Dealership Post-Acquisition Standardization Cash Flow & Profits

Car, truck, and ag equipment dealership acquisitions by mega dealers are on a torrid pace. Cash-flow and profits are directly linked to standardization among locales. The right payment processing technology creates instant receivables financial transparency at headquarters regardless of varying dealer management software. heavy duty equipment credit card processingCloud-based payment processing is critical to financial transparency. For example, credit card processing terminals batched out individually means management has to wait for reports. A cloud solution, including payment gateway, can provide real-time insights by dealer location or any other number of data points.

Key payment gateway differences for dealership evaluation:

  • Real-time dashboard with drill down vs export reports to view (additional payment types not shown)dashboard net sales payment gateway report
  • Compliance with complex rules for rentals, preauthorizations, retail and card not present. How many merchant accounts needed to comply?
  • Compliance with October 2017 stored credentials mandates
  • Level 3 processing capabilities for commercial cards
  • EMV chip or EMV chip and pin
  • Push payment requests (collect remote payments before delivery) via text or email
  • Cardholder authentication (3-D Secure) for remote payments
  • Payment methods supported: cash, check, wire, credit card and other methods vs just credit cards provides significantly tighter controls and data insights

Dealers hesitant to replace desktop EMV chip terminals due to prior investments should bite the bullet. Better solutions to improve customer experience and back office efficiency will reduce ROI time for acquisitions.

ABOUT: Christine Speedy is a payment processing expert with deep experience in the multi-department needs of dealerships. Solutions empower CFO’s to achieve common customer satisfaction goals with tight financial controls, risk mitigation, and reduced PCI Compliance burden. Need standardization help? Call 954-942-0483 to learn more about solutions for your business that are quick and easy to adopt, increasing efficiency and growing profits virtually overnight.

 

You know your Dealer DMS is out of touch when…

Wow. I just had an interesting call with a DMS that’s mission is to offer a fully integrated, state-of-the-art computer system for auto dealers, with total access to their entire dealership picture, and to be their ‘sole source’ solution. I know one of their customers is looking for another DMS because of the lack of integrations and open connections to other products- and I told them so.

This DMS has an accounting module, but no integrated payment solution. They tell customers to use whatever they have. Is that a ‘single source’ solution? Unless a customer calls and asks for it, they’re not going even consider integrating anything, and even then, it may never happen. They don’t even want to talk about it. I know people are busy, but that did not seem to be the case here.

Wake up! Customers change DMS vendors without calling you to tell you why. How does yours DMS compare to the marketplace? Cheaper is not better.  Have you asked different departments what their needs are? Have you been to a major dealer show lately? Dealers are moving on to mobile payments, and you haven’t even integrated a basic retail solution? Innovate now or attrition may put you out of business.

Sure this person could have been giving me the brush off. She doesn’t have to believe a word about how dealer after dealer is adding our innovative technology to improve EBITDA. In fact, we’ve grown like wildfire without any DMS integrations at all. Why even have a conversation then? Because that’s about to change and small businesses are good for our economy so I don’t want them to be left out. DMS providers will need us to keep up or attrition will kill them.

The wise DMS asks probing questions about why dealers want our SaaS payment technology. The wise DMS wants to know where we’re headed. The wise DMS asks for more information because they want to keep up with innovative tools their dealers are using- whether they’re integrated or not.

If your DMS tells you to use third party software, ask them what their thoughts are for integrating that product for the future. Ask them what trade shows they’ll be attending or exhibiting at in the future. What is missing from your DMS? What is their plan to address that? What innovations have they rolled out in the last 12 months? What is their roadmap for future innovations? Are you two aligned?

Want to know what we’ve done in the last 12 months? Or what’s coming down the pipe? We regularly launch substantial improvements. For example, we recently launched:

  • Roles-based permissions for using the platform. Create unlimited roles and assign all users to that role. When new features are added, update an entire group of user permissions with one click.
  • Level 3 data for retail and card not present.  This feature saves merchants .70 to .85% on certain MasterCard corporate cards, and varying amounts for other brands.
  • Flat rate e-invoice. Parts departments can send unlimited invoices via text or email for instant payment, with buyers simply picking up on arrival. Service advisors invoice collect electronic payments for customers who need to pick up after hours.
  • Customer portal for e-invoices. Especially convenient for commercial accounts, customers can store both ACH and credit card info, update payment methods, pay invoices, and download past invoices on demand.

When dealers ask for something new, if it makes sense for other dealers too, we’re fast to respond. After 4 years of listening and updates, it’s pretty darn good!

To learn more about what we can offer dealers today, and what’s coming down the pipe, call Christine.

 

DealerTrack AAX Adds New Market Insight and Sourcing Functionality

DealerTrack AAX enhances inventory management solution with the addition of new “MarketDriver” functionality, delivering regional market information.

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., Feb 12, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) — DealerTrack, Inc., a subsidiary of DealerTrack Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: TRAK), a leading provider of on-demand software and data solutions for the U.S. automotive retail industry, today announced that it has enhanced the DealerTrack AAX inventory management solution with the addition of new “MarketDriver” functionality. The new functionality provides dealers with an unprecedented range of regional market information to help them identify and acquire vehicles that perform well in their markets – empowering them to make smart, low-risk inventory decisions that maximize dealership profits.

MarketDriver allows DealerTrack AAX users to see top-performing vehicles in their local market. No other technology provider offers such a powerful combination of data from ALG, Experian (AutoCount) and Manheim. Each individual dealership can now access customized information based on their defined geographical market and other preferences. Dealers who use DealerTrack AAX will be able to see market days’ supply, average listing price, and regional profit potential.

DealerTrack AAX continues to provide dealers with historical transaction information that details how particular vehicles have performed in their dealership. With this new integration, dealers also get the tracking capability to more effectively manage the performance of vehicles they are adding to their inventory mix. Not only can dealers see top market performers, they can track whether those picks are top performers for them. Taken together, the data provides a complete picture of how a vehicle has performed historically, both for the dealer and in its regional market, while also mitigating risk and providing insight into its potential future performance.

In addition, MarketDriver helps streamline the sourcing process for needed vehicles, all from one screen. It allows a dealer to quickly and easily search for a used vehicle by checking its own database of customers (sales and service) and prospects (missed appraisals), inventory at any affiliated stores, and current auction listings (physical and online). The solution then presents the sourcing options in order of their profit potential for the dealer.

“In today’s market environment, it is increasingly difficult to source quality used vehicles, and many dealers may be forced to stock ‘non-core’ vehicles that they have not previously sold – or sold successfully,” said Raj Sundaram, senior vice president, solutions and services group at DealerTrack. “Our new MarketDriver functionality enables dealers to access a wide array of regional market information about a particular vehicle, and to identify the best way to acquire it, so they can confidently make more aggressive inventory decisions that enhance their profits while minimizing the risks.”

Mr. Sundaram continued, “We are passionate about providing our dealers with the best tools in the marketplace to make the right decisions about what vehicles to stock. We know that when dealers stock the right vehicles and price them right they can achieve faster turns and improved profitability. In order to give our customers that edge, we have included MarketDriver as part of our core package.”

MarketDriver will be rolled out automatically for all DealerTrack AAX customers at no additional cost.

About DealerTrack (www.dealertrack.com)

DealerTrack’s intuitive and high-value software solutions enhance efficiency and profitability for all major segments of the automotive retail industry, including dealers, lenders, OEMs, agents and aftermarket providers. Our solution set for dealers is the industry’s most comprehensive. DealerTrack operates the industry’s largest online credit application network, connecting approximately 17,000 dealers with over 800 financing sources. Our Dealer Management System (DMS) provides dealers with easy-to-use tools with real-time data access that will streamline any automotive business. With DealerTrack AAX, dealers get the inventory management tools and services needed to accelerate turns and increase profit. Our Sales and F&I solution enables dealers to streamline the entire sales process, quickly structuring all types of deals from a single integrated platform. DealerTrack’s Compliance solution helps dealers meet legal and regulatory requirements and protect their hard-earned assets. DealerTrack’s family of companies also includes data and consulting services providers, ALG (Automotive Lease Guide) and Chrome Systems.

Safe Harbor for Forward-Looking and Cautionary Statements

Statements in this press release regarding the benefits of DealerTrack’s inventory solutions, including MarketDriver; the benefits of the integration of ALG, Experian and Manheim data and tools; and all other statements in this release other than the recitation of historical facts are forward-looking statements (as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995). These statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results, performance or achievements of DealerTrack to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements.

Factors that might cause such a difference include the adoption by dealers of DealerTrack’s inventory solutions, including MarketDriver; the performance by DealerTrack’s third-party partners; and other risks listed in our reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2008. These filings can be found on DealerTrack’s website at www.dealertrack.com and the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. Forward-looking statements included herein speak only as of the date hereof and DealerTrack disclaims any obligation to revise or update such statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events or circumstances.