Search for extra revenue might require extra training

Jim Henry is a special correspondent for Automotive News.
Everybody is multitasking. It's what happens when times are tough.

So practices that were once only seen in F&I departments are beginning to leach into other areas of a dealership.

Everybody in the dealership, for example, needs to be aware of the federal Red Flags Rule and the care that must be taken to protect customer data from identity thieves.

Then there's the service department.

Service Payment Plan Inc. is a Chicago company whose dealership customers have had success using service advisers to market extended service contracts to folks bringing their cars in for service long after the new-car transaction.

It looks like a potential lucrative vein for dealerships, but it also means folks outside F&I might need some F&I-like training; like knowing the ins and outs of extended service contracts, regulations, ethical practices and potential liabilities.

The Association of Finance and Insurance Professionals is trying to figure that out. The group is studying how to extend its certification program to service advisers. Association chief Dave Robertson says the idea is on the group's front burner.

Look for more of this sort of thing as dealerships find ways to make more money.