Common platform for the aftermarket industry
The aftermarket F&I administrator market in the US is very fragmented today. There are many different administrators who sell various aftermarket products to auto dealers. Traditionally most of the aftermarket products were contracted at dealerships using multi-part forms that are inserted into the impact printer in the dealership. This process is very expensive for an administrator due to the cost and distribution of the forms, the data input that is required and the high error on certain forms, etc. Everyone thought there was a better way to process the business.
To solve these issues, many administrators developed their own websites where a dealer could input the data manually into the website and then print off a completed contract. Some administrators made large investments in developing their own web based contracting solution because they thought they could convert all of their dealers over paper form contracting to web based contracting. Some of the administrators have made progress in moving a portion of their business to web based contracting but in general have not achieved the results they had hoped. The biggest challenges in having dealers prepare contracts on a proprietary web site include:
• Most dealers do business with multiple administrators which require the dealer to go to multiple web sites and have multiple user names and passwords and many different processes.
• Most of the web based contracting proprietary web sites require duplicate data entry. Some of the administrator companies have developed integration into the dealer DMS but this is either costly, difficult, or both.
• Finally, the more difficult that you make the process the less likely the dealer is to use the new process. Many of the dealers who have access to an administrators web based contracting just simply do not use it and opt instead for the way they have always done business.
The following graphically represents the complexity of dealers using web based proprietary contracting with multiple administrators.
The result has been a number of the large administrators changing their strategy from driving the dealers to a proprietary web site and instead opting for driving dealers to web sites such as F&I Express that has the strategy of ultimately having multiple administrators on the site to provide the dealer “one place” to go for all of their aftermarket product contracting.
The following graphically represents the process:
If you are an administrator and you want to move to an electronic based contracting process, you need to ask yourself the following questions to ensure you have the right strategy:
• Will the process that I choose ultimately provide the dealer easy access to multiple administrators?
• Will the dealer be required to have redundant data entry for every aftermarket product they sell?
• Are the benefits to you as the administrator greater than the total costs of moving to e-contracting?
The calculation of total costs should include:
• Internal costs of your own web based contracting system or the costs from a third party.
• Data integration costs from the dealers DMS.
• Transaction costs for being a part of any common platform like F&I Express.
• Finally, is moving to e-contracting a project for you as an administrator or a strategy? If you are looking at e-contracting as an interesting project versus a strategic direction as a company, then you need to examine if it is the correct decision.
You should be able to quantify your benefits in the following areas:
F&I Express sole focus is the contracting and registration of aftermarket F&I products. We understand the dealer business, we understand the aftermarket administration business, and most importantly we work with administrator as a partner versus a technology vendor. F&I total success and revenue is based on the success of helping you as administrator in moving to the electronic processing of aftermarket products.
The F&I Express platform has the flexibility to work with administrators who have different needs and
different technology. The most common models are as follows:
Turn Key – This model is designed for an administrator who does not have their own web based proprietary e-contracting system. F&I Express provides a turnkey solution from preparing the contracts to giving the administrator access to the platform that will have multiple administrators on it.
F&I Express Light – This model recognizes administrators who either has their own web based contracting system or desires to have control of the e-contracting process as the administrator. Under this model F&I Express acts as the dealer interface and DMS integrator to send the data to the administrator after it has been validated. In return the administrator automatically prepares the contract and sends it back to F&I Express which provides it to the dealer.
Private Label – If you have the desire to provide your customer base an exclusive branded experience, F&I Express has the capability of providing Private label web sites for the contracting and registration of aftermarket products and services.