Indy Update: New CRM, F&I, inventory management, e-commerce tools abound

Publish Date: 
Jan 29, 2013
By Holly J. Wagner

THE WATCHWORD in the Business Services Marketplace is value.

Exhibitors are offering a variety of services and features that help dealers get the best value for their goods and give the best value to their customers.

The American Motorcyclist Association partnered with Black Book for the AMA Motorcycle Value Guide, a $1.99 mobile app. The AMA Value Guide powered by Black Book is an easy-to-use mobile phone app for iOS and Android devices that leverages the power of the Black Book Motorcycle and Power Sports Value Guide to deliver instant valuations for nearly all motorcycles, ATVs, dirtbikes, scooters, personal watercraft, jet boats and snowmobiles produced since 1981.

Web-based research tool provider Consumer Research Solutions Inc. (CRS) will debut a web service product that lets clients access and use CRS’ model and specifications data within their own applications. Along with accessing the model data, clients also will have the choice of including any of the company’s research technology, such as model, configuration, and side-by-side comparison. VIN decoding also will be available through the web service. The CRS database covers 300 features and specifications for the powersports industry along with model photos.

Once a customer has settled on a ride and the price they’ll pay, the trick in this economy is getting them approved for financing. To this end, MotoLease offers dealerships a finance alternative in the form of affordable lease-to-own options for customers with credit challenges, cash flow issues or who otherwise do not qualify for traditional financing. The program offers flexible terms and boasts an approval rate of 90-plus percent of all applicants. Dealer clients use an online platform for entering applications and tracking customers.

“The ease of communicating with our underwriting and funding departments will set new standards,” says MotoLease national sales manager Matt Morton. “Our easy click-to-chat function will become an instant favorite with your finance department as it allows for quick interaction with the staff that actually makes decisions on your deals. Finally, you will be thrilled with the speed in which we fund.”

Service is a big topic for dealer management systems, which are expanding features to save dealers time and build revenue for their service departments. ADP Lightspeed will be showing Service Connect, a new integration with the Lightspeed system, expected for a March release.

“We get our largest volume of calls when it’s time to close the books, and those hold times are longer than anybody wants,” said ADP Lightspeed general manager Greg Smith. “Service Connect will answer questions from dealers in a more efficient manner.”

ADP also has added context-related help features to provide better organization for use in Lightspeed. Other new features include click-to-chat in a live chat session with a customer service rep. “We’ll know who you are, what dealership, and where you are in the DMS, so our customer support staff can say, ‘I see you’re in parts invoicing, what can I help you with?’”
Dealers whose needs aren’t time-sensitive can open an e-case to ask a question. Also, a community forum will let dealers provide feedback to other dealers. (continued)