Tag Archive | "IAS"

Beyond the Full Product Suite


Interest among dealers in F&I production and profitability is elevated as profit margins remain compressed, new-vehicle sales show signs of plateauing, and dealers seek to maximize opportunities for service-department revenue. Among F&I product providers and administrators, the pressure to deliver benefits that appeal to agents and dealers and deliver real value for end users has never been greater.

To learn how the industry is keeping pace with the evolving needs of agents, dealers, and car buyers, P&A met with six high-ranking executives from some of the provider and administrator segment’s biggest players.

The Importance of a Full Product Suite

Matt Croak, president of Wise F&I, says his company constantly updates, changes, and augments its F&I product mix. Product development has been a focus for the past decade, he says, stressing that, to be competitive, a provider must offer a complete lineup. But in the age of digitization, they also have to do a whole lot more.

“A full suite of products isn’t enough; it’s having the technology to bring those products into the dealerships through online contracting and menu providers and adapting to changes in the car-buying process,” Croak says.

Like Croak, David Pryor of Safe-Guard Products International says his company invests heavily in product development — at the corporate level as well as with dealer clients.

“Program and product design is a key part of the Safe-Guard process and is usually one of the first discussions we have with clients,” says Pryor, who serves as the company’s CMO. “Over a series of product design sessions, Safe-Guard will be able to understand the client’s goals, desired customer experience, and, ultimately, design the program and product requirements to drive success.”

Tony Wanderon, president of National Auto Care, says offering a full product suite ensures every agent and dealer can find the products that fit their customers’ needs. Partnering with a full-suite F&I provider introduces “numerous efficiencies,” adds Dave Border, president of Allstate Dealer Services, including easier account maintenance, combined billing and commission payments, and improved reporting.

Larry Dorfman adds “consistency in sales and F&I training” — a key consideration for any dealer that is serious about F&I production — to the list of additional benefits brought by a full product suite. A single provider can offer “streamlined training for all benefits, rather than two or more different companies fighting for shelf space and confusing the employees with different training processes,” says the chairman of APCO, home of the EasyCare and GWC Warranty brands.

For Patrick Brown, president of IAS, a full suite is “more than just VSC and ancillary products,” noting that his company offers services ranging from income development and reinsurance to compliance training and marketing solutions. “We can help them grow their business by offering everything they need to increase F&I production.”

Defining the Full Product Suite

National Auto Care’s Wanderon says that his definition of “full suite” depends largely on the client, but most will include vehicle service contracts, GAP coverage, tire-and-wheel, and appearance protection as the most critical benefits, relegating other product types to a lower tier.

Pryor also includes prepaid maintenance on his must-have list, followed by “daily driving” coverage, including but not limited to tire-and-wheel, dent, windshield, and roadside assistance. He says Safe-Guard is working to “round out” its suite with lot-management, connectivity, and theft-deterrence and -recovery products.

“We’ll continue to evaluate how consumers drive and use their vehicles and make sure that we’re offering products that offer extra peace of mind and convenience,” Pryor says.

Allstate’s Border divides F&I products into categories: Service contracts offer long-term peace of mind, GAP adds a layer of security to financing, and appearance products assure the customer their investment will be protected against undue disfigurement.

“The ability to bundle a number of these products into a combo product can greatly simplify the presentation process and increase consumer comfort. Additionally, a provider with a full suite of products should offer a competitive reinsurance program,” Border says.

Brown agrees, adding that components such as income development and training, technology that streamlines the sale and administration of F&I products, and “multiple, A-rated underwriters” are somewhat less tangible but still valuable features that can help make a product suite complete. Finally, Dorfman says new technology can help dealers and managers build smarter processes and help establish lasting relationships with car buyers.

“It shouldn’t stop with vehicle coverage,” Dorfman says. “Retention tools like the SAVY Driver app tie the customer to their vehicle and to the dealership for service and repeat sales, which is instrumental in today’s digital age.”

As for which products to leave out, Wanderon says that, if pricing cannot be based on the underlying risk, he’s not comfortable with it. “In other words, some administrators underprice their products to gain market share, and we will not chase those who chose that path.”

Brown stresses that each of the products in IAS’s suite provide value to dealers and customers and that his company takes extra steps to ensure they are properly presented and sold.

“We’re not comfortable providing products that don’t have a clear benefit to the consumer. Additionally, we stay on top of the regulatory environment to ensure that products are being provided in a compliant manner,” Brown says.

Self-Administration and White-Labeling

Dorfman says each of APCO’s products are self-administered and -insured, noting, “Our EasyCare and GWC brands are on them and we assure the service delivers our brand promise.” Allstate Dealer Services “proudly” stands behind their products as both administrator and insurer, says Border, and his company develops and insures white-label products as a service for other admins.

“As a full-service F&I provider, we have complete control over the design and pricing of our programs and products,” Border says.

“We have seen a demand for white-labeled products in various channels and are able to provide that service for our clients,” says Croak, noting that Wise F&I administers every product in its suite. IAS and Safe-Guard self-administer nearly every product in their lineups, according to Brown and Pryor, with roadside assistance serving as a notable exception for both companies.

“Safe-Guard administers all of the products we offer except roadside assistance. Roadside requires significant scale to efficiently operate a 24/7 response center and the associated dispatch networks. We prefer to partner with a dedicated roadside provider to provide this service to our clients,” Pryor says.

Although more than 95% of his company’s products are self-administered, Brown prefers to rely on third parties for “smaller bolt-on services,” roadside included. “The key for us is ensuring that we have the ability to deliver the best product, service, and value to the consumer. We strongly prefer to do that in-house, but if we can’t, we partner with third parties to ensure that we can deliver best-in-class solutions.”

Wanderon says National Auto Care’s 34 years of experience in the administration business has been “critical” to the success of the company and its agent and dealer partners. He counts more than 6,000 dealerships, credit unions, and banks and finance companies on NAC’s administrative services roster and millions of contracts sold to date.

“We believe providing these services to our partners, along with the product offering, is imperative. Being the administrator allows us to have unwavering commitment to superior customer service and support,” Wanderon says. “In addition, it allows our partners to place their trust in us to take care of their customers — and the end consumers — in a time of need.”

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Innovative Aftermarket Systems (IAS) Appoints Bob Corbin as Executive Chairman and Taps Patrick Brown as the Company’s New President and CEO


Austin, Texas – IAS, a leading provider of F&I solutions
to the automotive industry, today announced that Patrick Brown has joined the
company as president and CEO effective September 12, 2016. Mr. Brown
succeeds longtime IAS executive Bob Corbin who has been with the company
since 2000. Mr. Corbin will continue to play a key role in the company
transitioning his focus to mergers and acquisitions.

Mr. Brown’s experience running high growth private companies and divisions of
high growth public companies makes him uniquely suited for the leading role at
IAS. Furthermore, Mr. Brown’s experience in non-automotive financial services
industries affords him a fresh perspective to help grow IAS.

“I have spent a lot of time with Patrick over this process and am convinced that
he is the right person at the right time for IAS. He is a big picture thinker with a
proven track record of successfully managing and growing companies and that
kind of vision is something we need more of in F&I,” said Bob Corbin, executive
chairman at IAS. “I’m incredibly proud of my tenure at IAS and the team that we
have put in place. I lit the torch and now I’m ready to pass it on.”

Before joining IAS, Mr. Brown served as the General Manager of the Commercial
Prepaid business for Netspend, a division of Total System Services, Inc. (NYSE:
TSS). In this role Mr. Brown was responsible for the strategy and overall growth
of Netspend’s commercial prepaid division. Mr. Brown joined Netspend
subsequent to its acquisition of Procesa International, LLC where Mr. Brown was
founder and CEO. Mr. Brown also served as General Manager of Euronet
Payments & Remittance, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Euronet Worldwide,
Inc. (NASDAQ: EEFT). Mr. Brown joined Euronet subsequent to its acquisition of
Continental Transfer, of which he was a co-founder and served as chief operating
officer.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the IAS family. Bob and team have done an outstanding
job over the last 16 years positioning IAS as the market leader in the F&I
industry. I’m looking forward to working with the IAS team and the company’s
extended family of nationwide partners,” said Patrick Brown, president and CEO
at IAS. “

Mr. Brown holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of North
Carolina at Charlotte and bachelor’s degrees in economics and finance from
Wingate University. He and his family currently reside in Austin, Texas.

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ADT Names 2016 Dealers’ Choice Award Winners


TORRANCE, Calif. — The publishers of Auto Dealer Today announced the winners of the 12th annual Dealers’ Choice Awards. The awards are based on a comprehensive survey that allowed dealers and dealership personnel to recognize their favorite vendors, suppliers and finance companies in 34 categories.

Voters must write in the name of each provider and score them in a number of areas related to performance, customer service, and the likelihood the voter would recommend each company to another dealer.

“This year’s winners include Dealers’ Choice Awards regulars as well as a number of new companies that have emerged as major players in a variety of categories,” said David Gesualdo, publisher of Auto Dealer Today and F&I and Showroom magazines. “But they all have one thing in common: They have earned the loyalty and praise of dealers, and they deserve our congratulations.”

The 2016 Dealer’s Choice Awards winners are:

New-Vehicle Lead

Used-Vehicle Lead

  • Diamond: Autotrader
  • Platinum: Cars.com
  • Gold: CarsDirect

Special Finance Lead

  • Diamond: CarsDirect
  • Platinum: DealerLink
  • Gold: Auto Credit Express

Digital Marketing

  • Diamond: Digital Air Strike
  • Platinum: ELEAD1ONE
  • Gold: eBizAutos

Website Provider

  • Diamond: eBizAutos
  • Platinum: VinSolutions
  • Gold: Dealer.com

Chat Provider

  • Diamond: ActivEngage
  • Platinum: Client~ConneXion
  • Gold: Contact At Once!

Mobile Media

  • Diamond: Dealer.com
  • Platinum: eBizAutos
  • Gold: Dealer Synergy

Social Media Management

  • Diamond: Ally
  • Platinum: Naked Lime
  • Gold: DealerClickz

Reputation Management

  • Diamond: Dominion Dealer Solutions
  • Platinum: CDK Global
  • Gold (tie): DealerRefresh
  • Gold (tie): DMEautomotive

Direct Mail

  • Diamond: ProMax Unlimited
  • Platinum: Action Integrated
  • Gold: Strategic Marketing

Virtual BDC

  • Diamond: ELEAD1ONE
  • Platinum: DealerStrong

Online Inventory Listing Management

  • Diamond: Dominion Dealer Solutions
  • Platinum: eBizAutos
  • Gold: Auction123

Inventory Management

  • Diamond: Dealertrack
  • Platinum: vAuto
  • Gold: FirstLook Systems

Hiring and Recruitment

  • Diamond: GSFSGroup
  • Platinum: Hireology

Sales Training

  • Diamond: Ziegler SuperSystems
  • Platinum: Ally
  • Gold: Joe Verde Group

Internet Training

  • Diamond: Dealer.com
  • Platinum: Dealer Synergy
  • Gold: Ally

Compliance Training

  • Diamond: American Financial & Automotive Services (AFAS)
  • Platinum: United Development Systems Inc. (UDS)
  • Gold: Mosaic Compliance Services

F&I Training

  • Diamond: United Development Systems Inc. (UDS)
  • Platinum: American Financial & Automotive Services (AFAS)
  • Gold: Reahard & Associates

Special Finance Training

  • Diamond: DealerStrong
  • Platinum: NCM Associates
  • Gold: Ally

Fixed Ops Training

  • Diamond: DealerPro Service Solutions
  • Platinum: CDK Global
  • Gold: The Cardone Group

F&I Products

  • Diamond: IAS
  • Platinum: RoadVantage
  • Gold: National Auto Care

Service Contract

  • Diamond: CNA National
  • Platinum: Protective Asset Protection
  • Gold: AUL Corp.

Service Contract Reinsurance

  • Diamond: Portfolio
  • Platinum: GSFSGroup
  • Gold: CNA National

F&I Desking Software

  • Diamond: ProMax Unlimited
  • Platinum: Reynolds and Reynolds
  • Gold: Dealertrack

F&I Technology

  • Diamond: F&I Express
  • Platinum: MaximTrak
  • Gold: StoneEagle

CRM 

  • Diamond: ProMax Unlimited
  • Platinum: ELEAD1ONE
  • Gold: Reynolds and Reynolds

DMS 

  • Diamond: Dealertrack
  • Platinum: Reynolds and Reynolds
  • Gold: Auto/Mate

Data Mining

  • Diamond: ELEAD1ONE
  • Platinum: Dominion Dealer Solutions
  • Gold: AutoAlert

Online Auction for Purchasing Inventory

  • Diamond: Manheim
  • Platinum: SmartAuction
  • Gold: ADESA

Traditional Auction

  • Diamond: Manheim
  • Platinum: ADESA

Prime Captive Finance Company

  • Diamond: GM Financial
  • Platinum: Honda Financial Services
  • Gold: Toyota Financial Services

Prime Non-Captive Finance Company

  • Diamond: Ally
  • Platinum: Chase
  • Gold: Wells Fargo

Subprime Finance Company

  • Diamond: Wells Fargo
  • Platinum: Regional Acceptance
  • Gold: Capital One

Biweekly Payments

  • Diamond: U.S. Equity Advantage
  • Platinum: SMART Payment Plan
  • Gold: Economic Advantages Corp. (EAC)

More detail about this year’s awards will appear in a Special Awards Section in the July issue of Auto Dealer Today. The winners will be honored in a special ceremony in August at Industry Summit in Las Vegas.

For sponsorship opportunities, contact David Gesualdo via email hidden; JavaScript is required or at (727) 947-4027.

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Eric ‘Frenchy’ Mélon Plans Coaching Session for Agent Summit


LAS VEGAS — Organizers of the upcoming Agent Summit announced that Eric “Frenchy” Mélon, president of sales at IAS, will serve as a featured speaker at the event, which is scheduled for May 9–11, 2016, at the Venetian Palazzo Las Vegas.

“The importance of training is not lost on agents, but the means to that end often can be,” said David Gesualdo, show chair and publisher of Agent Entrepreneur and F&I and Showroom. “Frenchy has the experience, the tools and the mindset agents need to take their dealer development skills to the next level and beyond.”

Mélon’s session, “Coaching for Success in Money and Mind,” will begin at 2:45 p.m. on Tuesday, May 10. A veteran trainer and executive, Mélon has built a reputation for challenging the status quo and not pulling punches. He said his session will go beyond the typical training seminar to educate agents on fresh techniques to improve performance, increase employee engagement and solve the everyday challenges that either drive or hinder personal growth.

By focusing on the right habits to develop and their impact on every aspect of the dealership, Mélon added, he will outline how the power of disciplined process drives sales by drastically improving customer experience and equip attendees with new tools that are simple, easy-to-implement and get results.

“Personnel turnover is at critical levels for our industry. It’s vital that we stop the bleeding and solve this profound problem,” Mélon said. “As the customer of today changes, so do the people working in dealerships. To finally drag our industry into the 21st century, we’re going to have to evolve, and it all starts with developing our people.”

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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IAS Announces Internal Promotions to Senior Leadership


AUSTIN – IAS, a leading provider of F&I solutions to automobile dealerships, today announced a series of senior management changes designed to advance the adoption of the company’s complete F&I solution.

Frank Klaus has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer for the IAS Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and Dublin, Ohio offices. Mr. Klaus had previously served as President of VSC.

IAS also announced that Eric Mélon with take on the national role of President of Sales. Mr. Mélon, who has been with the company since 2004, most recently worked as Sr. Vice President of Dealer Development.

“Frank and Eric are seasoned and trusted leaders who consistently deliver results,” said Bob Corbin President, and Chief Executive Officer at IAS. “One of our greatest strengths is our management team and as a result, we are blessed with an outstanding talent pool that is ready for expanded executive responsibilities.”

Frank started his career in the automobile industry in 1980 selling vehicles at an Oklahoma dealership. In 1987 he expanded his experience by joining General Financial Systems, where he learned and honed his reinsurance expertise. Frank founded First Dealer Resources (FDR) in 1989 and due in large part to his leadership, FDR became one of the largest independent general agencies in the country prior to their acquisition by IAS in 2014.

“As IAS continues to transform from a pure product provider to a complete aftermarket solution, we must continue to operate at a high level to deliver innovative products and solutions that set our agents and dealers apart,” said Klaus. “I look forward to working with the leadership team in a new capacity to position IAS for continued success.”

Eric brings with him nearly three decades of experience in the automotive industry. Eric joined First Dealer Resources, now IAS, in 2004 to direct their sales training initiatives and grow dealer relations. Prior to joining FDR, Eric worked as a dealer development consultant for Stuker & Associates and before that enjoyed a successful career working in automotive retail, with extensive experience in sales, sales management, and upper management.

“I am thrilled to start the New Year with this exciting challenge – leading the sales organization for one of the most dynamic innovators in F&I,” said Mélon. “IAS’ strategy has never been more compelling and I am incredibly energized to lead this company to the next level.”

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IAS Names New Regional Sales Manager


AUSTIN – IAS, a leading provider of F&I solutions to automobile dealerships, today announced the addition of Sean Dawson as a Regional Sales Manager. In his role, Sean will work with the company’s nationwide network of General Agents to apply his strategic business knowledge and dealership experience to help them grow their business.

Prior to joining IAS, Sean sharpened his aftermarket experience at PermaPlate where he served as an Account Representative working with large dealer groups providing; F&I menu training, product training, sales demonstrations, product inventory and application certification. Prior to PermaPlate, Sean served as a Dealer Relations Manager for TD Auto Finance where he assisted dealers in the application, approval and funding of their consumer automotive loans.

Sean began his career in the automotive industry as an Internet Sales Manager for an AutoNation dealership in Denver, CO. After proving himself as a salesman, Sean was quickly promoted to F&I where he served the majority of his time with AutoNation.

Before entering the automotive industry, Sean earned his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Wyoming in Business Administration and has recently completed his MBA in Strategic Management from Regis University. Sean and his wife Jennifer reside in Georgetown, Texas where they enjoy spending time with their two daughters showing Quarter horses and experiencing everything central Texas has to offer.

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