Vaden uses an outside contractor to help run its biweekly payment plan, but it set up its own internal system, called RevLink, to take advantage of F&I opportunities in the service department.
Barrett says selling F&I products to service customers helps Vaden generate an additional $150,000 per month. "That's a shot in the arm she can ask for," Barrett said of dealer principal Jane Vaden Thacher.
The approximately 1,000 customers coming into the group's dealerships for service each month provided a ripe opportunity for the F&I department to sell extended service contracts and other products. With RevLink in place, Barrett said the group now sells an additional 60 or so such contracts per month to those service customers.
The system lets F&I managers know a day in advance when customers are coming into the dealerships for service. The managers then get real-time alerts to inform them when a customer arrives.
"The F&I department knows right away who they are, what their needs are, what the mileage is on their vehicle," Barrett said. "They know everything they need to be able to go and have an intelligent conversation with the customer. It's really moved the needle for us."
Barrett, previously a consultant for Ally Financial, implemented the program because he said it made sense to provide the F&I managers with prequalified leads that would be coming into the dealership at a known time.
Said Barrett: "That for me is a big no-brainer."