As promised in the April issue of Dealernews — a large portion of which is dedicated to Dealer Expo — here are some of the business services that were offered at the show. Software, auctions, price guides, insurance, marketing materials, displays and more.
Just a few trends you’ll notice: a growing number of customer relationship management (CRM) systems, more than one dealer management system that’s entirely Web-based, and business software that gives customers partial access so they can check things like order status.
You’ll also read about three credit card processors, and about the latest from the industry’s principal website providers: ARI, PowerSports Network and 50 Below.
On the following pages, in alphabetical order by company name, is the information we picked up at the show and afterward. The idea is to let you browse through the listings. Depending on the amount of information each company gave us, some entries are larger than others (50 Below, for example, was on fire this year).
Here’s an index to assist you in your browsing:
Page 1 (this page)
ADP Lightspeed (business software)
ARI Network Services (websites, CRM, parts lookup)
Auction123 (listing software and services)
BikeBandit.com (parts reseller)
BiT Dealership Software Inc. (business software)
BreezeGo (business software)
c-Systems Software Inc. (business software)
Cycle Processing (payment processing)
Dairyland Cycle Insurance (consumer insurance)
Dealer Solutions Alliance
Dealer Traffic Driver Plus (consumer lists)
DustyMoto (PG&A inventory exchange)
eBay Motors (classifieds)
Factory-parts.com (parts reseller)
50 Below (websites, CRM)
50 Below continued
Haynes Manuals Inc. (repair manuals)
Ideal Computer Systems Inc. (business software)
Infinite Creative Enterprises (LED signage)
Manheim Specialty Auctions
MBA Insurance (test ride insurance, among other things)
MIC Bankcard Processing Program (payment processing)
MIC Systems & Software (business software)
Moments USA (delivery photo calendars)
Moto TV (content provider for digital signage)
Motorcycle Industry Jobs.com (job classifieds)
Motorcycle Superstore (installer program)
NADA (price books)
National Powersport Auctions
NextStep Computer & Software (business software)
Ohio Technical College (technician trainer)
PowerSports Network (websites and CRM)
The Raceway Media Network (classifieds)
Salvage Direct (auctions)
Santa Maria Software Inc. (business software)
Shamrock Systems (business software)
Shapes Unlimited (displays and fixtures)
Sobel & Associates Inc. (sales training)
SofTec Software (Nizex Inc.) (business software)
Southern Imperial (display lighting, fixtures)
Steven's Cycle Distributing (parts reseller)
Systems 2000 Inc. (business software)
Vision Payments Inc. (payment processing)
V-SEPT (customer relationship management)
World of Powersports (parts reseller)
Ziios (business software)
ADESA provides a full range of auction, reconditioning, logistical and other vehicle-related services to meet the remarketing needs of both its institutional and dealer customers. With 63 auction locations in North America, ADESA hosts both physical and Internet auctions. ADESA LiveBlock simulcasts vehicles worldwide. ADESA DealerBlock offers two ways to buy: bid-now sales events or buy-now pricing 24/7.
In addition, ADESA Specialty Auctions are held monthly, with six out of 18 Specialty Auctions featuring powersports. Other Specialty Auctions sell motorcycles, RVs, boats, luxury vehicles and even airplanes. ADESA Powersports Auction locations include: ADESA Cincinnati/Dayton (Franklin, Ohio), ADESA Concord (Acton, Mass.), ADESA Golden Gate (Tracy, Calif.), ADESA Kansas City (Belton, Mo.), ADESA PA (York, Penn.) and ADESA Phoenix (Chandler, Ariz.).
For more information, call 800-923-3725 or visit www.adesa.com.ADP Lightspeed. See the “Dealer Alliance Solutions” entry for details on a campaign promoting the integration among 50 Below, ADP Lightspeed and V-SEPT.
ARI Network Services was promoting at Dealer Expo a suite of products — its PartSmart electronic parts catalog, its WebsiteSmart Pro dealer website hosting service (along with SearchEngineSmart for better browser exposure), and its MailSmart direct mail programs. But ARI was most excited about FootSteps, its relatively new lead management tool, or CRM (customer relationship management) system, for those of you who know the lingo.
Actually, the system isn’t new at all. Last spring, ARI acquired the assets of Channel Blade Technologies Corp., reportedly the leading provider of websites and lead management systems in the marine and recreation vehicle markets. It had marketed for many years the Footsteps on which the powersports version is based. At the time of the ARI purchase, Channel Blade had customers at more than 1,600 dealer locations.
Taking all industries into account, more than 6,000 people are specifically using Footsteps at about 1,200 dealerships.
ARI says it recently performed market research by secret-shopping at 70 dealerships. Amazingly, more than 55 percent of online inquiries to these dealers went unanswered. Of those who did respond, the average response time was more than 20 hours. “Through use of our Footsteps lead and customer management tool, we can help our customers turn these inquiries into sales,” said ARI president and CEO Roy Olivier.
Footsteps’ e-mail templates help salespeople respond to inquiries quickly. Staff can use the system to build, launch and manage e-mail blasts. It allows dealers to track their sales team’s daily performance with prospects, ensuring that they’re using the correct follow-up process before, during and after the sale. Footsteps’ reporting features also show results for all lead sources (tradeshows, e-mail, phone, walk-ins) so dealers can access their marketing strategy.
Footsteps integrates fully with an ARI-built dealership website, so dealers can receive all their leads in one place. Footsteps “halfway” integrates with sites built by others, a rep at the Dealer Expo booth said.
ARI offers customizable education services that create a specific follow-up process for the dealer, and will train the dealer’s entire staff on those processes and how to use Footsteps.
Footsteps costs $245 per month by itself or $145 per month alongside an ARI-built website. To learn more about all of the company’s services, call 1-800-755-6040 or visit www.youreveryadvantage.com.
For a limited time, dealers can buy an eBusiness Bundle in which it will get a website, Footsteps and ARI’s direct-mail service (two customized campaigns each month) for only $395 per month, about a 50 percent savings. ARI says the offer will last at least through April. There are no setup fees, and support and training are free.
Auction123 provides listing software and services to help dealers sell online. The company serves not only motorcycle and powersports markets, but also the automotive, RV, marine and aviation industries.
Auction123 says it allows dealers to list inventory on eBay Motors and Craigslist with “just the click of the mouse.” It can also send their entire inventory to a variety of online marketplaces without the dealers’ ever manually building a unit. Dealers can insert video directly into their Auction123 eBay and inventory templates.
Auction123 can also send dealers bidder contact information on each eBay bid they receive, including the name, telephone number, e-mail and location.
Another Auction123 product, the Search Engine Optimized showroom, is something dealers place on their websites for better Google results.
At Dealer Expo, Auction123 provided demonstrations of its Advanced Image Management System. Dealers can now insert text, insert images, apply watermarks, and make edits to their inventory images directly from the Auction123 back end tool. These photo edits will be sent to all inventory advertising, including eBay Motors, Craigslist, and online marketplaces, even the dealership’s website.
For more info, visit www.auction123.com, or call (888) 514-0123, Option 4, to speak with one of the company’s dealer consultants.
This was the first Dealer Expo for BikeBandit.com, the industry’s second-largest online retailer. It promoted its dealer-to-dealer sales of OEM parts, aftermarket parts, apparel and accessories. BikeBandit.com is the largest such supplier on the West Coast. Dealers can view pricing and order via a password-protected dealer section on the website.
BikeBandit’s owner, Ken Wahlster, anticipates his business will grow because previous employees of closed dealerships are opening their own repair shops. In addition, more dealers are willing to work on multiple brands.
BiT Dealership Software Inc. was promoting a dealer management system specifically for powersports dealers, service centers and installers. It introduced the system in spring 2009.
The company has long worked with marine and boat dealers. “BiT Powersports Software takes the flexible and easy-to-use features that we developed over the last 25 years with BiT Marine Software and reorients it for powersports dealers,” BiT president Edward MacFawn states on the company’s website.
BiT says it consulted with various powersports dealers when creating its DMS to find out what the market needed. The result is a complete DMS with sections tailored for parts and accessories, service, unit sales, F&I, accounting, rentals and storage, and CRM.
Features include POS with barcode scanning, voice recognition compatibility, the ability to track and view customer purchase histories, and a customer service module with which dealers can automatically schedule letters, e-mails and surveys to go out to customers. BiT Software offers free demonstrations and is available for PCs operating on Windows 2000, XP, Vista and Windows 7.
For more information, call 877-860-2082 or log on to www.bitdms.com.
This was the second Dealer Expo in a row for BreezeGo, a Florida-based company that began in 2006 with a focus on SEO and Web design. In 2009, it merged with RV Logic, a company that in 2002 began developing a dealer management system for RV dealers. Over the years, RV Logic expanded to offer systems for dealers in several industries.
This year BreezeGo was promoting its 2010 DealerLogic Management Software, dubbed Evolution. It consists of modules for sales, finance, parts, service, inventory, document management, customer relationship management (CRM), back-office operations, and accounting. BreezeGo is a QuickBooks Gold Certified partner and uses QuickBooks software for seamless accounting integration. Call 888-995-6442 or visit www.breezego.com.
CrashedToys.com was promoting its online specialty auction that is held weekly at www.crashedtoys.com. CrashedToys.com claims to be the premier online auction for “scratch and dent” and repossessed motorcycles, ATVs, snowmobiles, watercrafts and travel trailers. It holds auctions every Tuesday and Wednesday, with auction locations in Michigan, Iowa, Minnesota and Missouri. It sells all years, makes and models. To purchase these vehicles at auction, dealers must become a registered buyer, which is easily done on the website. Call 651-438-8822.
C-Systems Software Inc., maker of the Infinity DMS, was touting its improved Customer Connect feature, which allows customers to tap into the system to review their account information securely. They can see outstanding balances, sales orders and repair histories, or check the status of repair orders and backorders. The idea is less staff time taken up by customers calling for basic information.
C-Systems says its new Parts Inventory Device will “eliminate costly keying mistakes and streamline inventory control.” The kit comes with a cordless device with a gun-style grip, a 48-key pad and a built-in imager; integration software; a charging cradle with a high-capacity battery; a U.S. power supply; an AC line card; and a USB cable.
Dealers can scan and import completed inventory count lists from the device to Infinity. They also can export lists to the device. With the parts count lists, dealers select by zone, line and more. They can filter the lists by parts, accessories, clothing, etc.; by order codes; by parts with zero balances; by parts with no sales; by select number of months with no sales; and by parts with no activity since last count.
Note that effective April 1, c-Systems Software will acquire fellow DMS maker Softpower Business Solutions. Click here for the story. For more information, call 817-649-3100 or visit www.csystemssoftware.com.
Mann Merchant Processing Systems, doing business as Cycle Processing, was promoting at Dealer Expo its merchant services. It offers payment processing, equipment, wireless credit card processing, ACH and Check 21 processing, prepaid card acceptance, gift and loyalty card programs, 24/7 customer support, Internet processing and free rate proposals and setup.
Dealers choose from the following network processors: Tsys, First Data, Elavon, Paymentech and Global. Cycle Processing charges no application fee, annual fee, programming fee, minimum discount fee or termination fee. Dealers do not sign a contract.
Cycle Processing offers the same pricing to all its merchants. “Interchange Plus pricing enables you to process all transactions at the lowest possible cost,” says company president Ed Mann. “Cycle Processing will provide you with a complete list — Interchange Guide — of all the card types and their accompanying interchange pricing.”
A monthly statement details every transaction: the card type and the rate charged. “We often hear that merchants are told that they will enjoy great savings if they change to a new processor,” Mann says, “but find it very difficult and sometimes nearly impossible to evaluate if they are … because the new processor’s statements are so difficult to analyze.” Web-based tools also allow dealers easy access to all their processing data.
Mann says that Cycle Processing will show dealers how with one simple calculation they can determine the real cost of their card processing. “We refer to this rate as the effective rate,” he says.
Cycle Processing claims to work with many vendors and race tracks. The company attends major motorcycle events throughout the year such as Daytona Bike Week, Americade and Sturgis. “It is important to Cycle Processing that we stay close to all our customers and how they do business, which enables us to provide the most effective solutions at the most cost-effective pricing,” Mann says.
For more information, call 877-333-6266 or visit www.cycleprocessing.com.
Users of the Apple iPhone now can download an application allowing them to search through CycleTrader.com's inventory of roughly 140,000 vehicles.
The free application can be downloaded from the lifestyle section of the iTunes Store by searching for “Cycle Trader.” A demonstration video is available on the Cycle Trader Insider blog.
The application is GPS-sensitive. Users may search the database by zip code or current location and use enhanced search parameters such as category and type, new or used condition, price range and model year.
Search results show multiple vehicle and dealer locations on enhanced Google maps along with driving directions to each. Individual vehicle listings provide detailed descriptions, seller contact information and multiple photos and YouTube videos when available. Users may then view the vehicle location on a map, e-mail or call the seller, e-mail the listing to a friend, or add the vehicle to a wish list. The application also saves recent searches and vehicles viewed for later retrieval.
CycleTrader.com claims that the Cycle Trader Dealer Network has about 1,200 members. Call 866-747-1192. (Continued on page 2.)
Dairyland Cycle Insurance has sold standalone motorcycle insurance for 40 years. It’s part of the Sentry Insurance Group, which has been in business for 105 years. This was Dairyland’s third Dealer Expo.
“We are currently working to elevate direct involvement with cycle and powersports dealerships across the United States,” says the company’s Vinnie Garth. “We are sponsoring a privateer rider [Eric Pinson] competing in the AMA Superbike class donning the new BMW S 1000 RR, and have coordinated a promotion with Motorcycle Classics and Triumph whereas a 2010 Bonneville is getting a ‘retro’ customization and will be given away at the end of the year.”
Dairyland offers streetbike insurance in 42 states, and off-road insurance in 12. Dedicated customer service and claims units handle powersports-related customers only. Dairyland’s website is also separate from its parent company’s.
Dairyland recently began selling insurance directly to people through its website. All people can view the offer, but to date, only people in 23 states can actually get a quote or buy. Dairyland says it plans to be selling online in 40 to 42 states by August. Dairyland has an affiliate program in which dealers in applicable states can post a banner ad on their website. Dairyland then pays the dealers a $5 to $10 referral fee for every quote related to the link.
Dealerships that are also licensed insurance agents can sell Dairyland insurance. The commission is 12 percent to 15 percent of the premium per year for the life of the policy. During busy times of the year, these same dealers can just pass along customers to Dairyland’s website or toll-free number. They will accordingly receive a lower commission via a promotion code.
Dairyland offers a 10 percent discount for about 40 riding groups, including HOG and Honda Rider’s Club of America. Any dealership doing a certain volume and marketing a similar club may be able to secure a similar deal.
Call 866-DAIRYLAND or visit www.dairylandcycle.com.
Dealer Solutions Alliance. Not a company, but a marketing campaign to inform dealers how they can benefit from the integration among ADP Lightspeed, 50 Below and V-SEPT. The companies are, respectively, popular providers of dealer management systems, websites and a customer relationship management system.
To demonstrate the points of integration, the companies have set up a website, www.dealersolutionsalliance.com.
“To stay competitive in the market, dealerships have adopted multiple technology solutions,” states an ADP Lightspeed press release. “Many dealers started with a dealer management system (DMS) and later added a website and a customer relationship management (CRM) system. These separate systems helped dealers improve efficiency, marketing reach and increase customer loyalty, but also increased the need for clerical management to keep the three separate systems in sync.”
The release then quotes John McFarland, ADP Lightspeed’s product manager: “DMS, CRM and e-commerce systems were originally designed to improve the dealers’ ability to take advantage of customer information, but in some cases they’ve created more work for dealers through the duplication of customer information and the managing multiple data platforms. We started this initiative to address those issues. By connecting the information in our three areas of expertise we are helping dealers realize the true power of our technology solutions.”
Because the three systems share with each other customer purchases, contact info and unit details, dealers can study the lifecycles of customers from acquisition to retention. These insights can help dealers improve customer loyalty.
Website shoppers can see a major unit inventory that is automatically loaded from the DMS. If the visitor requests more information, his or her contact info is automatically entered into the CRM module and assigned to a salesperson. If the visitor buys something with a credit card, the data is automatically entered into the DMS for order processing.
Dealer Traffic Driver Plus (DTDP) is a new program from Dealernews’ parent company, Advanstar Communications, that’s designed to help dealers attract more customers into their dealerships. The program guarantees trackable results in the form of more in-store traffic.
DTDP connects dealerships with the powersports consumers who attend the Cycle World International Motorcycle Shows, log on to Sportbikeclub.com and Motorcycleshows.com, and read 2Wheel Tuner. These consumers are some of the most engaged enthusiasts in the market and are five times more likely to purchase a vehicle than the average motorcycle-owning household, says Advanstar’s Dana Fisher.
For the first time ever, access to this database is available to dealers on the local level. The program costs less than what many dealers are currently spending for such services, Fisher says.
Fisher adds that Dealer Traffic Driver Plus has the history of Dealernews and Dealer Expo standing behind it, and thus understands the ins and outs of a dealer’s business.
“Advanstar can help dealers tightly target their prospects on a geographic basis from our lists,” Fisher says, “and we can help them prepare the marketing materials. Finally, we can help them evaluate the effectiveness of their call to action and their overall campaign.”
For more information, call 800-854-3112, or Amy Bartz directly at 949-954-8408. Visit www.dealernews.com/trafficdriver.
A dealer launched Dustymoto last summer as a way to connect dealers, aid them in the elimination of old product, and help them make some money in the process.
“The goal is to transform stale parts inventory into working capital by connecting a dealer with demand to a dealer with supply,” DustyMoto president Bobby Franklin said.
The service revolves around an online network of franchised and independent dealers. The public is forbidden. There’s no monthly fee or contract, and it’s free to list inventory.
There are two types of transactions: qualified and unqualified. A qualified sale involves an OEM part between two dealers franchised to sell that part. In these cases, the buyer pays current OEM price and no freight.
All other types of transactions are unqualified, including those involving aftermarket PG&A. In these cases, the buyer pays the wholesale price plus 10 percent plus the cost of shipping.
With all transactions, the seller pays Dustymoto a 15 percent transaction fee.
Buyers and sellers never interact with each other. As the middleman, Dustymoto takes care of all complaints and returns. The company e-mails shipping labels and packing slips to the selling dealers.
Dustymoto said at the show that 550 dealers had signed up so far. For more information, call 912-261-2300 or visit www.dustymoto.com.
EBay Motors was informing dealers about pricing changes that go into effect March 30. National listings will now cost $50 for a bike or powersports vehicle sold under $5,000 ($20 insertion, $30 after the sale). For a unit sold for more than $5,000, the listing cost is $80 ($20 insertion, $60 afterward).
Previously, the national listing fee for a sold unit was always $95 ($15 listing, $80 after the sale).
Ebay was also reminding dealers that they can save money by buying local classifieds with a 200-mile exposure. The first six listings are free. The next six listings are $10 each. All listings afterward are $15. With all listings, dealers can post 24 photos for free, and there are no backend/successful listing fees.
For more info, call (800) 322-9266 or visit www.ebay.com.
Factory-parts.com. is supplied by sister dealerships Horsepower Harley-Davidson and North American Warhorse in Pennsylvania. It’s willing to ship worldwide and has a standard pricing structure: For the first $5,000 in orders, the prices are dealer cost plus 20 percent. Afterward, they’re cost plus 15 percent. Dealers who order more than $100,000 get cost plus 10 percent. Call 570-346-2453.
50 Below was promoting, among many other things, its new Web Inventory feature, a centralized repository for a dealer’s vehicle and PG&A inventory. Dealers can input inventory, including multiple photos, custom descriptions, specifications, vehicle condition, price and more. Then, with a few clicks, dealers can not only publish that information to their website, but also push select inventory to the following portals: Motorcycle.com, Snowmobile.com, PersonalWatercraft.com, ATV.com, CycleTrader.com, eBay, Craigslist and Google. Publishing inventory to online portals sometimes requires additional listing and auction fees.
The integrations are made possible through 50 Below’s partnerships with VerticalScope Inc. (owner of the first four portals mentioned) and Auction 123, which offers bulk and single-vehicle uploads, vehicle filtering to include or exclude certain inventory, eBay Fast Auction Access for “one-click” capabilities, and eBay Bidder Contact Info to help turn bidders into leads.
Note that the Web Inventory feature is optional. Dealers with a 50 Below online store aren’t required to use it. Also note that with Auction 123, individual listing and auction fees are not included with the Web Inventory integration. And there is an additional price for listing integration with CycleTrader.com, eBay Motors and Craigslist through Auction 123. Dealer not owning a 50 Below website are responsible for linking to Web Inventory or framing it into their website.
LightspeedNXT users can make it so that inventory in their DMS flows into Web Inventory automatically.
50 Below was also promoting it Reporting Pro tool, which allows dealers to observe the most profitable paths through their online store, see where visitors are navigating away from their site, and identify parts of their merchandising that should change to increase sales. Each week, dealers receive reports via e-mail about how their online store performed for the previous 30 days, with month-over-month trending. A 50 Below website consultant works with each dealer to identify the best-performing sections of their store and areas that need updating so ROI improves. 50 Below worked with Omniture, an Adobe company, to tailor reports for 50 Below online stores, including reports that show top products; top product categories; top shopped brands; top vehicle showcase brands; top vehicle types; purchase activity (orders, units and revenue); “finding method” statistics so dealers can learn how customers move from storefront to product detail; and a purchase conversion funnel so dealers can see how percentages of visits turn into “filled” shopping carts and then into orders, units sold and revenue. Reporting Pro also includes classic information like visitors versus visits, traffic-referring domains, search engine keywords, etc.
50 Below recently launched Referral Ecommerce, which allows people to shop on a supplier’s website. At checkout, shoppers are asked to select a local dealer that stocks all the products in their shopping cart. The site sorts the dealerships by distance from the shopper’s zip code, and indicates fulfillment and shipping times based on each dealer’s inventory levels. Once a selection is made, the customer completes the check out process at the dealer’s 50 Below website. Or for dealers who don’t have a 50 Below site, a branded storefront with order processing capability is offered. Marshall Distributing is the first supplier to use the service. 50 Below created an entire online store and then integrated it into www.marshalldistributing.com. But the company says Referral Ecommerce also can fit seamlessly into corporate websites already merchandising products. Learn more and watch a video by visiting http://marshalldistributing.50belowinc.com.
50 Below has added e-mail marketing to it Merchandising Pro service, which offers consultants who help dealers merchandise their websites. Dealers now can add a newsletter signup feature to their site, allowing customers to receive e-mails with eye-catching offers. Merchandising Pro targets people who have already bought from the dealer, or who have requested information from various forms located throughout the dealer’s site. Dealers can choose from multiple e-mail promotional and newsletter layouts. They also can integrate their approved in-store customer e-mail accounts.
Merchandising Pro is full-service. Dealers participate in scheduled monthly consultations; then 50 Below creates, manages and updates all strategies implemented on the dealer’s online store and e-mail newsletters. The company also reports the return on investment to dealers, showing them the traffic and revenue. Dealers will see how many e-mails were opened, which offers worked, who shopped at the store, and who bought.
50 Below describes its LeadTracker customer relationship management system as lightweight and easy to use. Visitors to a 50 Below website who use the “Contact” page or request a quote, brochure or finance app are automatically downloaded into LeadTracker. Dealers can also load in-store leads into the system.
Dealers can track leads through the sales process with preloaded and custom labels such as “Identify Machine,” “Write-Up,” “Finance” and “Close Deal.” They can assign the leads to salespeople, connecting vehicle or PG&A information to each lead.
Another LeadTracker tool allows dealers to send hundreds of e-mail newsletters each month to single customers or groups based on target demographics like vehicles, brands of interest or geographical location. Dealer choose from templates or create their own.
LeadTracker reports include a Daily Traffic Report (showing visits, follow-ups and newsletters for the day or over time), Deal Source Report (tracking where each lead originated, online or in the store), a Salesperson Activity Report (measuring each salesperson’s efforts within the sales cycle) and a Closed Deal Report (graphing customers who have bought that day or over time). (Continued on page 3.)
Still more 50 Below news: The company has added a shopping method to its EZ-Shop platform, which it introduced in 2008. In addition to previously released methods (by catalog, brand, vehicle type, product category, featured products or promotions), Exact Search With Smart Find lets customers shop by keywords and phrases. Unlike simple search boxes, the tool scans the store for matches and groups keyword results. For example, while typing the word “helmets,” customers will see hints such as “full-face helmets,” “open-face helmets,” “streetbike helmets,” “HJC helmets,” and so on. Exact Search tells customers how many products are in each group before they even click. Exact Search also features keyword auto-complete, “Did you mean?” hints and spelling suggestions.
As part of the Dealer Solutions Alliance (DSA) with ADP Lightspeed, 50 Below continues to offer new benefits to dealers who connect their LighspeedNXT system with their online store. In addition to integrated Web order information (supplier, shipping, tax, credit card processing and customer info), 50 Below sites now connect with vehicle and PG&A inventory in a two-way integration. LightspeedNXT can push inventory information to the site daily. Once units and PG&A are uploaded automatically, dealers can add vehicle photos, modified descriptions, condition reports, etc. Customers will be able to see real PG&A inventory levels, including “Now in Stock,” “Limited Supply,” and “At Warehouse.” Thus customers can know when the store will fulfill their orders.
Direct Distributor Integration is a service in which 50 Below will connect a dealer’s website PG&A inventory with the inventory of distributors like Parts Unlimited, Tucker Rocky and Western Power Sports. Then, even if the dealers don’t have a product in stock, customers will know it’s still available within a few days.
Also new this year for 50 Below sites is a Paypal checkout option available for an additional fee.
For more information, call 866-479-2693 or visit www.50below.com.
Haynes Manuals Inc. was promoting all its motorcycle manuals, but two, the company says, were recent releases for the show. The first is a manual that claims to cover all Chinese, Taiwanese and Korean automatic transmission scooters with 50cc to 200cc engines. That equates to more than 100 models. Haynes says the manual is its response to high consumer demand due to a void in OEM repair information and “the general trend of these scooters requiring frequent repair.”
The other manual offers extensive coverage on Harley-Davidson Twin Cam 88 and 96 models from 1999 through 2008. This is the latest addition to the Haynes superbike series, which comes in a hard-cover format with comprehensive color wiring diagrams and color workshop tips.
All Haynes manuals are written from hands-on experience based on a complete teardown and rebuild of the vehicles. They contain hundreds of pictures and exploded-view illustrations. Visit www.haynes.com or e-mail email@example.com.
Ideal Computer Systems Inc. recently unveiled Ideal 7.0, the company’s latest dealer management software. One of the highlights is a fully integrated F&I module with the following features:
- Comparison screens for finance/lease/cash deals — with or without cash down and showing rebate options
- Quickly create a quote (even while working in another deal)
- F&I payment tools with rollback features
- Menu of insurance and extended warranty products
- Track dealer add-ons and customer requests, to ensure you deliver the wholegood set up to the customer’s specifications
- Track taxes, licenses and fees collected from the sale and automatically set up the related payables
- Track rebates and holdbacks earned
- Quickly and easily create sets of related forms that can print individually, or as a set, for each deal
- Track sales and F&I commissions with multi-team members
- Track profitability of the front and back end of each deal
- Conveniently swap buyer and co-buyer with the click of a button
- Add multiple units to a single deal
- Add multiple trades to a single deal
Call 800-737-1620 or visit www.idealcomputersystems.com.
Infinite Creative Enterprises (ICE) is the supplier of Glowrite illuminated signs in which you can hand-write your message onto a black sign, then wipe it off to write another. LED technology allows one sign to illuminate your message in seven changeable colors. You can even set the message’s color to continually change.
The signs come in three sizes: 24”x33”, 19”x25” and 12”x18”. There’s also a 19”x25” double-sided sign. The largest sign is for hanging only. The other two can hang or be stood up using the tabletop leg stands provided. Each sign comes with a special marker for writing on them.
ICE claims signs will last for more than 10 years. Prices range from $187 to $331. For more information, call 603-347-3005 or visit www.glowrite.com.
Just a couple of weeks prior to Dealer Expo, Manheim Specialty Auctions hosted a grand opening sale celebrating its newly expanded 40,000 sq. ft. powersports facility in Indianapolis. Nearly 500 late-model motorcycles were for sale, including 168 Harleys from Harley-Davidson Financial Services. About 150 buyers showed up in person, and another 250 participated online.
Manheim Specialty says its powersports sales grew more than 44 percent in 2009, and that demand for used units continues to increase. The company operates 12 powersports auction locations around the country. It also hosts online sales events, including its Thursday Thunder sales. For more information, call 1-800-377-4343 or visit www.manheimspecialtyauctions.com.
Every motorcycle at a Manheim auction comes with a comprehensive condition report, which provides the unit’s “curriculum vitae,” from mileage to cosmetics. The report guarantees that the bike has been evaluated by a team of highly trained inspectors. Bikes offered for sale online, either via Manheim Simulcast or OVE.com, come standard with an electronic version of the report, as well as images and video.
MBA Insurance will soon begin offering an insurance program to cover test rides. The program will cover the new or used motorcycle or scooter, and provide coverage for the rider. This standalone policy does not replace a dealer’s general liability or open lot coverage.
MBA expects to make the program available June 1. Dealers will pay a monthly premium that will range from $200 to $400. Dealers in seasonal areas can pay only for the months they need. Properly licensed customers will pay $10 to $20 to test ride up to five different bikes for up to two hours (most dealers, of course, will choose to reimburse the fee if the test rider buys).
Dealers are covered for $1 million plus legal fees. Test riders receive comprehensive and collision coverage equal to their state’s limits.
Dealers themselves decide the parameters of the actual test ride. There are no route or chaperone requirements. A MBA representative did say she envisions dealers offering test rides only to pre-qualified customers near the end of the sales process. This, along with the insurance fee, should deter joy ride seekers, she said. Dealers could ask that test riders leave them their car keys or credit cards while on the test ride.
For more information, call 800-622-2201 or visit www.TestRideInsurance.com.
MBA Insurance in Scottsdale, Ariz., has specialized in rental insurance for recreational vehicles since 1978. Eight years ago, it entered into the motorcycle/ATV/scooter rental insurance business. It offers its products in nearly all states, including Hawaii.
According to the MIC BankCard Processing Program, dealers enrolled with it for payment processing can now save an additional 30 percent on their annual costs. But those dealers must ask for it. Nobody will be contacting them.
The cost reductions are due to a new long-term contract between the program and First Data, the country’s largest credit card processor. The program pairs new enrollees with First Data automatically. But as for dealers already enrolled, unless they ask, they will remain with what used to be the program’s only processor, Tsys.
MIC BankCard has agreed with Tsys not to solicit dealers for the free switch. Tsys, after all, is still the 13-year-old program’s primary processor. To compete with First Data, it even may start lowering its own fees and rates for dealers who negotiate.
Dealernews spoke with the MIC BankCard program’s director, Matt Tanzy, to get caught up on all these behind-the-scenes dealings. He makes a strong case for enrolled dealers to switch to First Data, calling the new program a major improvement. Click here for the full story. Dealers can contact MIC BankCard through its new number, 877-726-7017.
Dealer management software provider MIC Systems & Software Inc. has a new integration allowing dealers to state-register vehicles automatically, saving their customers a trip to the DMV. MIC launched the offering in 13 states a month before Dealer Expo.
MIC is also beta-testing a new feature allowing dealers to cross-reference Harley-Davidson OEM parts with their aftermarket equivalents. Products include those sold by Tucker Rocky, Parts Unlimited/Drag Specialties, Kuryakyn, V-Twin Manufacturing and Custom Chrome. Dealers who eventually opt for the new tool (the pricing of which has not been set) will still need to buy the price lists, which aren’t necessary for cross-referencing.
MIC says 600 to 700 dealers use the newest version of its Commander software. For more information, call 714-545-4444 or visit www.commanderne.com.
Many dealers take photos when delivering units to customers. Moments USA allows dealers to take it a step further by putting each photo on a magnetic two-year calendar measuring 10”x13” and starting the month of the purchase. It’s a surprise gift that customers receive in the mail.
A thank-you letter included with the calendar gives customers a password they can use to download their photo from Moment USA’s website. They can then post it on their Facebook page or on Twitter, or e-mail it to friends and family.
Customers get free calendar refills as long as they’re willing to come back to the dealership every two years to pick them up.
Dealers can place customized coupons, service reminders and discounts throughout the calendar. Moments USA will design and add to the calendar pad for free. All it needs is the customer’s photo and his or her basic information. Turnaround time is five business days, but dealers can opt for expedited service.
Moments USA gives dealers a user name and password for their own order page. There are no setup fees.
Prices are negotiable based on volume. Base prices are $21.90 for a standard calendar and $14.90 for a “glance” calendar (one in which all months are shown on one page). Shipping is free within the continental U.S.
Call 866-637-2503 or visit www.momentsusa.com.
Moto TV is a company offering customizable television/digital signage specifically for powersports dealers. The company works with the OEMs and vendors to produce videos on new gear, vehicles, promotions, etc. Dealers decide what they want running on their TVs and when.
Dealernews columnist Eric Anderson referenced Moto TV in his February column on the subject of digital signage. Click here to read that article.
For more information, call 303-917-1038 or visit www.mototvnetwork.com.
“Indy was good for us this year,” said Motorcycle Industry Jobs.com’s Alex Baylon in early March. “We are seeing a 50 percent increase from last month already, and I believe it has to do with spring being around the corner. Employers are hiring again. … We had a lot of visitors to the booth looking for work and a lot saying they found their job through MIJ.”
Job seekers can now pay to make their resumes viewable to employers for free. MIJ recently began selling Premium Resumes, which are promoted and posted in front of all employers to see. Previously, everything was free for job seekers. Employers pay to view resumes and to post jobs. For example, they can buy 30-day job postings for $129 each.
Premium Resumes rotate on the home page, and are given priority in the resume database. All Premium Resumes are custom-made by the job seeker and MIJ staff, setting them apart from the rest. Unlike normal resumes, premium ones can include images and video. A 90-day Premium Resume costs $29.
Call 866-376-8964 or visit www.motorcycleindustryjobs.com. (Continued on page 4.)
This year marked Motorcycle Superstore’s second Dealer Expo. The industry’s largest online retailer was again offering the Preferred Installer Program it launched last year. If you sign up, the company will direct its online customers to your store for installation of tires and parts. Customers can ask to have their products shipped directly to you.
Motorcycle Superstore claims dealers can get guaranteed service revenue plus the opportunity to sell the customer additional products and services. The company will build a Web page for your shop containing your business information, website and e-mail links, online mapping, services offered, service prices and customer ratings. Local customers can find you by entering their ZIP code. After selecting your store and placing an order, all they have to do is contact you to schedule an appointment.
About 1,200 dealers have signed up for the program. Call 877-668-6872 or visit www.motorcycle-superstore.com.
NADA was launching at Dealer Expo its Powersports Commercial Data Link, an online valuation tool aimed at providing powersports retailers quick and easy access to the latest NADA Powersports pricing data, vehicle details, inventory management and more.
Dealers who stopped by NADA’s booth at the show were shown a demonstration of the tool.
The simple-to-use online interface is accessible 24/7, and makes it easy for dealerships with automatic calculations of options and selected vehicle details. It also gives dealers the ability to print itemized value report forms.
The program covers a full range of powersports vehicles: motorcycles, sidecars, trailers, ATVs, snowmobiles and personal watercraft, models 1995 through 2010. Dealers can also produce custom hang tags and enter and store reference numbers for inventory, loans, applications and stock IDs. The tool is automatically updated online.
Existing Powersports CD-ROM customers will receive a free and automatic upgrade to the new link. No action is required. A full-year subscription costs $140. For more information, call 800-966-6232 or visit www.nada.com.
National Powersport Auctions has teamed up with Harley-Davidson to bring HD-101 Educational Seminars to dealers in 2010. Franchised Harley-Davidson dealers can participate in the most detailed educational seminars to date, encompassing the entire pre-owned segment of the powersports industry.
Topics include but are not limited to: sources for pre-owned inventory, ACV-ing trade-ins, overview of current market conditions, profit potential of pre-owned product (including wholesale), how to market used product, and how to buy and sell at auction with confidence.
NPA says that it offers “tens of thousands” of profit opportunities every month to buy and sell pre-owned powersports units.
For information on all the company’s dealer-oriented programs, call 888-292-5339 or visit www.npauctions.com.
NextStep Computer & Software has rebranded its PartsLookup software to NextStepDMS. It did so to emphasize that it offers a full dealer management system, not just a parts locator.
To promote the change, NextStep launched an eye-catching print advertising campaign pairing a woman wearing a skimpy schoolgirl outfit with the words “We’ve outgrown our clothes! The biggest little DMS on the market has grown to become a complete dealer management system, saving up to 50 percent of the time typically spent ordering and tracking parts and labor at a low, all-inclusive price — with no last-minute expenses. Come see our new suit of ‘grown-up clothes’ at this year’s trade shows.”
NextStep says it provides “the biggest little DMS on the market.” The NextStepDMS Suite is offered in three packages of growing complexity. The basic Bronze package can cross-reference more than 2.5 million parts with price files from more than 275 suppliers. It also has multitier sales tax capabilities.
The Silver package includes everything offered with the Bronze and introduces a customizable Point of Sale module for estimates, work orders and invoices, reports, instant profit information and customer histories.
The Gold package includes everything but adds an Inventory Management module that lets dealers create automatic purchasing guidelines. Dealers can also review item, unit and service histories.
The packages contain additional features. NextStep recently began to offer all three packages in three different versions: lite, medium or heavy. Prices range from just a one-time payment of $675 and no startup fee to $1,800 per year plus a $900 startup fee. The former product, NextStep says, is great for “shops that only need a few vendor price files and don’t care about printed manuals, classroom training and long-term product support.” The latter product has all the bells and whistles.
For a free demo CD, call 866-756-6587. For more info, visit www.nextstepdms.com.
Ohio Technical College in Cleveland has a branch called the PowerSport Institute, which is a vehicle training center supported by manufacturers. People learn to work on all makes and models of motorcycles, ATVs, UTVs, snowmobiles and PWC. The school also addresses custom bike building and dealer training. Students from all over the country earn associate degrees. Call 800-322-7000 or visit www.ohiotechnicalcollege.com/powersport.
Website provider PowerSports Network used Dealer Expo to unveil a new mobile interface and a Find a Model SmartForm, both free to PSN dealers. It also shared details about its recent integration with Traffic Log Pro, which its parent company, Dominion Enterprises, bought last year from Assurant Solutions.
PSN says the mobile interface will make it easier for smartphone users to browse its dealer websites. “With smartphone usage increasing, it is imperative that a dealer’s site be optimized for viewing on these devices,” PSN general manager Peg Kiedinger stated in a news release. “Dealers simply cannot afford to miss any lead opportunities in this marketplace.”
The Find a Model SmartForm also increases PSN dealers’ potential for capturing leads. People can quickly use the form to contact a dealer regarding a model that may not be listed on the dealer’s site. The form will feed into the dealer’s contact database and lead management program for follow-up. The dealer can then start a dialogue with the person and aid him or her in finding the model or a suitable alternative. Dealers will also be able to search and print out all Find a Model leads for use at a vehicle auction or other event.
PSN also previewed an upcoming enhancement to its e-commerce offering. The upgrade includes a new look and feel highlighted by keyword search with predictive entry, easy-to-use shopping by categories, brands and price, and the ability for the dealer to select from multiple e-commerce layouts.
Dealers can contact PSN at 800-556-0314 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Traffic Log Pro integration gives PSN users access to one of the industry’s most popular customer relationship management (CRM) systems. Dealers have long used TLP to track, enforce and encourage best practices among their salespeople, ensuring they use a proper follow-up process.
TLP was created in 2003 by powersports professionals for powersports professionals. PSN says dealers and OEMs praise the user-friendly system’s 24/7 customer support and training.
For more information about the TLP integration, contact PSN’s Mary Huhn by calling 800-556-0314, ext. 401, or via e-mail at email@example.com
The Raceway Media Network, which includes MotorcycleAds.com and its flagship RacingJunk.com site, says it offers the world’s largest online motorsports classifieds. It claims more than 425,000 members, 2.8 million visits per month, and $275 million in listings across its network. The MotorcycleAds.com site contains listings for all types of motorcycles as well as other powersports vehicles such as ATVs and snowmobiles. All classifieds ads on MotorcycleAds.com are cross-listed on RacingJunk.com and on the other sites in the Raceway Media network.
Dealers can open a Dealer Storefront on the site that displays all their ads on one page. Other benefits include unlimited ad placement, a company profile, 25 photos per listing with the ability to make them larger, video uploads, $199 in upgrade credits (to enhance ads), free ad reposting, a buyer-to-seller messaging system, and "buy it now" buttons that directly link buyers for immediate purchase. At the show, Raceway Media was offering Dealer Storefronts for a special price of $99 per month, but the regular price is $199. There are no transaction costs.
Dealer packages are also available through RacingJunk.com at four levels ranging from $55 per month to $425 per month.
Online salvage auctioneer Salvage Direct has a new Enhanced Processing Program to give potential bidders more information.
The company says it has updated every facility in its logistics network, improving processing and preservation capabilities “to include a more in-depth, value-driven service with an emphasis on engine and transmission performance.” The Enhanced Processing Program will expose more detailed information to salvage auction bidders and increase the number of units in inventory that run and move.
“We’re excited about the Enhanced Processing Program,” says Bob Joyce, founder of Salvage Direct. “This initiative takes vehicle information to the next level. Our runs/drives initiatives will now contain additional power and drive train information complete with a new, multi-media presentation. Buyers benefit from complete disclosure, and suppliers will experience even better recovery on their invested assets.”
The company also opened its sixth facility in Pennsylvania, a new Enhanced Processing Center near Philadelphia. SD New Britain is Salvage Direct’s 80th worldwide and leads its 2010 expansion plan. The facility is on a 21-acre parcel, which includes 20 acres of secure outdoor storage space and a 25,000 sq. ft. indoor processing and warehousing facility. It is between the Philadelphia and Allentown, Penn., markets.
For more info, call 814-827-0300 or visit www.salvagedirect.com.
Santa Maria Software Inc., provider of Counterman management software, was promoting a new online store with two-way integration via an automated feature called Web Store Inventory Export. The feature will also work with websites hosted by a third party.
Counterman can build a generic Web store hosted either by the user or the user’s selected hosting service. The store is a standalone product. Non-Counterman users are responsible for the inventory control, special ordering, purchase orders, etc.
But the company’s primary focus is on Counterman users who want to interface between their Web store and DMS software. These dealers can upload inventory to their Web store. Options to upload images and edit prices are available throughout the process. “This will drastically reduce the time it takes to upload items,” says Counterman’s Ralph Weaver. “Secondly, we would provide a utility that would download the sales that have been generated from the Web store into the Counterman DMS software, where invoices can be generated, customers added, invoices generated, and items that are not in stock automatically special-ordered through the normal processes in Counterman.”
The costs for existing Counterman users: $1,000 (to build the Web store and interfaces) plus $130 per month for ongoing support.
The inventory export and order import processes can be modified to interface with any Web store that allows for these functions, functions that are “nonstandard and very specific to each Web store,” Weaver says. The hosting Web store must be an IIS Web server that supports ASP.net and SQL Server 2008 Express. “That said, Counterman could then install the ‘customer-customized’ Web store on the hosting service’s server and set up the remote interface to Counterman.”
There are also some system requirements. For more information, call 800-937-6590 or visit www.counterman.net. Santa Maria says it services about 600 dealers.
Shamrock Systems was demoing the latest version of its asyst:Dealer Management software for powersports dealers. The system has a new customer relationship management (CRM) module: asyst:Customer Connect.
From Shamrock’s marketing materials: “Why spend big money on third-party CRM systems or pay for limited and expensive subscription-based services with no e-mail capability when you can do it yourself with complete flexibility for a fraction of the cost?” It then lists the following bullet points:
- Market to and maintain contact with current customers and prospects, easily and inexpensively in-house.
- Mail and e-mail sales information, thank-you letters, birthday greetings, special offers and much more.
- Automatically send repair order pickup and follow-up notices, special-order receipt notices, warranty expiration notices, etc. Be more timely and efficient.
- Increase sales and improve customer service by using “this powerful marketing tool with data already on hand.”
Shapes Unlimited, a supplier of store fixtures for powersports dealers, says one of its hottest products is its pod-style kiosk counter. Compared to a traditional single-line service counter, pod counters promote a more friendly customer environment, the company says. Customers can receive more individualized attention.
The counters provide ample storage in back and, like all of Shapes Unlimited’s designs, can be customized. Dealers choose from a variety of finishes, including high-pressure laminate, wood veneer and metals.
Shapes Unlimited also offers many other fixtures and displays, including service and parts counters, motorcycle platforms, glass helmet displayers, slatwall product displayers, focal points and trusses, and slatwall with custom graphics. For more information, visit www.shapesunlimited.com, or call 800-811-1385.
In response to the economic downturn, Shapes Unlimited is also “value-engineering” some of its main powersports product line. By using “optimally priced materials and size yield factors,” it says it can offer quality products at a more affordable price.
Sobel & Associates Inc. hosted four seminars during Dealer Expo on building a client base, and increasing gross profit by $500 per sale. On www.sobeltraining.com, Sobel & Associates describes itself as “the No. 1 comprehensive RV sales and management training company.”
Randy Sobel founded the company in 1991. His biography says he began his career as a salesperson in a small single-point dealership and worked his way up to general manager of a nine-point metro dealership.
Sobel & Associates offers in-store training, off-site seminars, video training, CDs for memorizing word tracks, workbooks and sales and marketing materials.
Call 253-565-2577 or visit www.sobeltraining.com.
For many years, Ohio-based SofTek Software promoted a dealer management system called The Business Assistant. But at this year’s Dealer Expo, the company was completely rebranded. It was promoting not its traditional system, but another — Lizzy. The sign above the booth read “SoftTek Software Int’l Inc. Teams With Nizex Inc.”
According to a blog posted at www.nizex.com, Georgia-based Nizex, SSI’s “sister company,” took over support services for The Business Assistant last summer. It also spent much of last year developing Lizzy into a full DMS that’s entirely Internet-based (meaning no hardware requirements or downloads). Nizex says it will switch current Business Assistant users to Lizzy for free, including training.
The Nizex (pronounced NIZE-x) system started out in 2003 as an in-house organizational tool, shortly blooming into a full CRM system. To personalize the software, the company renamed it in late 2008, and it has been adding modules ever since. In addition to CRM and product data management modules, the system now boasts modules for payroll, e-commerce integration, invoicing, inventory control, accounts receivable and payable, checking, financing, budgeting, an integrated general ledger, a price file importer, major unit management, warranty claims, service, text message notifications, and more.
Because Lizzy is Web-based, customers can tap into the system to check on the status of orders or unit repairs, or view their entire purchase history. They can even do so using their smart phones.
Monthly subscription costs vary on the number of modules selected, and start at $35 per module per user.
Call 678-359-4187.Southern Imperial is a maker of shop fixtures and components. Its Allura Gondola Lighting Systems fit standard 3- or 4-foot-wide gondolas. The systems cost $129 and $99, respectively. Dealers can adjust cylinder tube lamps at various angles and heights. They can mount each lamp independently or link them together. Blacklit graphics for branding at the dealership level are optional.
The company also makes the Allura Undershelf Lighting System, which shines light on products under standard shelving. Up to 10 lights can be linked together. A 4-foot-long kit ($160) comes with four 21-watt 3-foot lights, four 12-foot power cords, four 2-foot linking cords and mounting clips and zip ties. A 3-foot-kit ($150) comes with four 14-watt 2-foot lights and everything else just mentioned.
Other Southern Imperial products: First Line security cabinets for displaying products behind glass, First Line security lock bar system that prevents customers from removing high-end products hanging from a fixture, and Visi-Bins clear plastic bins that fit on slatwall, pegboard and gridwall.
For more information, call 800-747-4665 or visit www.southernimperial.com.
Steven’s Cycle Distributing in Bay City, Mich., is a dealership that for many years has also had a healthy wholesale business in which it offers dealer discounts. The company carries OEM parts for motorcycles, ATVs and snowmobiles of the following brands: Honda, Kawasaki, Polaris, Sea-Doo, Ski-Doo, Suzuki and Yamaha. It also sells aftermarket products. Dealers can contact Steven’s via the Internet or fax. Its toll-free number is 800-248-8212. Log on to www.stevenscycle.com.
Systems 2000 Inc. was promoting the third generation of its Windows-based dealer management system for powersports dealers. The system offers the following modules: Sales Prospecting, CRM, F&I, Deal Desking, Parts, Service, Accounting, Payroll, Credit Operations and Website Services — all fully integrated with each other.
Systems 2000 wrote the software in Microsoft’s .NET language and uses Microsoft's SQL Server for data storage and retrieval. The software can serve even dealers with multiple locations and high volume, the company says.
Call 407-358-2000 or visit www.sys2.com.
Pennsylvania-based Vision Payments Inc. has partnered with TransFirst to offer payment processing. Vision says TransFirst was founded in 1995 and has been listed by The Nilson Report as one of the top 10 largest processors in the U.S.
Vision allows dealers to accept most major credit cards and private-labeled cards. It also offers point-of-sale debit card processing solutions. Other offerings: prepaid card acceptance, check verification and guarantee services, electronic check conversion, gift and loyalty card programs, fleet card acceptance and 48-hour merchant settlement.
Vision Payments says it typically offers straight interchange pass-through pricing in which the merchant is charged the exact rate at which the transaction qualifies, which is set by Visa, MasterCard and Discover. “Essentially, the card itself and the way the merchant processes the card determines the rate which is charged, be it a debit or a credit card,” the company says. “Also included with the interchange rate are the dues and assessments charged by Visa, MasterCard and Discover.”
Dealers do not sign a contract. They can revert back to their previous processor at any time without penalty. Vision does not charge any application, settlement, batch or annual fees. A terminal programming fee may be charged if the merchant’s existing equipment requires reprogramming to be supported by TransFirst. A monthly statement fee usually runs no higher than $10. Customer service is free and available 24/7/365 via a dedicated toll-free number.
TransFirst has a Web-based reporting tool that permits dealers to view their monthly statements and credit card activity online. They can download information into Excel and then import it into QuickBooks.
Dealers usually can use their existing processing equipment, but Vision says dealers may have equipment that TransFirst does not support. Dealers also may have the right equipment but an incompatible version of software. In that case, Vision may require a software upgrade. Vision can inform dealers of these costs during an initial evaluation.
Helping in Vision’s marketing efforts is Lee Bivens, a national-championship-winning motorcycle racer and artist (www.leeart.com). Shown here is a recent photo of him during a “client track day.” Vision invites clients (and/or their VIP customers) to the track and provides racers to assist them in getting up to speed safely.
For more info, call 717-790-8748 or visit www.visionpaymentsinc.com.
V-SEPT. See the “Dealer Alliance Solutions” entry for details on a campaign promoting the integration among 50 Below, ADP Lightspeed and V-SEPT. The “50 Below” entry also describes how website users are automatically entered into the CRM system powered by V-SEPT.
Another integration benefit related to telephone customers, as explained through an example in the Dealer Alliance Solutions brochure: A prospect calls on the phone asking about ATVs. The salesperson checks availability by looking at real-time inventory from LightspeedNXT in the CRM module. After confirming availability, the customer agrees to stop by to look at the unit in the evening. The salesperson logs the customer’s name and phone number and the vehicle into the CRM module. The call and customer information is recorded on the Daily Traffic Log automatically. One hour before the scheduled appointment, the salesperson receives an e-mail or text message reminder about the customer appointment.
For more info, contact V-SEPT by calling 813-281-5484 or visit www.v-sept.com.
World of Powersports of Decatur, Ill., has offered OEM parts for many years. The company sells to dealers through www.dealerorders.com. They can search for parts via microfiche, view their order status, and see and cancel back orders. World of Powersports also e-mails tracking numbers to dealers automatically. Call 800-407-7218.
Ziios. A former Microsoft executive who has operated a couple of dealerships has launched a Web-based dealer management system. He created MomentumDMS, he says, after being disappointed in what the current software market had to offer. For more details on how the system came about, click here for an earlier report.
MomentumDMS is divided into three areas: Major Unit Sales, Parts and Accessories and Service Center Management.
For major unit sales, MomentumDMS automatically
- Applies manufacturer incentives to every deal. Incentives are always up to date.
- Enforces major unit pricing rules. Dealers can set system-enforced rules governing deal profitability. They can set margin objective rules by brand, model and time frame.
- Determines deal profitability. Dealer staff members instantly know whether an out-the-door price violates pricing rules, based on out-the-door pricing inclusive of taxes, fees, flooring costs and incentives.
- Prints state and local PDF forms. Salespeople can print the right forms to complete a deal. Required forms are automatically printed and populated with all necessary information.
Other MomentumDMS Major Unit Sales features and benefits: automated processes that simplify trading inventory with other dealers, online creation and submission of unit orders, and customizable invoices.
The system’s Parts and Accessories area offers bar coding and allows dealers to sell the most profitable parts first. They can also choose the most profitable suppliers.
The Service Center Management area lets dealers create multiple labor rates for vehicles, technicians and special processes. Dealers can monitor the exact time a technician spends on a job, measuring his or her productivity. Other features: faster warranty claims submissions, customer profiles, service histories recorded for every unit, and repair orders automatically created with all labor and P&A charges. Dealers can get status reports on all R.O.s and estimates. The system creates just one invoice per customer, instead of an invoice for each department.