Tag Archive | "IAS"

IAS Announces Integration Between Autosoft DMS and SmartDealerProducts Software Suite

Austin, Texas – IAS, a leading provider of F&I solutions to automobile dealerships, announced the completion of a certification process by Autosoft, giving SmartDealerProducts dealers the ability to integrate with the Autosoft DMS in real time, without the need for a hostile interface to the dealer’s system. The addition of integration with Autosoft gives the SmartDealerProducts suite the most comprehensive DMS partner list in the industry.

“Several years ago we decided that it only makes sense to integrate with a DMS where we can have a direct relationship with the DMS provider,” said Matt Nowicki, vice president of retail software for IAS. “When a dealer that utilizes the Autosoft DMS wants to establish real-time integration with SmartMenu and/or SmartP.R.U., we can have the dealer up and running almost immediately thanks to our certified approach.”

“By utilizing sanctioned and certified DMS integration, dealers can expect a reliable and secure connection to data in the DMS,” said Christopher Morris, senior vice president of business development at Autosoft. “A certified interface prevents duplicate data entry and ensures consistency in F&I without comprising the customer experience.”

SmartMenu is a fully web-based menu application, meaning there is no special software for a dealer to install. F&I managers see a real time “what you see is what you get” menu preview, showing each package payment as well as base payments and final menu previews. F&I managers can utilize advanced functionality such as payment rolling, dynamic sales tools, and electronic rating and contracting of warranty products from many of the largest F&I product providers.

SmartP.R.U. is a web-based F&I reporting tool that gives dealers real-time access to critical F&I metrics through a variety of reports. Reports include sorting, filtering, and drill down capabilities and can be scheduled for email delivery.

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IAS Lends Executive Support to The Industry Summit

Austin, Texas – IAS, a leading provider of F&I solutions to automobile dealerships, today announced that two of its executives will participate in the Industry Summit on September 8-10, 2014 at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Eric “Frenchy” Mélon is slated to take on the responsibility as emcee for the F&I track of the event. He will emcee six separate sessions on Tuesday, September 9 and Wednesday, September 10. Mr. Mélon enjoyed a successful career in automotive sales and management before embarking on a career in training that has spanned four decades. Prior to joining IAS, Mr. Mélon served as a dealer development consultant at Stuker & Associates, where he trained managers and staff in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Australia.

Matt Nowicki, IAS’ vice president of retail software, will participate on a F&I panel discussion titled “Compliance: Separating Fact from Myth” scheduled for Wednesday, September 10 from 10:05 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. The panel discussion, moderated by finance director for Langdale Ford Co., Marv Eleazer, will bring together some of the top compliance experts in the industry who will delve into common compliance issues, as well as break down word-tracks and objection-handling techniques that could be viewed by regulators and court juries as deceptive acts and practices.

IAS is also the exclusive sponsor of F&I and Showroom magazine’s talent contest F&Idol. IAS will recognize the 2014 F&Idol category winners during a special ceremony on Tuesday, September 9, at 4:30 p.m. where Mr. Mélon will present the finalists with their $1,000 cash prize for winning their category. From there, the second phase of the contest will be launched with the five category winners vying for the $2,500 grand prize. The winner will be chosen by the readers of the magazine and profiled in the November 2014 issue of F&I and Showroom magazine.

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Keith Cooper Appointed as Senior Vice President of Sales at Innovative Aftermarket Solutions (IAS)

Austin, Texas – IAS, a leading provider of F&I solutions to automobile dealerships, today announced Keith Cooper has joined the company as senior vice president of sales, effective August 11. Mr. Cooper succeeds longtime IAS executive Jeff Jagoe who has been with the company since 1995. Mr. Jagoe will assume the newly created role of senior vice president of agent development where he will further develop IAS agent relations and the targeted acquisition of IAS products within existing IAS agencies.

Keith is a seasoned automotive industry executive with nearly three decades of experience. Most recently he held the post of executive vice president/general manager at Genesis Marketing Group, a nationwide digital marketing and lead-generation company. Prior to that he was the director of national sales at Gulf Sates Financial Services (GSFS Group) where he was responsible for expanding the general agent network and implementing effective sales strategies. Prior to his work with the GSFS Group, Keith was president and COO of Tri-PAC, president of WalkawayUSA and senior vice president at Enterprise Financial Group, Inc. (EFG Companies).

“Keith is a strategic sales leader with a proven track record of successfully delivering growth and building teams across a diverse group of products and markets which perfectly positions him to make an immediate impact on behalf of our agents and our sales team,” said Chris Kerby, president of sales at IAS. “The end-to-end F&I solution that IAS has put together over the past year, coupled with Keith’s leadership, passion and industry knowledge will be a winning combination for years to come.”

Mr. Cooper also has retail experience as an F&I sales producer and director of F&I Operations at various public and privately-held dealerships throughout the south and southwest.

“IAS has a very impressive portfolio of products, services and cutting-edge technology, not to mention great people to assist agents and dealers so as to navigate thru today’s challenging and complex automotive landscape”, said Keith Cooper, senior vice president of sales. “I’m so excited to be a part of the IAS team and look forward to bringing these solutions to the market via our agent partners and their dealer clients”.

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F&I and Showroom Launches 2014 F&Idol Contest

TORRANCE, Calif. — F&I and Showroom is now accepting entries for the IAS-sponsored F&Idol video contest. The deadline to submit is Aug. 20.

This year’s contest will be broken up into two parts, with the second phase launching at Industry Summit 2014, scheduled for Sept. 8-10 at the Paris Las Vegas. Categories and contest rules remain unchanged from last year’s competition.

“This year, we’ll be recognizing the five category winners at Industry Summit, but we will not be announcing the overall winner,” said David Gesualdo, publisher of F&I and Showroom magazine. “Instead, we’re asking category winners to reshoot their winning entries at Industry Summit. We’ll then post those videos online for readers of the magazine to vote on the overall winner. That individual will be announced in the magazine’s November issue.”

As in past years, participants will be asked to submit five-minute videos showing them working with a customer in a staged transaction. The videos, which can be recorded using an iPhone, Android phone, webcam or any other video-recording device, must also show contestants handling at least two objections. Only one video can be submitted for each F&I product category, and contestants must be able to attend this year’s Industry Summit.

This year’s categories include F&I Products for Leasing, Vehicle Service Contract, Tire and Wheel, Key Replacement and an open category. The latter allows participants to submit a video of them selling a product of their choosing.

An internal panel of judges will begin reviewing the videos later this month. Points will be awarded for transition statement and overall flow; customer rapport and engagement; product disclosure; product knowledge, personal stories and testimonials; and objection handling.

Category winners will be announced prior to Industry Summit and recognized during a special ceremony on Tuesday, Sept. 9, at 4:30 p.m. They will also receive their $1,000 cash prize for winning their category, as well as airfare and a two-night state at the Paris Las Vegas.

The magazine will then launch the second phase of the contest, which will have the five category winners vying for the $2,500 grand prize. The winner will be announced and profiled in the November 2014 issue of F&I and Showroom magazine.

To upload a video or to read contest rules, go to www.fandidol.com.

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Welcome to Agent Summit 2014

Once again, Agent Summit 2014 – the fourth year the conference has been held – is breaking records. There are more days, with more sessions, for agents to grow and expand their knowledge base. There are more sponsors and providers who will be in the exhibition hall, ready to talk about their companies and products in the most relaxed atmosphere agents will find anywhere in the country. And there are more attendees. More agents than ever have seen the value in this conference, which is a credit to the advisory board, which, every year, takes the feedback from attendees and works hard to improve every facet of the show.

The advisory board was led again this year by Randy Crisorio, president and CEO, United Development Systems, and included Jimmy Atkinson, COO, AUL Corp.; Joel Kansanback, president, ADG; John Luckett, senior vice president, The Warranty Group; John Peterson, president, The Oak Group; Jim Schaffer, vice president, Northeast Dealer Services; and Matt Nowicki, vice president, IAS.

The board, Crisorio noted, has done a great deal of work putting together an agenda that is full of invaluable content to help agents be more productive and land more profitable deals in 2014.

The first two sessions, on Monday afternoon, will focus on technology and training, with two strong panel lineups packed with industry heavyweights. The technology panel, led by Johnny Garlich, president, Heart Dealer Financial Services, will take a closer look at the changing landscape of technology impacting the F&I office, with the goal of helping agents make sense of the rapidly-changing “E” landscape – eRating, eContracting and eSignatures are just the beginning. And the second panel of the convention, led by Lyle King, partner, Auto Services Group, will focus on training. Should agents go with an in-person or online program? How often should training occur? What areas should you be targeting? These are a few of the questions our expert panel will address.

“Certainly you expect to hear about the latest industry technology to keep you at the head of the pack – and you will hear it all,” said Crisorio. “And there will be real training for growth that will give you a jump start lining your pockets this year. Growth that stems from training the right people, with the correct frequency and by what means. There are a lot of training mediums to be had today.”

On Tuesday, the show will turn its attention to helping agents get ahead in their business. Steve Richard, co-founder and chief content officer, Vorsight, will focus on getting dealer appointments – and will be making live sales calls during the session, so come prepared with a few prospects you would like to secure appointments with, and be ready to learn his tips and tricks.

Tom O’Neil, founder, O’Neil Financial Services Agency Inc., will then be examining Captive Coercion – he will review the growing practice of lenders tying products into their loan approvals, and give solid advice on what agents can do to defend their business.

After lunch, Steve Burke, CEO, Portfolio, will take a closer look at how agents can use reinsurance programs to build their enterprise. He will analyze how these programs should be structured to minimize taxes and maximize profits – this is a session no agent can afford to miss.

Brian Casey, partner, Locke Lord LLC, will follow Burke with a presentation on the State of Compliance. He will not only review what the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is doing, but will cover all of the regulations on the horizon – and what agents should be doing about them.

Finally, Eric Winegardner, vice president of client adoption, Monster Worldwide, will address something no agent or agency can afford to ignore: recruiting. He will give agents the details on how to identify quality people, how to convince them to join your organization, and why it is so important that every agent is constantly on the lookout for the right people.

“Three sessions are dedicated to solving general agent problems we face every day: namely, getting in front of a dealer, recruiting quality people both for you and your dealers and dealing with the competitive pressure of factory F&I products,” said Crisorio. “Please look these people up on the agenda & Google their names: Steve Richard of Vorsight and Eric Winegardner of Monster.com. Plus, fellow agent Tom O’Neil will deliver an exciting workshop on Captive Coercion. Tom has a ton of experience countering factory pressure and will share what it takes to successfully defend your business interests. Also, don’t miss enterprise building through reinsurance by industry executive Steve Burke. And given the current state of regulators, namely the mysterious CFPB, you’ve got to hear what attorney Brian Casey has to say.”

A Third Day of Content
This year, Agent Summit has added another day onto the agenda, designed exclusively for agency principals. These three sessions will be dedicated to running the business of the agency.

The first exclusive session will focus on where to take the agency next – which product categories are surging? What challenges can the agency turn to its advantage? What industry trends should every agency be looking to capitalize on right now? John Braganini, principal, Great Lakes Companies, will lead a powerful panel that will look to answer these questions and more.

“Challenges are aplenty with so many F&I protection products looking for real estate on our menus, but opportunities are around every corner,” said Crisorio. “Leasing is surging, quality used car operations are barely tapped, environmental protection continues to play an important role, customer retention is key for every dealer and merchandising products like power train warranties seem to be present in every city. I guarantee you’ll find money in this session.”

The second agency-principal-only session will feature James Duggan, principal, Duggan Bertsch LLC, reprising his popular session from last year on Taming the Estate Planning Beast. He will go into greater detail on everything agency principals need to be thinking about when it comes to the next generation – who will take over the business? Is the estate secure? What can you do to minimize the tax burden on survivors? These are all important questions that every agent-entrepreneur should be thinking about.

The final session of the day will be a panel moderated by Mike Conley, CEO, Conley Insurance Group. It will feature two providers and two agents – and will explore what each side is looking for when it comes to creating the perfect partnership. “Two providers will walk the plank with two general agents in a segment called ‘Model Partnerships’,” said Crisorio. “And it is what it says. Providers will describe their model agency operator, and agents will describe their model provider. Can we find partnership here is the question? We definitely want – and expect to hear from – the attending agent body on this one.”

All throughout the agency principals’ day, there will also be exclusive giveaways, sponsored by ECP. “All in all principals-only should prove to be a terrific exchange of important information, and ECP has seen fit to put the frosting on the cake,” said Crisorio. “At the conclusion of each segment, ECP will give away a timepiece. I think I’ve heard the theme being called ECP – entire car protection all the time. Thus they’ve dropped the cash on three nice awards: a Luminox travel alarm clock, Tissot sea-touch dive watch and Rolex Datejust II.”

There will be something for every agent, at every level, at this year’s show. We are excited to bring you such a powerful group of speakers and topics, and we want to hear from you – after the show, let us know what you liked, what you didn’t like, and what you would like to see next year. Welcome to Las Vegas, and we’re glad you could join us for Agent Summit 2014!

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IAS and First Dealer Resources Join Forces

Austin, Texas – IAS, a provider of F&I programs and technology to general agents and dealerships nationwide, announced a merger with First Dealer Resources (FDR) and its group of companies, which includes American Colonial Administration LLC, the Millennium Automotive Protection brands, and their automotive training institute (ICTI). Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

FDR’s automotive management consulting experts, line of vehicle service contract programs and university-level dealership training will round out IAS’ portfolio.

“For thirty years IAS has excelled at developing and administering ancillary products. And, if you know anything about FDR, you realize why its one of the most successful automotive management consulting firms of its kind in the industry. So the highly complementary and compelling acquisition of FDR decisively accelerates our vision of creating a single, dominant F&I company,” said Bob Corbin, CEO, IAS. “Providing our rapidly expanding network with a more robust portfolio of business and profit building resources, now complete with an industry leading VSC and cutting edge training is sure to open many doors for our agents and create new found profit centers for our dealers.”

As a result of this partnership, IAS enters the vehicle service contract market via acquisition with a full spectrum of products and a team already in place. Notable additions to the IAS executive team include Frank Klaus, former founder and CEO of FDR, who will now serve as president of VSC for IAS. Chris Kerby, former president and COO of FDR, will now serve as president of Sales, Marketing and Training for IAS; and Brad Hunter, president of American Colonial Administration, will continue in the same capacity. The FDR executive team, along with current employees, will continue to operate out of its existing facilities headquartered in Oklahoma City, Ok., and Dublin, Ohio providing the same level of personalized service their clients have become accustomed to.

“This is an excellent fit with extraordinary upside potential. By combining our strengths we ultimately create a preeminent market force with a significant competitive advantage, day one,” said Kerby. “An important consideration that makes this coalition work really well is the deep seeded trust and respect our teams already had for one another based on our long standing relationship that spans more than two decades. Most importantly, we’ll now have experts for each facet of the business and best of class offerings in each segment; and those resources will be accessible to our clients, agents and dealers.”

“This marks the beginning of an exciting time as the FDR products, services and personnel become a part of something even bigger and have the opportunity to create something even greater,” said Klaus. “Our demonstrated track record of success with F&I management, vehicle service contracts and world-class training coupled with our team of experienced employees perfectly plays into the IAS strategy.”

Agents and dealers who are interested in learning more about the new IAS product portfolio are invited to visit IAS at the Agent Summit at Caesar’s Hotel Las Vegas March 10-12, 2014 at booth #2 or in their private suite – Octavius 7.

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