Streamlining the financing process at a dealership doesn't always take a complete overhaul. Sometimes a small enhancement can smooth and accelerate the process.
Stipulations from lenders -- documents to prove employment or income, for example-- can at times delay vehicle financing approvals.
Through RouteOne's stipulation capture feature, which launched last month, F&I managers can figure out which documents a lender will need to finish a deal earlier in the process. The tool exemplifies how vendors should work to simplify dealership processes today while still preparing dealers for future digital strategies.
Stipulation documents are often uploaded or faxed from the F&I office at the end of the process after the lender has been decided upon. The stipulation capture tool allows an F&I manager to scan and upload missing pieces of consumer information straight into the RouteOne system if a deal is conditionally approved by a lender.
Many lenders require additional documents before finalizing the terms of a deal, Amanda George, RouteOne's senior vice president of product, customer solutions, integrations and marketing, told Automotive News. Dealers have been looking for a way to get that information in a more efficient fashion.
"It's another tool to make the dealer's life a little bit easier," George said.
Within the first three weeks of the program's launch, more than 10,000 documents were uploaded through the tool, RouteOne said.
The enthusiasm of early adoption is likely due to the tool's design, which is to accelerate a process dealers are already familiar with, George said. The tool is complimentary for RouteOne customers and was added to RouteOne's core application as part of a monthly product update, the company said, though dealers still need to opt in to the program.
One lender is currently participating with the program's stipulation capture, though RouteOne CEO Justin Oesterle said more would likely get on board.
Dealers know that workflow changes -- particularly in the F&I office -- often require costly investments and additional training. But an enhancement that calls for little change in the dealer's process erases those pain points.
As dealerships prepare for future retail models, vendors can still smooth the edges of processes that dealers rely on today.