Tag Archive | "IAS"

Innovative Aftermarket Systems (IAS)

Jeff Jagoe, senior vice president of sales and marketing

Can you give me a bit of your company history? How did you become involved in the Tire & Wheel category?

Founded in 1984, IAS was created to provide practical aftermarket programs and high quality administration and claims. IAS helped define tire andwheel as an aftermarket product offering in 1998 because we anticipated the need and found the program to be such a relatable and tangible product that is easy to market. We saw explosive growth in our tire and wheel program about a decade ago, during the wide spread adoption of menu selling.

What makes your product different from others on the market? How do you differentiate it?

Our tire and wheel product is different because of the levels of coverage we offer to the dealer. We have tire and wheel programs that cover curbs, cosmetic alloy wheel coverage, chrome wheels, run flats, etc. The dealer can pick a program that covers curbs or does not cover curbs. The dealer can pick a program that repairs or replaces tires, or the dealer can pick a program that tires are only replaced. We strive to design programs where both the dealer and finance manager feel comfortable selling, and the service department feels comfortable in the value it’s offering dealership customers. In addition, to make the claims process easy and accessible for service departments, IAS offers credit card payments to our dealers.

What is your primary sales channel? How do you market to that channel?

IAS works with several large dealer groups to customize and private label several of our most popular programs, including tire and wheel, but our primary sales channel is through our top-notch team of general agents. We market to our general agents through one-on-one communication with our sales staff, at industry conferences, in training events and IAS sponsored workshops, and indirectly through automotive publications. In addition, we have a full time general agent recruiter.

How has technology impacted Tire & Wheel in the last year, if at all? Do you see it having an impact in the future? Why or why not?

eRating: As tire and wheel classification becomes more complicated, the need for electronic rating becomes more obvious. With six classes, as well as additional surcharges, it is no longer the case that a dealer has a single price for tire and wheel. Electronic rating eliminates all of the guesswork when it comes to pricing tire/wheel.

eContracting: Unlike a service contract where a claim is typically not filed for several years, a tire and wheel contract might have a claim event the same day it’s sold or a few days later. With a normal paper contract and remittance process, a tire and wheel administrator has no knowledge of the customer until the contract has been remitted, which may take 30-60 days. With an eContract, on the other hand, IAS receives the customer information in real time, so if there is a claim before the contract is remitted, our claims staff is able to process it without having to verify coverage with F&I.

Online claims: IAS received a huge number of phone calls and pays an equally large number of claims each month, and although our claims staff boasts the best answer times in the industry, there are some service departments that would rather process claims online. Plus, online claims can be filed 24/7 whereas phone based claims have limited hours.

Actuarial studies: IAS’ VIN decoding partner, Chrome Data, is able to extract a large amount of data about the tires and wheels installed on a vehicle, and the IAS data analysis team has been using this data to better predict tire and wheel losses. Rather than utilize just historical claims data, which most often does not include the most recent model years, our analysis team can study VIN based data to predict claims costs based on things like a tire’s aspect ratio (low profile or not), the existing of chrome wheels on a vehicle, and average tire radius. This “crystal ball” analysis helps IAS price tire/wheel in the most fair and appropriate manner.

In your opinion, where is the greatest growth potential for the Tire & Wheel category?

IAS is continually seeking ways to improve our product offering, and over the last five to ten years, we have made cosmetic, curb and class modifications to our tire and wheel product. We implemented cosmetic and curb changes so that we could offer dealers and customers an upgraded or advanced version of tire and wheel. Given the number of cars, trucks and SUVs that are equipped with upgraded wheels on the market today, IAS sees cosmetic coverage on alloy wheels to have the greatest growth potential in the coming year.

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IAS Unveils F&I Program for Negative Equity Protection

Austin, Texas – IAS’ Trade Assurance Plus (TAP) will be ready for dealership implementation on November 1, 2012. The company recently concluded a multi-city national tour to train its general agent base on the benefits of the program. Trade Assurance Plus protects consumers against negative equity when they trade in their vehicle. The program offers up to $5,000 of negative equity protection on most vehicles up to $50,000 MSRP. Other restrictions may apply, depending on the contract, including loan term.

“The one constant in the car business is change. This makes Trade Assurance Plus an absolute home run for our agents and dealers since it shortens the trade cycle, reduces or eliminates negative equity at time of trade and encourages the consumer to return to the original selling dealers or dealer group,” said Bob Corbin, president and CEO of IAS. “Plus, the program enables IAS agents to penetrate dealership doors that they otherwise may not have been able to open and provide those dealerships a solid finance product to either add to the menu or give away at time of sale.”

Other benefits of the program include a solid retention program for dealerships. TAP customers receive their negative equity protection only when purchasing another vehicle at the issuing dealer. The consumer enjoys the flexibility of choosing any make and model, new or used, as long as it is from the issuing dealership. An additional key element to the effectiveness of the program is the customized Retention Contact Campaign that allows dealers to target customers with customized communications every six months throughout the lifecycle of the TAP program via email or text. This high level engagement is a built-in component of the Trade Assurance Plus program and available to dealers at no additional charge.

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IAS Unveils New Mobile Menu Extension

Austin, Texas – IAS, a leading provider of F&I aftermarket programs to automobile dealerships, revealed its mobile menu extension to their SmartMenu software. The company is providing hands-on demonstrations of SmartMenu Interactive as well as their other mobile application, SmartPad, and the complete SmartDealerProducts software suite at the F&I Industry Summit which began today in Las Vegas, at The Paris Hotel in booth #401.

The SmartMenu Interactive solution has two separate interfaces – a Web-based system used by the F&I manager to configure the menu, and a tablet-based system which enhances the customer experience. First, the F&I manager builds a customer specific menu and then sends it to the tablet for the customer to review. This allows the buyer to enjoy an interactive tablet experience complete with product brochures, videos and evidence manuals.

“There has been a lot of useful debate around mobile menus and their effectiveness. When we set out to design SmartMenu Interactive, we didn’t just want to put a paper menu on a tablet. What we’ve designed gives F&I managers a more powerful and streamlined way of presenting the menu to the customer,” said Matt Nowicki, vice president of retail software at IAS. “With a paper menu it is difficult or impossible for an F&I manager to focus the customers attention on individual products and their benefits before the customer sees the monthly payments and develops resistance. Now, an F&I manager can control the process from start to finish and focus all of the energy on product before price.”

SmartMenu Interactive works on all major tablet devices including Google Android and Apple iPad devices, and also supports traditional desktop PCs. Dealers utilizing SmartMenu can continue to generate paper based menus but now have the option to generate interactive menus at no additional cost.

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IAS to Sponsor F & Idol at Industry Summit

Austin, Texas – IAS announced that two of its executives will participate on separate panel discussions at the F&I Industry Summit on Sept. 10 – 12, 2012 at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas. IAS also plans to provide hands-on demonstrations of the complete SmartDealerProducts software suite including the brand new tablet-based interactive menu during the event in booth #401.

IAS’ sponsorship of the F&I talent contest F & Idol is powered by SmartEye, the company’s transaction-based video and audio recording system. F & Idol recognizes the best F&I product presentations in several popular categories including Vehicle Service Contracts, GAP, Tire & Wheel and Key Replacement at the Industry Summit. IAS executives will be on site to hand over $1,000 cash prizes to each of the finalists along with the overall winner who will receive the F & Idol trophy and an additional $2,500 cash prize.

“The F & Idol contest at the upcoming F&I Industry Summit is an ideal way to demonstrate how versatile and effective our SmartEye software can be for dealerships,” said Bob Corbin, president and CEO of IAS. “Whether dealers are looking to implement a check and balance system for a legality issue or those interested in increasing CSI and profits or those looking for a great training tool, Smart Eye has it all.”

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LoJack and IAS Announce Agreement

CANTON – LoJack Corporation announced that it has reached an agreement with IAS (Innovative Aftermarket Systems), a provider of F&I aftermarket programs to automotive dealerships, in which IAS will sell and promote a variety of LoJack products to authorized dealerships throughout the IAS general agent base. IAS joins a growing list of Third Party F&I Aftermarket Program Providers now working with LoJack.

“Today, dealer demand for more profitable, value-added back-end products is increasing,” said Randy L. Ortiz, LoJack CEO and President. “With that in mind, we are very excited to work with IAS to extend our reach into even more dealerships. IAS’s world-class agent base combining their offerings with our trusted brand-name products will provide dealers with the most robust F&I products available.”

IAS general agents will now market LoJack Stolen Vehicle Recovery Systems plus Early Warning along with a variety of warranty offerings. In addition, IAS agents will offer two of their own IAS reinsured products in conjunction with a LoJack System.

LoJack will provide training for IAS general agents and their agency representatives on the various LoJack offerings and potential dealership presentations.

“We believe that working with a trusted brand such as LoJack is a win-win for everyone,” said Bob Corbin, IAS CEO and President. “Our agent base, LoJack and dealers can sell proven products that help increase profitability. And even more important, more consumers have the opportunity to protect their vehicles—and their pocketbooks—from vehicle theft.”

As the auto industry continues to recover and consumer demand for new vehicles rises, LoJack’s use of Third Party F&I Aftermarket Program Providers has become an increasing focus for the company. Being able to reach more dealerships through these providers that are offering an attractive product suite is fast proving itself an essential part of LoJack’s sales strategy.

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IAS Announces Software Solution That Offers F&I for the Internet Buyer

AUSTIN – IAS announced that it will release an email based F&I presentation program called SmartOffer, the latest addition to the SmartDealerProducts F&I software suite. SmartOffer helps dealers present and sell product to Internet based customers who are typically excluded from the normal F&I process. Demonstrations of the product will be available this week at Agent Entrepreneur’s Agent Summit at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Based on the SmartPad tablet software, SmartOffer collects and presents information to customers remotely. SmartOffer sequences are customized for every dealership to ensure that dealer needs are met. Dealers can choose to include CSI survey and F&I interview questions as well as multimedia product presentations, sales tools, and even package based menus.

With SmartOffer, interactive F&I presentations are personalized and then emailed to remote buyers prior to vehicle delivery. Customers then view the information before visiting the dealership to take delivery of their vehicle. Dealers may optionally choose to employ a live interactive session between the F&I manager and the customer to review a menu and other sales tools before the customer sets foot in the dealership.

“Few innovations have impacted F&I like the advent of the menu. As we turn a new page in the industry we have a different kind of customer that is technically savvy and armed with knowledge about the vehicle they are buying, but are physically removed from the F&I process and are therefore excluded from the normal product presentation process,” said Matt Nowicki, vice president of retail software for IAS.

“Being able to educate the consumer on the benefits of value-added products and utilize menu selling for this new breed of customer, I believe, is the future of F&I.”

In addition to presenting F&I products to Internet customers, SmartOffer can be used before or after service appointments to sell F&I products to service customers. With many times more customers visiting service than F&I, the service drive represents a large potential for warranty sales.

“With online auto sales continuing to climb, more and more dealerships employ Internet sales reps and online marketers than ever before. Still, dealerships have struggled to find a way to sell aftermarket to the true Internet customer,” said Bob Corbin, president and CEO of IAS.

“SmartOffer delivers a real solution for Internet buyers and does it in a way that is both engaging and familiar. In addition, it reveals a potentially untapped revenue generator for the dealership – a win-win for both the consumer and dealership.”

SmartOffer is currently concluding testing in several dealerships nationwide and is available immediately.

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