Tag Archive | "Sales"

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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Mechanical Breakdown Protection, Inc. Partners with Provider Exchange Network

LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. – Mechanical Breakdown Protection, Inc. (MBPI), a top rated administrator, is pleased to announce a partnership with Provider Exchange Network (PEN). This innovative technology cuts costs, increases efficiency, and adds a new element of customer satisfaction. This partnership will help the F&I office increase sales penetration and improve dealer and customer satisfaction by decreasing customer delivery time.

PEN is an electronic data exchange that streamlines the sales process by integrating the F&I product provider with the dealer’s point-of-sale system, whether through a menu or directly with the dealership management system (DMS) desking software. This unique integration approach eliminates the need for separate applications to enable eContracting for aftermarket products. Functions include electronic ratings, forms preparation and contract origination.

“MBPI’s new partnership with PEN will allow dealerships a new and effective way to offer our wide range of F&I products to the consumer. It will also eliminate the need for double entry, which makes life easier for F&I Managers.” – Barry Kindler, MBPI National Sales Manager

To learn more about MBPI, visit the website at mbpnetwork.com.

To learn more about PEN, visit the website at www.providerexchangenetwork.com.

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AGWS Announces New Member of Sales Team

WARRENVILLE, Ill. – American Guardian Warranty Services, Inc. (AGWS) is proud to announce a new member of our sales team in the central Atlantic states.

Zachary Hughes becomes the newest part of American Guardian’s field team as AVP of Sales for the Central Atlantic States. His area includes Ohio, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Virginia. He will also be involved with AGWSU, American Guardian’s home office and training school and also training at individual dealerships.

Senior Vice-President Jon A. Anderson had this to say about Zachary: “We’ve had the opportunity to work with Zach in the past, and have found him to be a great resource to the dealer and a great partner for American Guardian. We are excited about the opportunity of Zach and AGWS working together.”

Zachary comes to American Guardian with extensive experience in the retail automotive business, and most recently with Capital Automotive. Zach possesses a great sense of what challenges affect a business owner, and a great ability to help the dealership grow profitability.

For further information about American Guardian contact Senior Vice-President, Jon A Anderson at 1-800-579-2233 x 4123.

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GWC Warranty Appoints Strategic Brand Manager

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – GWC Warranty, the best-in-class provider of used vehicle service contracts and related finance and insurance products sold through automotive dealers, announced the addition of Therese Pramick as its new Strategic Brand Manager.

As a member of the Marketing Department, Pramick will be responsible for developing strategies that increase GWC’s brand awareness and value among new and existing GWC partners in an effort to help them sell more cars and make more money.

Pramick brings to this role more than a decade of experience in marketing and marketing communications. Most recently, she spent nine years as a Marketing and Public Relations Specialist with Pennsylvania’s Geisinger Health System, overseeing the planning and execution of marketing activities for numerous health services.

Having graduated Magna cum Laude from the University of Memphis in 2003, Pramick was also named to the Northeast Pennsylvania Business Journal’s Top 20 Under 40 in 2009.

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Did We Get It Right?

Let’s just jump right into this subject of technology. We can have discussions from here to eternity about new solutions that provide real-time reports covering everything from product production to F&I performance and other items in between, but at the forefront of what is most important and being used by the retail industry daily is of course some type of “menu”. There are so many different products available to F&I today that delivering an effective and consistent presentation to the retail customer is not realistic without a menu. But the paper menu appears to have had its day, and the tablet-based F&I presentation is gaining steam — much to the chagrin, it is assumed, of older car buyers.

Let’s discuss the reasoning behind these developments and why process will always be more important than the customer’s age.

Equal Opportunity Sales

There are many reputable menu providers, all of whom say they have the best product for today’s consumer. Additionally, many offer some type of menu usage report functionality, and some even offer F&I production information. The big elephant in the room is a question no one asks of you, the providers. Let’s hold that thought for a moment but I promise we’ll get to what I think is that “real” question that needs to be asked.

Let’s step back for a moment and look at the market. Today’s market is composed of many different “generations” of buyers. Arguably that has always been the case, but not during the technology boom we have seen in the last decade. We can start from the baby boomers and earlier all the way through the Millennials, with Generation X in between and Generation Y just now making their presence felt.

As buying power shifts from generation to generation, technology is developing and improving at an astounding rate. While we strive to make technology based product enhancements targeting the “current” generation, we chance leaving other generations out of the mix, so to speak. Do we ever ask ourselves if what we are developing will be well received by members of other generations that still make automobile purchases every day?

That brings us back to the “elephant in the room” question: How do you know you got it right?

Amazingly, the automobile industry still fails to do some of the most fundamental research into what the consumer does or doesn’t like or want. An example would be recently at the 2016 Agent Summit in Las Vegas, I asked a simple question of the esteemed technology panel; “has anyone ever held a focus group of consumers comprised of different generations, demonstrating what menu proposals were available and getting the invaluable consumer feedback that should drive the product?”

The panel looked like a herd of deer in the proverbial headlights. One panelist answered by saying his product is driven by the great results being realized by his dealer clients. Somewhat acceptable, but is that really the reason for any positive change in results? ’Did we have a change of F&I manager(s) that are now, but previously weren’t, fully utilizing the product’s capability? Did the dealer or general manager finally put their foot down and tell the finance department that their numbers were unacceptable, and based on the menu usage report functionality, told they either start using the tools available, get the numbers up or be replaced?

Do we fail the customer by continuing to make changes to a product as important as a menu based not on their feedback or input but on what we think the customer would like to see. I liken it to being self-employed: With no external pushback, we become legends in our own minds. Let’s face it, 20 Groups were developed not just to share some dinner, drinks and good laughs, but to share best practices. They allow dealers to get out of their comfort zones and get feedback and challenges from peers.

With that in mind, let’s discuss how each of today’s in-market generations respond to technology in the F&I office:

  • Baby Boomers: Born between 1946 and 1964, Baby Boomers represent about a third of the population, but they outspend younger adults by about $1 trillion. Boomers are not going quietly into the sunset. Additionally, study after study proves that, contrary to many public and media perceptions, Baby Boomers have a real interest in the continuing adoption of technology.

Michael Rogers, an author, futurist, consultant and former vice president of The Washington Post’s media division, led a series of focus group discussions. He concluded that Boomers will be a driving force behind the use of information technology in the next decade, particularly in the healthcare industry, one of the largest in our society. He commented further, that Boomers don’t want technology products that are complicated and cluttered with excessive features.

  • Generation X and Millennials: According to Forrester Research, Gen Xers mainly use technology for convenience purposes, such as online banking and shopping. Technology has yet to become central to their social lives, and this will likely remain the case.

Millennials, however, view technology as a critical part of their life and work. They are constantly “on” and connected. They tend to embrace new technologies for socializing and working, and they adapt quickly.

The Industry’s Next Move

More and more menu providers are now working diligently on developing a tablet version of what has typically been a desktop-only product. That leads to questions, the most important of which is; will there be “two-way” DMS integration.

Let’s be honest: It’s a challenge to get F&I pros to enter the data correctly the first time, let alone the second and third times. The need to re-enter some deal information when additional F&I products are sold highlights the importance of two-way DMS integration from any menu. It is often said that they don’t have time to do it right, but they do have time to do it over and over again.

The introduction of the tablet brings additional questions. How interactive should it be? Is the screen size too small? Do we still need the F&I manager, or do we let the tablet do the presentation? Do we hand it to the customer prior to their meeting with their F&I manager?

Every provider has a different spin on why there should or shouldn’t be some type of tablet presentation available. Some even argue that providers who are against the use of this tool are against it only because they have not yet developed a tablet solution of their own. It’s an interesting perspective and possibly true in some cases.

Some might say we need tablets to engage Millennials, who are comfortable with handheld devices. Others will say tablets scare Baby Boomers away. Still others will say the tablet robs F&I pros of the ability to customize the presentation.

I believe the answer is a lot simpler than we think. For decades, our industry has struggled to find the right solution to many issues that didn’t exist as recently as the early ’90s. There was a time when discussing the business model of selling vehicles through the Internet did nothing but get you thrown out of the dealer’s office.

Ask any dealer today how much income they would lose if they shut down their website. We can no longer dismiss new technology by saying, “This is the car business. We don’t do that.” Bull! By refusing to adapt, we become our own worst enemies. Basically, that comment says the courage to move through uncharted territory has no place in the industry. Really? We are smarter than that, and we can do much better.

It’s time to shelve our egos and stop pretending we know it all. Let’s dare to do something that this industry seems to never or at best rarely do: Ask the consumer! Imagine what would happen if we developed products and processes based on what the consumer is actually looking for, not what we think they are looking for.

To all the reputable providers out there, I say let’s finally start organizing some legitimate, credible consumer focus groups that will help us develop products and processes that will drive higher CSI scores and contribute to a process that leaves the dealer and the customer happy and satisfied.

For the purposes of this particular article, I lay out this challenge to all the outstanding menu providers: Imagine being first to market with a product that you can tell a dealer client was vetted by several consumer focus groups and developed accordingly. What a concept!

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KAR Subsidiary Names VP of Sales and Marketing

Preferred Warranties Inc. (PWI), a business unit of KAR Auction Services Inc., today announced the appointment of Ryan Warzynski as vice president of sales and marketing. In his new role, Warzynski will direct all sales, marketing and training department, while providing strategy for all sales and marketing campaigns nationwide, the company stated.

Warzynski first joined the KAR group of companies in 2005 as a dealer sales representative with ADESA. After 11 years and numerous promotions, he was named executive director of dealer relations with the company before moving to Preferred Warranties.

“Ryan’s talent and experience in building relationships and leading sales teams will be great assets to our company,” said Brian Cosgrove, president of PWI. “His background with ADESA gives him a unique perspective — a familiarity with the industry and the company yet a fresh view on what’s possible in our business.”

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