My latest article is out in F&I Magazine, just in time for the VSCAC conference. Thanks to Greg Arroyo for his fine editing. The original “history and development of e-contracting” was not so pithy. My thesis is that, while Dealer Track succeeded in driving dealers to a totally new process for online credit, this will not happen for F&I products. With today’s technology, product providers do not need to participate in an aggregation portal. Even the providers’ own portals are suboptimal, because they impose process change on the dealer. The article gives additional reasons why providers won’t follow the Dealer Track model.
As I have written here before, the best place to present products is in a system that the dealer is already using. Ideally, this means the DMS, but it could also include a menu or desking system.
I am pleased to announce that another leading menu system has joined the Provider Exchange Network. Maxim Menu is a popular menu with a number of good features, including Route One integration. As Jim says in the press release, our partnership will expand the range of electronic contracting available through Maxim Menu. For a complete list of partners, please visit the PEN web site.
Walking through Chinatown, my wife and I gave a dollar to an old man playing Auld Lang Syne on his violin – the Chinese violin, called an erhu. This year, NADA began with the Chinese New Year, which was especially nice in San Francisco. The parade was the week after, though. We missed that.
Walking past the Route One booth, I was hailed by CEO Mike Jurecki and my old friend Pat McPherson. A dealer was asking them about bi-weekly payment plans. I ended up demonstrating the sales tool I had designed for U.S. Equity, on a MenuVantage account, in a Route One frame. “Mark helped us design our system, too,” Pat added.
I read the dealer’s business card and said, “you sell a Resource warranty and you recently stopped using MenuVantage.” He wants Flash in his menu, so I referred him to Impact Group.
My new friends include a number of menu systems – formerly competitors. We have announced the deal with Impact Group. Others are in the works. This is part of my “many to many” strategy, making PEN the single connection between all product providers and all dealer systems.
I will be representing Provider Exchange Network again this year. All PEN providers will get a visit from me or Ron Greer. In addition, we will be calling on menu suppliers and other systems that might benefit from a PEN interface. For convenience, all my set meetings are at the ADP booth, and this is the best place to find me on Saturday. I will also be spending time at the Reynolds booth.