Dealertrack enhances F&I solutions & DMS to meet digital demands
The two primary segments of Dealertrack’s tools for dealerships and finance companies — F&I solutions and DMS — are each being upgraded to adapt to consumers’ accelerated shift toward digital purchasing as well as achieve higher efficiency and productivity in today’s digital-first environment.
Beginning with Dealertrack F&I, the company announced new digital workflow and contracting solutions for dealerships and finance companies in an effort to provide crucial e-solutions that expand opportunities to connect and contract digitally via an even more streamlined financing process.
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Dealertrack pointed out in a news release that preferences for online engagement and interactions continue to increase, underscoring the importance of digital integration. In fact, the 2020 Cox Automotive COVID-19 Consumer and Dealer Impact Study found an overwhelming 85% of dealerships are going beyond conducting business in their physical location, indicating that the option to conduct business digitally from anywhere is an essential element of future-proofing any dealership’s 2021 business strategy.
“Following the sea change brought about by circumstances in 2020, dealerships are moving fast to adapt to a virtual workforce, which requires the right technology partners and platforms to provide a digital workflow for all,” said Cheryl Miller, vice president of operations for Dealertrack F&I Solutions.
“At Dealertrack, we’re working on providing a fast-track solution to digitally connect more car dealers with more lenders through a streamlined financing process, enabling an efficient and flexible workflow that drives faster funding and improves cash flow — even when in-store visits are no longer the only option for customers,” Miller continued.
With more dealerships and finance companies embracing digital workflow, the company said client adoption of Digital Contracting Ready Sign functionality grew approximately 135% based on Dealertrack data from July to December.
Dealertrack added that the number of deals signed with Ready Sign has seen an estimated 173% increase and the number of eSign documents created using Ready Sign grew up to 233% over the same time period.
Dealertrack said it will continue to fulfill its promise to provide dealerships and finance companies with solutions that work more collaboratively in a digital world such as:
Digital Contracting Choice
Dealertrack Digital Contracting Choice can extend a dealership’s functionality to submit contracts digitally to non-integrated (paper) finance companies, eliminating errors and additional steps in the submission process. With this solution, finance companies currently outside the scope of full digital contracting now can appear digital to their dealers, enabling the convenience of a digital workflow to more lenders of a dealer’s choice.
Seamless DMS Integration
Further increasing efficiencies, Dealertrack Digital Contracting can offer seamless integration to an increasing number of DMS providers while allowing dealers to map workflow and reduce deal data entry. This seamless integration, now available on the Auto/Mate and DealerBuilt DMS platforms as well as on Dealertrack DMS and others, contributes to dealership staff being able to conduct more essential areas of business digitally, which is a necessity for the future.
For users of both Dealertrack DMS and Dealertrack uniFI, the company highlighted the level of harmony goes one step by allowing for remote signing of all required documents in a single signing ceremony — adding another dimension of convenience for both consumers and sales staff.
Dealertrack Ready Sign
This tool can enable dealership staff and customers to eSign documents through a single signing ceremony either in-store or remote and submit any deal document digitally as permitted by their state. Dealertrack mentioned this new technology not only currently facilitates dealership staff’s adherence to social distancing protocols but can be useful beyond the pandemic to allow the consumer digital flexibility during their vehicle-buying journey.
Dealertrack acknowledged that every year brings new changes to the compliance landscape, requiring a dealership to safeguard against fraud, fines and audits with integrated compliance checkpoints throughout the deal.
The company said dealerships can protect profits and ensure mishaps are mitigated through real-time updates and checkpoints along each step of building one complete digital deal jacket. Dealertrack noted that its annual Compliance Guide has been updated for 2021 and is easily accessible, so retailers can seamlessly share updates.
Cris Aviso is finance director for the Regal Automotive Group in Lakeland, Fla. Aviso shared feedback about using Dealertrack’s F&I solutions.
“We equate the value of solutions in terms of the money, time and customer satisfaction they generate,” Aviso said in the news release from Dealertrack
“We used to wait several days for a deal to be funded, but now with Dealertrack Digital Contacting Choice we can have the deal verified within hours if not minutes, never miss a signature, and it pre-fills with our DMS – that constitutes very real value,” Aviso went on to say.
Latest developments with Dealertrack DMS
And speaking on DMS, Dealertrack DMS also announced new integrations as 2020 proved to be a year of significant change in which dealerships had to pivot to meet evolving expectations of service customers, buyers and team members.
Dealertrack noted this transformation also required retailers to address the operational complexities of the day —approximately 75% of franchise dealerships were switching to digital sales operations, according to the Cox Automotive Sentiment Survey.
And Tracy Fred pointed out this trend doesn’t appear to be slowing down in 2021.
“In these uncertain times, dealerships are more dependent on digital solutions than ever. The need to optimize their technology integrations to prepare for the future, eliminate inefficiencies and ensure their teams have the support they need is at an all-time high,” said Fred, who is vice president of operations for Cox Automotive brands VinSolutions, Xtime and Dealertrack DMS.
“Today, the average dealership uses approximately seven software integrations simply to complete a sale,” Fred continued in a separate news release. “The new Dealertrack DMS integrations bring more processes together, adding ease and efficiency to ensure auto retailers can save time and money which translates to better customer service and happier employees.”
The company highlighted that Dealertrack DMS integrations and solutions are designed to build on its longstanding commitment to put dealers at the center of every business decision and innovation.
Officials added that Dealertrack DMS is focused on deep integrations that continue to add ease and efficiency to operations while boosting satisfaction where it counts most for dealerships in 2021 and adding profitability across critical cash flow areas, including:
Digitized AR Statements
Dealertrack DMS can provide retailers with a simpler, quicker, and less costly way to notify customers and vendors of outstanding accounts receivable balances.
By digitizing AR statements, the company said dealerships can more easily share with customers through email and bulk print statements, as well as utilize modern templates with the ability to add a color logo.
Modern Warranty Claims
The company explained dealerships can submit, track and audit all warranty claims in a single screen featuring all the tools needed to help optimize the customer’s experience.
Through providing a centralized information hub, Dealertack DMS can assist dealerships by increasing accuracy and visibility, streamlining user experience and workflow, and working to integrate with additional Cox Automotive solutions.
Integrated Payroll and HR Management
Through this solution, Dealertrack noted that dealerships can gain complete control of the entire employee lifecycle through easy-to-use tools that leverage exclusive integrations to make integrated payroll and HR management “a breeze.”
By bringing together otherwise disconnected or stand-alone solutions into a single service, dealerships with Dealertrack DMS can help eliminate frustration and inefficiencies within the payroll and HR management processes, thereby improving retention and reducing employee turnover.
Dealertrack elaborated about this topic through an online resource title, “A Dealer Principal’s Guide to Hiring and Retaining Talent,” which can be found on this website.
Neal Jackson is controller at Lawley Automotive Group in Sierra Vista, Ariz. Like Aviso in Florida, Jackson described his experience using Dealertrack’s tool through the company news release.
“As a centralized accounting office for multiple dealerships, we rely on fast, easy information from the outlying departments to produce payroll,” Jackson said.
“I’ve been doing this since 1993, so whenever there are new solutions like Integrated Payroll, powered by Netchex, I’m eager to give it a try. Pretty much anything I put into Netchex, data-wise, I can get out through a report. With Netchex, I no longer need to do manual time-consuming tasks. It is a huge time saver for me,” Jackson went on to say.
For information on all Cox Automotive’s 2021 new offerings, visit www.coxautoinc.com/experience.