Monday, Feb. 11, 2008, 07:00 PM UPDATED 11:59 AMBy Nick Zulovich
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. — GMAC Insurance recently detailed its growth plans for 2008. The company's initiatives include launching a one-stop site for dealers that consolidates its products, a new organizational structure and more.
"While the majority of competitors traditionally focus solely on products, GMAC Insurance has designed its value proposition to provide solutions that address everything from sales to service to administration," pointed out Tom Callahan, executive vice president of GMAC Insurance's Dealer Products and Services group.
"We understand there is no single silver bullet that will meet everyone's needs, and it is our knowledge of those complexities that sets GMAC Insurance apart from the crowd," he continued.
The company announced it is launching a new marketing campaign. A big part of this will be its February launch of a new dealer portal at dealer.gmacinsurance.com.
Through this new site, GMAC Insurance said it will bring all its various dealer Web sites together into a single platform to offer dealers an e-network of F&I, risk management and business development solutions to help them grow.
Additionally, the company explained that it has created a new organizational structure to support his future goals. Basically, it has launched a new sales organization to serve GM and its dealer customers throughout North America.
Although executives said the majority of positions for this new group have been filled, they noted that recruiting is occurring to flush out a few remaining positions.
The company also indicated that it has created a marketing and product development team to drive its dealer product and services division's growth.
"We have developed a customer-focused organization that will allow us to dramatically grow business by providing products and services that meet the needs of new and existing customers," Callahan reported.
Callahan went on to recap the company's expansion in 2007. For instance, he noted that this past summer, the division introduced Repair Advantage, in addition to two new guaranteed asset protection products for its dealer body.
The goal behind the GAP insurance is to provide consumer protection from potential "gap" obligations between the net balance owed on a finance contract or lease and a customer's settlement from primary insurance providers on totaled vehicles.
Continuing on, Callahan also pointed out the dealer product and services division also launched a new dent repair product, Dent Restore Plus.
In mid-January, GMAC Insurance rolled-out a no-cost, menu-selling process for its qualified dealers. Therefore, depending upon pre-determined GMAC Insurance sales' benchmarks, a dealer can use the company's Web-based IntelliMenu and IntelliTracker to sell his store's aftermarket F&I products.
Dealers who exclusively agree to sell GMAC Insurance aftermarket F&I products will also receive ongoing training and support tailored for their business, according to officials.
"We strongly believe our current portfolio of dealership products is best-in-class," Callahan said. "Moreover, these great products come with technology, tools, training and services that are complete solutions to a dealer's business needs."
Universal Warranty Goes Electronic
In other recent news, Universal Warranty Corp., a subsidiary of GMAC Insurance, announced the launch of new technology and process enhancements.
With these additions, the company said its aftermarket F&I sales process is now completely electronic.
The full set of solutions, Online Performance Suite, is the most recent expansion to GMAC Insurance's portfolio of customer-centric products and services, officials highlighted. They also claimed that the new offering has the potential to reduce time spent on every transaction by up to 20 minutes.
"UWC and GMAC Insurance, as a whole, are dedicated to providing solutions that address our dealer customers' array of needs," said Callahan. "Online Performance Suite and its components will essentially revolutionize the way many of the day-to-day aftermarket F&I sales activities at a dealership are done, moving to an entirely electronic and paperless process."
Beginning in March, UWC's SalesDriver sales software system will be upgraded to include DMS integration, which will remove the need to re-key and submit paper contracts by allowing dealers to electronically file a deal, Callahan highlighted.
SalesDriver will continue to provide instantaneous, precise quotes for VehicleOne service contracts and VehicleOne Primary GAP products, he went on to note.
A new reporting and monitoring system will also be rolled out to dealers throughout North America. Reports Online can help dealers monitor production reports via a secure Web site, executives pointed out.
Dealers also can receive accounts receivable statements and risk management monitoring with loss ratio reports through the same tool, they added.
"Reports Online provides dealers with information that is critical to maximizing F&I sales," Callahan said. "Working together with their independent agents, dealers can use the data to develop plans that improve or refine their current business."
Finally, UWC said it is also changing business accounting processes to speed up the time it takes for contracts to be activated. In most cases, contracts submitted electronically will be activated and paid overnight, also using electronic transfer of funds, officials indicated.
"Online Performance Suite streamlines the way dealers and independent agents do business with us. Recognizing every dealer's business is different, this solution is designed to complement not compete or replace existing software," Callahan concluded.