JIM HENRY

An e-contracting edge: No more delays

Jim Henry is a special correspondent for Automotive News

It's unbelievable how much "float" there is in F&I. Here's just one example.

At the NADA convention, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services USA and DealerTrack proudly demonstrated their new online aftermarket system. One of the features, they said, is that it books contracts right away for items like wheel-and-tire protection.

My response was "So what?"

Then I learned that many dealerships let new policies sit all month and process them all at the monthly close. For many, that is the first time the dealership knows how much it owes the vendor, how much the dealership earned and whether the paperwork was filled out right.

With all due respect, is that any way to run a railroad? Now I understand why e-contracting is such a big deal.

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