to accurately gauge trends, develop clear forecasts and identify performance issues that require immediate attention.
  • SEcureMenu: Enables F&I managers to deliver a simplified, consistent and compliant F&I product presentation to every customer on any type of PC or mobile device. SEcureMenu includes auto eRating, eContracting and eRemittance functionality, configurable presentation templates, dynamic sales tools, and robust reporting to monitor all usage statistics and transaction details.

“StoneEagle is pleased to forge a partnership with Autosoft and obtain FLEX Connect certification for our SEcureMetrics and SEcureMenu applications,” said Jason Gillette, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for StoneEagle. “The FLEX Connect program facilitates secure and reliable data integration to our applications that increases efficiency and enhances the overall user experience for dealers using the Autosoft FLEX DMS platform and the fee structure is both reasonable and straightforward for the value provided.”

“We’re pleased to add StoneEagle to our growing list of FLEX Connect partners. Our dealers now can seamlessly integrate with applications from another industry leader,” said Christopher Morris, Senior Vice President of Autosoft.

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StoneEagle Announces Strategic Alliance with JM&A Group


Dallas, TX – StoneEagle today announced that JM&A Group, one of the industry-leading providers of finance and insurance (F&I) products and robust training and compliance programs in the automotive industry, has implemented the SEcureMetrics F&I and sales reporting platform with more than 1,000 of its performing dealerships.

SEcureMetrics delivers comprehensive insight into the profitability, penetration and performance of the F&I department. It also offers a variety of strategic reports that provide key analytics at both the single dealer and dealer group levels, and tracks the performance of all sales and F&I personnel.

“We are very proud to be partnering with StoneEagle to provide our dealer partners with the best-in-class F&I and Sales reporting solutions,” said Mike Casey, Vice President and GM of Sales and Field Services for JM&A Group. “Our personnel leverage the SEcureMetrics reporting platform to measure the performance in both the F&I and sales departments on a daily basis, and then utilize this information to drive improvement in both the individual managers and the departments as a whole. StoneEagle has demonstrated an unparalleled commitment to providing excellent service to JM&A Group and our dealer partners.”

“StoneEagle is excited to be working with JM&A Group as one of their valued F&I technology partners,” said Thomas Elliott, Executive Vice President at StoneEagle. “StoneEagle is dedicated to delivering excellent customer service and technology solutions that maximize the opportunity for partners like JM&A Group to fully demonstrate the full value of their consultative services to the dealership.”

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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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MileOne Automotive Deploys StoneEagle’s F&I Reporting Platform


Dallas, Texas – MileOne Automotive (MileOne), an automotive sales and service delivery network throughout Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and North Carolina, deployed StoneEagle’s SEcureMetrics F&I and sales reporting platform in its dealerships.

SEcureMetrics delivers insight into the profitability, penetration and performance of the F&I department. It offers a variety of reports that provide analytics at both the single dealer and dealer group levels, and tracks the performance of all sales and F&I personnel.

SEcureMetrics is fully integrated with MileOne’s Dealer Management System (DMS). Since the DMS is the system of record, deals only update within the SEcureMetrics reports when changes are made in the DMS. This integration eliminates duplicate data entry and provides a seamless user experience.

“SEcureMetrics is a user-friendly reporting platform that has greatly increased our operational efficiency and ability to monitor F&I performance in a timely manner,” said Spencer Jackson, corporate F&I business development manager, MileOne. “We are pleased with SEcureMetrics and the high level of support we receive from StoneEagle.”

“StoneEagle is pleased to be working with MileOne and proud to be their F&I technology provider,” said Jason Gillette, vice president of sales, StoneEagle. “StoneEagle is committed to helping automotive retailers achieve ongoing success by providing superior customer service and innovative solutions that create immediate efficiencies and cost savings.”

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