Tag Archive | "F&I"

Quantech Software Inc Rebrands its F&I Product Line; Announces Q-DMS


Quantech Software Inc’s has dropped the word “Online” from its flagship products Q-F&I (Online) and Q-Menus (Online), and announced a new version of its software called Q-DMS. “For a few years there was a certain cache around being able to say your software was web-based so when we migrated our  Windows based menu and F&I products to the Web we added the word Online to them”, according to Mike Martin, Quantech General Manager. “Now that most everything is web based, we have dropped the word “Online”, Martin.  The entire Quantech software suite of products, Q-F&I, Q-Menus, and Q-GPS are now web-based. Quantech offers continued support for its Windows versions.

In addition to dropping the word Online, Quantech has added a new brand, “Q-DMS” to its line-up. “We are seeing more and more customers using our software to manage their dealership; “Q” is their DMS”, explains Martin. Q-DMS includes all of our integrations, inventory mgmt, deal mgmt, forms printing, as well as deal exports for accounting purposes. A fully integrated DMS solution with accounting, parts & service, purchasing, payroll, and ILM/CRM Lead management is handled thru its integration partnerships with Blue Skies Business Solutions (Peartree)DealerSocket, and others.

Dealerships using F&I tools only will continue using the Q-F&I branded product. “A significant number of our customers have elected to use our F&I tools over the ones in their DMS systems”, according to Martin, “they like how easy Q-F&I is to use, our support, and our many integrations”.

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Doug Frey Joins EasyCare to Lead New Agency Development and Acquisitions


NORCROSS, Ga. — APCO Holdings LLC, home of the EasyCare and GWC Warranty brands, announced the addition of Doug Frey to its executive team. Frey will serve as executive vice president of new agency relationships and acquisitions and will lead the company’s new agency development and acquisition campaigns.

“We believe the agency market has seasoned and that there are great operators out there looking for more from their administrative partners. There are also agencies looking for a company with the resources to work with them on continuing to grow their business while planning a successful exit strategy for the future,” said EasyCare’s chairman and CEO, Larry Dorfman. “We can uniquely provide either or both solutions. Doug has the highest integrity and is one of the most respected people in the industry. His background is perfect to lead this effort.”

Frey most recently served as COO of Allstate Dealer Services and brings more than 30 years of F&I industry experience to his role at APCO, including more than 15 years in senior executive roles.

“I have known Larry Dorfman, chairman, and John Lee, president of APCO Holdings, for 25 years. I admire what they have built with first-class service to agents and dealers,” Frey said. “The whole company has a unique culture that is focused on helping dealers and agents succeed. This company still operates with an agency mentality and that resonates with their agency partners. It is great to be with a company that has committed significant capital to growth and with a clear and well defined vision of the future.”

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F&I Express Announces Initiative to Electronically Integrate Major Auto Lenders with F&I Providers to Streamline the Aftermarket Product Cancellation Process.


F&I Express is pleased to announce details of an initiative currently underway on behalf of major auto lenders in the US to improve the aftermarket product cancellation process. Using our F&I Express platform called Express Recoveries, lenders are able to obtain cancellation refund amounts and electronically file product cancellation requests as a result of repossession and payoff directly with product providers. Express Recoveries provides lenders a more streamlined and accelerated process for filing product cancellations, and also delivers a cancellation management and reporting system used by lenders to assist with CFPB and State Compliance examinations.

By electronically connecting the lenders to the F&I Providers, it dramatically streamlines the cancellation process for lenders, F&I Providers, and the dealers. This allows the lenders to have the transparency they need from a compliance and process standpoint. In addition, the platform has a systematic way to show regulators and lenders the status of cancellation. This will eliminate ongoing telephone calls to dealers and providers.

More than a dozen auto lenders are currently using Express Recoveries in their product cancellation process. Integration discussions with F&I Providers are underway, with most major providers expected to be connected by mid-year 2017. Rob Berger, Executive Vice-President of Wise F&I and also President of the Guaranteed Asset Protection Alliance (GAPA) said, “Through integration with the Express Recoveries platform, we will streamline our cancellation management by moving to an electronic process rather than the largely manual one that we have today. In addition, the connectivity will support lender Compliance requirements and improve our service levels to lenders, dealers and consumers.”

“F&I Express has developed the largest Aftermarket F&I Provider Network in the industry to connect dealers with providers for the origination of F&I products” said Brian Reed, CEO of F&I Express. “Now we are connecting the lender community to F&I providers to streamline the product cancellation process for lenders, providers, and dealers while significantly enhancing the regulatory compliance capabilities of lenders,” Reed added.

F&I Express expects to announce several more top twenty lenders joining the Express Recoveries platform in the coming weeks. Together with F&I Express, Dealertrack and their national lender sales force are marketing the platform to their existing lender customers. Lenders or F&I Product Providers who are interested in learning more about the Express Recoveries platform can contact Rich Apicella at email hidden; JavaScript is required or your local Dealertrack Lender Representative. You can also learn more at the Dealertrack booth at the upcoming AFSA and NADA conventions in New Orleans.

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GWC Warranty Appoints Agency Channel Manager


WILKES-BARRE, Penn. – GWC Warranty, a best-in-class provider of used vehicle service contracts and related finance and insurance products sold through automotive dealers, has named Adam Cappucci as its new Agency Channel Manager.

In this role, Cappucci will act as the primary GWC liaison with automotive agents and their dealers to deliver programs and services designed to help them build more successful businesses.

Cappucci spent the past three years with Sandvik as an inside sales representative. His experience has included developing and nurturing hundreds of industrial customers throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Cappucci graduated Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. He is currently pursuing a Master’s of Business Administration from Misericordia University in Dallas, Pennsylvania.

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RouteOne and MaximTrak Come together to Innovate the Vehicle and F&I Sales Process


RouteOne has acquired the assets of MaximTrak and its related business and will operate MaximTrak through its wholly‐owned subsidiary RouteOne Holdings. This will bring together two long‐time partners to deliver a seamless vehicle F&I sales process.

The vehicle purchase process has undergone fundamental changes in recent years, and will continue to do so with increasingly rapid speed. Consumers and dealers alike expect consistency and seamless transition across all physical and digital sales channels. As a result, both RouteOne and MaximTrak have been pursuing aggressive strategies to innovate the sales process on behalf of their respective customers. RouteOne and MaximTrak’s complementary strategies have now come together to deliver on the vision of a complete sales and F&I solution that meets OEM, dealer and consumer needs – any time, any place, and on any device.

Key Facts:

  • MaximTrak will be operated by RouteOne Holdings, a wholly‐owned subsidiary of RouteOne.
  • MaximTrak leadership and team members remain in place, and continue to operate from the MaximTrak PA offices.
  • Justin Oesterle and Jim Maxim, will operate as the senior management team of MaximTrak.
  • RouteOne and MaximTrak serve: 1,400+ finance sources, 18,000+ dealers, 130+ dealer service providers, 80+ aftermarket insurance providers, and 10+ OEMs.
  • RouteOne and MaximTrak employ approximately 400 people with offices in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Canada, as well as local staff in major markets.
  • Directly and through partnerships, RouteOne and MaximTrak have customers in the US, Canada, Puerto Rico, and Mexico.
  • RouteOne and MaximTrak product integration began prior to the acquisition and will now be further developed and strengthened on an expedited basis.
  • RouteOne was founded in 2002 by Chrysler Financial (now TD Auto), FMCC, GMAC (now Ally), and TFS.
  • MaximTrak was founded in 2003 by the Maxim family.

“RouteOne has had a long and successful relationship with MaximTrak, and we share very similar cultures, values and DNA,” said RouteOne CEO Justin Oesterle. “We are excited to have made this acquisition happen as we believe it creates significant value for all our customers at the OEM, finance source, provider, and dealer levels. It also creates strategic and economic value for RouteOne’s owners: Ally, Ford Credit, TD and Toyota Financial, all of whom supported the investment. I, and the entire RouteOne team welcome MaximTrak to the family. We look forward to doing great things together for the industry.”

“The entire MaximTrak team is excited and energized by the growth opportunities that this transaction represents for our customers, employees and key stakeholders. Like RouteOne, MaximTrak is an established, innovative leader in the F&I space,” said MaximTrak President, Jim Maxim, Jr. “Where RouteOne excels in the finance elements of F&I, we excel in the “I” side of the equation and in developing technologies that optimize the dealership process and ultimately dealer profitability through F&I product sales. Together, with our combined scale, talents and product line‐ups, we will be able to provide a complete digital workflow from initial customer contact and first pencil to finance, aftermarket and eContracting across online, mobile and in‐store channels. With that, our emphasis will be               on helping our customers deliver a buying experience they control and one that consumers actually want.”

The acquisition is effective as of December 20, 2016.

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The Big, Scary World of F&I


The first panel discussion of this year’s P&A Leadership Summit began at 2:05 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 30. Helmed by Jimmy Atkinson, senior vice president and COO of AUL Corp., “Threats Facing the F&I Industry” promised to tackle the various forces working against dealers, agents, product providers and third-party administrators (TPAs) today and in the near future.

Atkinson was joined by a diverse panel of experts that included David Pryor, CMO of Safe-Guard Products International, Mike Saint, lead risk analyst for Assurant Risk Management, and Tony Wanderon, CEO of National Auto Care, David Neuenschwander, vice president of National Automotive Experts (NAE)/NWAN, was unable to appear but did contribute questions to the panel.

Anticipating a Downturn

The discussion started off with a warning: Don’t get complacent. The panelists agreed that the automotive industry as a whole has been strong for the last few years, leading many to take success for granted and forget to ensure the basics are all covered.

“The challenging thing for me right now is a lot of companies seem to have forgotten the bad times,” Wanderon said. “Things have been good for so many years that they don’t really have a disaster recovery [plan] in place. I always get scared a little bit when things are so good — you forget the little things. Disaster recovery is figuring out your expenses, having all the right people in place and figuring out which business might be at risk.”

Pryor agreed, noting that new-vehicle sales have likely plateaued after passing the 17 million-unit mark in 2015.

“I think we’re looking at that and saying, ‘What’s next?’” Pryor said. “Dealers are resilient. They’re going to continue to look at ways to drive their bottom line and drive their profitability. As an administrator, there’s sometimes a silver lining when we do face a downturn, or at least an era of stagnant growth. Dealers start to look at other parts of their business.”

Specifically, Pryor noted, dealers will refocus on F&I and fixed operations, both of which are susceptible to inertia when times are good and cars are flying over the curb. He urged providers to offer a wide range of proven products that will maximize profits and customer satisfaction in any economic climate.

Virtual Reality

The subject then turned to the digitization of F&I, beginning with information about products on provider and dealer sites and evolving to an Amazon-like experience that would allow car buyers to select and price protection products the same way they spec the vehicle.

Whether the industry likes it or not, Pryor said, the virtual space is going to play a large role in the future of F&I.

“We know it’s coming. We can look at what has happened on the vehicle sales side,” Pryor said. “Customers are doing their shopping online. They’re only visiting 1.2 dealerships before making the decision to buy. The sales process is happening in the digital space.”

Atkinson reminded the panel that information about F&I products is already out there, but the typical source is a dissatisfied customer. “When a customer hits their phone and Googles an F&I product, the first thing they see is something negative.”

Wanderon agreed, noting that bad reviews are spreading faster than ever. “Social media is changing things for us in a lot of different ways,” he said. “I think it’s time for us as an industry to start talking about what we do and how we do it and how we take care of customers.”

As an example, Wanderon told a story of a working F&I manager who purchased a service contract he had sold to his own customers. When a strut had to be replaced, his claim was denied, and he took to social media to vent his frustrations — before contacting the provider. If he had, he would have learned that part wasn’t covered.

“To get a negative response, you don’t ever have to ask your customer to post that,” Wanderon pointed out. “They’re going to post it. But to get a positive response, you should be asking your customers to go out there and post for you the same way, especially when you’re doing things that are outside the coverage provisions of your contract and you’re making an exception for them.”

Saint agreed, saying that dealers and providers need to get more proactive. “I think anybody in F&I should be very prepared to offer instances where there was a positive [experience] for the customer. I think we all need to pick it up as far as having educational items on websites. Just like they spec out the car before they buy it, well, they should be able to spec out the products we have as well. Because the customers are more and more educated. That’s the avenue I think we can expand into.”

“It doesn’t have to be just the administrator,” Pryor said. “Ask your dealers to go out and put those things out there.” Using GAP coverage as an example, Pryor noted that finance sources are stretching terms and loan-to-value ratios, leaving car buyers underwater for historically long periods. “Here’s a great product that protects them. We see $20,000 and $30,000 checks going out. That makes a huge difference to someone. … So how do we get them to go online and push that message out there? ‘This is a great product, I had a great experience with it.’”

Turning the discussion back to putting information about products on dealer sites, Wanderon cautioned that could cause complacency to rear its ugly head in the finance office.

“It’s easy for the F&I manager to think it’s a shortcut,” Wanderon said. “‘It’s online, so I don’t have to present it.’ The biggest reason they don’t sell products is that they don’t present them. We don’t want to let that be a crutch.”

A Captive Audience

To the likely surprise of some attendees, Wanderon raised the specter of a rarely mentioned threat to the F&I industry: captive reinsurance companies. They can be a great source of revenue for some dealers — particularly high-volume dealers — but they can lead to disaster for others.

“Dealers think that because they sell five cars a month, they should own their own company and make all the money,” Wanderon said. “Everybody wants to be someone else in this business. The problem that then comes into play is the agent or our distribution channel partners maybe aren’t educated enough to say, ‘Maybe that’s not right for you.’ Our job in the industry is to educate them on where the best option is — not where we make the most money, but where the best option is.”

“I think it’s amazing how much misinformation is out there,” Pryor added. “We still hear from dealers, ‘What do you mean it could go the other way?’ They don’t understand that they might have to write a check if the underlying products don’t perform. And good luck collecting on that if the dealer is in a cash crunch. They need to understand the economics of it and they need to understand the risk of it.”

“The dealer obviously has to be aware they’re on the hook until the tails of those contracts go away,” Saint said. “And you know some of the rewards don’t outweigh it. It has to be managed very well, but much more than that, it’s a risk that’s not for everyone.”

Part of what is fueling this trend, the panel agreed, is that dealers want more cash, and they want more of it upfront. So agents and providers are scrambling to write deals that, ultimately, aren’t a great fit for anyone.

“I’ve seen some crazy stuff, from dealer advances, from fee structures, and for the dealers who have cash-flow issues,” Wanderon said. “I saw one dealer who had $100,000 in the bank and a net worth of $22 million, and he wanted $4.5 million for 250 contracts. That’s a lot of money for 250 contracts at a $95 admin deal. Sometimes I think we hurt ourselves by competing to some of the levels that we do to get a deal, and ultimately that deal goes bad.”

Pricing the Future

Atkinson then brought up the subject of rapidly advancing in-vehicle technology and the pricing challenges it brings. “We’re pricing products that are going to have three-, five-, seven-year lifetime tails,” he said. “And we’re pricing to replace parts in that vehicle that we don’t really have a clue what it’s going to cost in three, five or seven years to repair.”

Complicating the situation, Saint added, are services such as “Vehicle Manager,” a new feature that allows OnStar users to self-initiate a diagnostic check.

“Does the claim qualify for coverage if the on-board system is telling the consumer you’re possibly going to have a problem or you have a problem?” asked Saint. “It still has to go to a technician to confirm whether it qualifies for coverage or not. That’s going to stay the same until the software gets so elaborate that there’s very [few] people who can use it.”

Adding to that uncertainty is that some systems are designed to alert drivers before a part fails — a great selling point, but one that can add both cost and frustration to an already complex situation.

“If the alternator fails, is it covered? Yes. If your OnStar says your alternator will fail within 1,000 miles, and the customer takes it to the dealership, and it’s still functioning at the dealership, is that covered?” Atkinson asked.

“We’ve seen the same thing,” Pryor said. “The frequencies are going up and that’s what’s driving it. … Under our terms and conditions, an OnStar alert would not be covered. The customer has probably become accustomed to that.”

“Everybody keeps saying the car business is the car business. No, it’s not,” Wanderon said in response. “Look at the total losses on GAP. There are more total losses now because of all the sensors and bumpers and airbags and it puts the car over the 50% limit. So it becomes more expensive to change, and we don’t know how much it costs when you don’t price it.”

A Sharing Economy

The discussion closed with the subject of commercial use of private vehicles, specifically among drivers for ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft. The panel agreed that vehicles used for livery were a grade above a privately owned pickup truck a construction worker uses to drive to job sites or a sedan a Realtor uses to drive from property to property. Should those vehicles be excluded, Atkinson asked?

“I have to believe, with how those companies have expanded worldwide, that we have to have thousands of them on the books right now that we don’t even know about,” Saint pointed out. “Traditionally, we haven’t covered taxis. Ride-sharing is a little different. This customer owns their car. They have a certain amount of maintenance and upkeep they have to have to be an Uber driver. … I don’t think we’re seeing a negative impact from it. There’s a lot of miles [on those units] and they drive out of their warranty really quickly.”

“I think it’s really a definition of what ‘commercial’ is,” said Wanderon. “Are we going to change that within our policy provisions? The challenge becomes, could you put a surcharge on it to say commercial is in there? Yeah, but you know who’s paying the surcharge? It’s the dealer, because they’re not charging them any more to buy that contract, they’re just eating up their profits. And then, ultimately, you have to deal with it when you have a claim. We need to start looking at pricing. You’re going to have a percentage of the cars that are going to have commercial utilization.”

Pryor agreed, noting he knows his company and others are covering vehicles in the “gray area” of commercial use.

“We know we’re paying claims on Uber vehicles,” Pryor said. “Every so often, you send an inspector out and you’ll get the picture back with the big Uber sticker in the window. We know those are happening. I think it does come down to the mileage and the usage.” As more U.S. vehicles enter the ride-hailing fleet, Pryor added, more drivers will rely on them as a direct source of income. “It starts to change the dynamic with the customer. We have to think about that.”

Noting that Uber is already offering new-vehicle financing options to new drivers, Wanderon said the real threat lies in the company’s foray into the F&I segment.

“I expect that they would have a service contract and a maintenance program out there at some point,” he said. “Their customer program is based on having a nice car and having it available. So that model is going to have some impact on us at some point.”

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