6 Ways Technology is Driving F&I Growth

6 Ways Technology is Driving F&I Growth

It’s no secret that today’s business world is constantly changing. Those that can keep up with the pace and demands of their customers will be the ones who stand out on top. 

And Inventive is here to help make sure that happens. 

One of the industries we’ve enjoyed working with is Finance & Insurance (F&I), specifically, aftermarket automotive F&I. 

Although traditional F&I firms can represent major sources of profit for the businesses they serve, the industry as a whole has definitely entered a new digital-first environment. Technology is ever-growing, changing, and adapting to best meet customers where they’re at in their product and/or service journey. Many F&I firms have begun to acknowledge how powerful this technology can be when implemented in the right way and are taking steps to create a more robust, streamlined, and efficient customer experience. 

Still on the fence about whether or not technology can help your F&I endeavors?

Check out these six ways technology is helping to drive F&I growth.

1. OLD TECHNOLOGY MEETS NEW

Mixing old technology with new always comes with its own set of challenges. 

Service Group, one of our F&I clients, was largely dependent on a mainframe for housing all of its data. This made integrating with new third-party services and their partners very difficult. Additionally, they were handcuffed by the speed that their internal teams were able to deliver solutions. 

Inventive was able to come into the mix, building and delivering a cloud-based API as the front to their mainframe system. This then allowed all of their third-party vendors and partners to integrate with the API, seamlessly allowing their customers more access to better features. Additionally, this gave them a level of performance and redundancy that they could not achieve with their current data center and mainframe setup. They no longer had to worry about their whole system getting taken out if one data center went down (nightmare fuel, we know).

2. EFFICIENCY 

For most F&I companies today, the problem isn’t necessarily a lack of technology – it’s how efficient those technologies actually are. If completing a deal with a potential customer means switching back and forth between screens and re-keying information in multiple places, you’re costing yourself time, risking errors, and providing a less-than-ideal experience for your customers.  

Integrated technology can help streamline and speed up your workflow. 

Take, for example, one of our F&I clients, Assurant

Assurant provided its clients with paper-based reports quarterly. This manual process was very time-consuming, and they reached out to us to see if we could create a more time-effective and streamlined process. In just three short months, Inventive created a web portal from the ground up which helped prevent manual errors and costly mistakes

It also included the ability to manage users and permissions at multiple organizational levels and for members of the team to review and approve report data, saving our client an enormous amount of invaluable time and money.

Bing, bang, boom.

Now that’s what we like to call efficiency. 

3. CLOUD MIGRATION

Cloud technology includes a whole host of innovative products that can help businesses improve revenue generation, solidify market insights, and cut costs, among other things. 

However, migrating to the cloud still presents its challenges.

Another one of Inventive’s F&I clients, Dealer Wizard, had all its infrastructure in a smaller, old-school data center made for traditional racked server hosting. As such, they had to plan for their highest usage days for the year and have enough hardware racked in that data center to sustain high-use days. They paid a ridiculous amount of money to achieve this periodic scalability. 

Not ideal. 

After assessing their infrastructure needs, our team was able to put a migration plan in place that would allow them to pay for the migration in just six months’ time and then immediately start saving $60k per month from that point forward. Pretty nice, huh? They were then able to pay for only as much hosting and cloud services as they needed while still maintaining the ability to quickly scale up to heavy usage periods.

4. TIME AND BUDGET

One of the biggest concerns directly involved with the implementation of F&I technology is time and budget. 

A perfect example of this is what happened with our client, Service Group. They initially came to us with a 20-month-old project that was supposed to be delivered in 10 months. It was only 10% complete and double its budget when they started chatting with us. 

Inventive learned the requirements, picked up the project from the last team, and got started in just one week. We turned the whole project around and delivered a solution in three months. This led to a continued strong relationship with Service Group until they were acquired by another company. (Oh, and hey, we now work with the parent company too, which is pretty cool).

5. DATA VISUALIZATION

With the growth of big data, businesses — especially those in the tech industry — have access to more data than ever before. But the practice of simply collecting tons and tons of data isn’t enough to help businesses succeed: you need to analyze it in a meaningful, understandable, and digestible way — and that’s where data visualization comes in.

Charts and graphs can help us identify trends, weaknesses, and unexpected opportunities. F&I businesses can use this to their advantage to gain in-depth customer insights, boost operational efficiencies, and discover new technology trends. 

An added bonus? 

Your piece of F&I tech is not too hard on the eyes, which is always a good thing. 

6. MAKING BETTER CUSTOMER CONNECTIONS

There's no denying the fact that customer service is essential to businesses of all types and sizes. The quality of that service will either enhance or degrade customer loyalty to your brand and business.

Giving customers what they want, when they want it, all the while providing them with a seamless, enjoyable, and invaluable experience is key.

That’s exactly what we helped Assurant accomplish with the development of their Pocket Geek Auto app

Starting from scratch, in just 20 weeks, the Inventive team built a comprehensive mobile app that dramatically enhanced Assurant’s customer service offerings. The brand-new app allows customers to easily connect with their vehicles for various service needs such as roadside assistance, ongoing maintenance, recalls, policy information, and more upgraded car connectivity experiences.  

Working with teams to solve complex technical problems is where Inventive thrives. This opportunity to work on complex integrations and design a robust app serving clients was right up our alley. Our design and engineering teams completed numerous UX/UI iterations and customer experience journeys to ensure this mobile app would help our client win the competitive edge.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Technology is the partner F&I firms need to optimize operations, streamline services, and offer a more positive customer experience. New solutions could help them gain control over the little things that make a big difference in the bottom line and solve many of the age-old problems typically faced. 

If you’re currently on the market for an F&I technology makeover, connect with us, and let’s chat! We’ve got the perfect solution for you. 


Wendi Hansen

About Wendi Hansen

Content Strategist

Oh hey, there! My name is Wendi, and I write the wordy words that help lead Inventive's marketing strategy and sales efforts. With over eight years of professional writing experience, there's nothing I love more than using the power of words and digital media to tell a story, inspire, connect and spark positive change. I speak fluent gify and still haven't met a pun or ridiculously bad dad joke that I didn't immediately fall in love with. My personal motto: Live big, love hard, be kind, and pet just all of the doggos. Have an idea or project you want to collaborate on? Let's chat! I'd love to hear it.

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