February 2017 Newsletter

Board of
Directors
for 2017

Officers:
RANDY HENDERSON
Chairman
Henderson Ford, Webster, NY
SIL GONZALES
Secretary
Ventura Ford, Ventura, CA
JOE CHASTANG
Treasurer
Chastang Ford, Houston, TX
FERNANDO VARELA
Past Chairman
All Star Ford, Palestine, TX

Board Members:
VICTOR BENITEZ
Gus Machado Ford, Hialeah, FL
MERLTON BRANDENBERG
Jorgensen Ford, Detroit, MI
STACEY CORLEY
Ed Corley Ford Lincoln, Grants, NM
RAY FREGIA, JR.
Courtesy Ford Lincoln, Danville, IL
EDDIE HALL III
Royal Oak Ford, Royal Oak, MI
STEVE ROJAS
Redlands Ford, Redlands, CA

Consultant:
OSVALDO GARCIA, JR.

Staff:
Executive Director
DR. A.V. FLEMING
Executive Assistant
DEE SUBER

In This Issue:

  • Dealer Performance Report
  • Ford Motor Credit
  • Robert Hill Acknowledgement
  • Profile: Michael DeYoung
  • Merchant Lynx Services
  • American Financial Services
  • Profile: Brian Muldrow
  • eLend Solutions&
  • Dealertrack
  • CDK Global
  • Fenner, Melstrom & Doolin
  • Message From the Executive Director

Randy B. Henderson, JR.

Message From The Chairman

As we embark on a new year, I trust that you share my excitement about the opportunities that lie before us.

Equipped with new Board members, (Merlton Brandenberg and Eddie Hall III), renewed energy on our Board, an updated strategic plan and a streamlined budget, we are ready to continue moving forward in making inroads for our organization and membership body. 

Our area of focus as we work with Ford Motor Company and Ford Credit this year will be:

  1. Sustain and strengthen existing dealers
  2. Candidate/location development
  3. Improve marketing to minorities
  4. Improve dealership and communications 

I would like to thank our incoming National Dealer Council Representative, Mr. Ray Fregia, Jr., for his willingness and commitment in represent- ing us, and reporting back to us from the National Dealer Council. We  look forward to his input and feedback.

I’d also like to thank and welcome our very own, Mr. Irving Matthews as Chairman-Elect of NAMAD! We’re looking forward to strengthening our relationship with NAMAD and standing together to further the cause of growing and strengthening our National Minority Dealer body!

Respectfully,
Randy B. Henderson, Jr.
Chairman, Ford MDA


 

Ford MDA Dealer Performance Report

THIS GREAT TOOL IS AVAILABLE TO ALL MEMBERS: Are you getting this great tool from FMCDealer.com? Send us a note if you are not receiving your DPR!

Ford Motor Company and Ford MDA created the Dealer Performance Report, which is similar to a Cross Sell Report. This report was designed to help you analyze your market and sell more vehicles.This is available to you “Free of Charge”. Please take advantage of this good report.

How to Access the Report: Dealer Principal has access to the reports via FMCDealer.com and you will need to follow the steps listed to download the reports.

1. Dealer should log into FMCDealer from the main URL FMCDealer.com; 2. The user should click the Management Reports navi-gation link under the Sales tab; 3. The user selects Minority Dealer Reports link from the Management Report.

Please contact the Ford MDA Staff if you have questions regarding this valuable tool. Thanks!


 

Take Advantage of This Ford MDA “Members Only” Offer From Ford Credit Ford Credit is providing funds in 2017 to assist minority dealers with selling vehicles and improv- ing performance through marketing, incentives and training programs. Funds are available to Ford and Lincoln minority dealers who floor plan with Ford Credit. Contact your local Business Development Manager for details, and act quickly as these funds do go fast. Please contact your Ford MDA Staff if you have any questions!


 

Acknowledgement of Thanks

 

ROBERT A. HILL
Thank you for your kindness and sympathy at a time when it was deeply appreciated.

Love
The Robert A. Hill Family

 


 

Profile: Michael DeYoung

Michael DeYoung, Retail Network Operations Manager Ford Motor Company
Mike currently leads the Operations department of the U.S. Retail Network team, which is responsible for ensuring that Ford Motor Company has the strongest retail distribution channel featuring the most qualified, and diverse Dealer network.
Mike will be celebrating his 20th year with Ford Motor Company this May, following 5 years with Enterprise Rent-A- Car. Since joining the Marketing Sales and Service team at Ford, Mike has held various positions in the field along with management positions in Dearborn, Michigan.

Before joining the Retail Network team in June 2016, Mike served as the U.S. Fleet Operations Manager, Lincoln Regional Manager and Ford Customer Service Division Regional Manager. He has extensive experience in all aspects of Marketing and Sales, including Ford and Lincoln Sales, Customer Service and Aftermarket Sales.

Born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Mike attended Western Michigan University where he holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, majoring in Marketing. Mike enjoys spending time with his wife, Michelle, and their two daughters in Northville, Michigan.


 

Merchant Lynx Services

Dear FMDA Members:
What are you going to do to reduce cost at your dealerships this year??? How are you going to add $$$$ to your bottom line??? What is the easiest way to accomplish this without spending any money??? The answer to these questions is simple and right under your nose! You make a call to me at Merchant Lynx Services and let me show you how our program can help you cut unnecessary cost from your ever increasing credit card processing volume. I’m even going to pay you to give me the chance to prove it – and here’s how.

This means that any member who scans over a copy of their most recent merchant statement will receive a gift card for $200 – no strings attached. We are excited to be able to extend this incentive and it’s because of the interest and support from the last event that makes it possible. I strongly encourage members to take advantage so we can help you reduce this cost and continue to offer incentives and pro- grams other companies can’t.

I look forward to helping members with any area of payment processing and I am always available to answer your questions or concerns so don’t hesitate to call me at, 404- 354-9360. Thanks again for all your support!

Regards,
JEFF GATES


 

It Is Better to ‘Air’ on the Side of Caution Than Be Frustrated and Flat!

By Frank Avila

Today, roadways seem more treacherous with the increasing amount of traffic and continuous construction. It seems inevitable that some form of debris will cross your path; whether you are on the highway, freeway, turnpike, or just down the street from your home. This is where Tire and Wheel Protection is a smart and sensible benefit to our customers. However, in the business office, most people think that tire and wheel damage is something that happens to someone else. Then, they find themselves sitting in the dealership’s service department glaring at a pricey invoice for their tire and wheel repairs, and in hindsight, "Oh, that tire and wheel coverage could have saved the day . . . and my wallet.” The importance of tire and wheel coverage has changed from an optional afterthought item to a valuable peace-of-mind protection.

Presenting a Road Hazard Protection program to a customer is as easy as asking, “On your way to the dealership, how much debris did you come across on the road/high- way?” Or, “How many potholes do you have to avoid on your way to work each day?” Some business managers use a damaged wheel and tire with a repair order or something as simple as a jar full of nails and screws as a visual aid during their presentations. This can really drive home how expensive this kind of damage can be to a customer without a Tire and Wheel Protection program. Other dealerships even have this type of visual aid in customer waiting areas to generate additional interest and sales. If your office space does not allow for that, make sure to have some photographs and repair orders from actual cases that have come into your dealership. As with any presentation, a proper interview will set the backdrop when painting the picture for the customer to relate to.

In closing, make sure your customers understand the cautionary tale of electing not to protect their tires and wheels, as well as the out-of-pocket expense and inconvenience it brings. Today’s roadways are overrun with tire treads, debris, potholes, and other unusual objects that have to be dodged daily. So, encourage your customers to heed your words before they find themselves on the side of the road with a flat and frustrated, instead of peaceful and protected.


 

Profile: Brian Muldrow

Brian Muldrow, President, The Muldrow Group

Brian Muldrow is an asset to any partnering dealership. He has 21-years in the auto industry and 10-years as an aftermarket agent, of which he became the top-ranking agent in the com- pany. Brian has extensive knowledge of the complexities of the Service Department and his innate capability for income development and training. He was a former Service Advisor and 25- year veteran in the automotive industry.

Brian started the Muldrow Group to carry on the family business legacy in the automotive industry, and his personal passion to help dealers reach their business goals.
The Muldrow Group offers its dealers a unique way to capture operational funds for their dealerships such as working capital, inventory acquisition, building upgrades or for personal needs. Typical advances range from $400,000 – $600,000 with advances of over $1,000,000.

The Muldrow Group acts as a dealer incentive program that will help businesses create and maintain enough cash flow in order to thrive instead of fail, due to a lack of cash flow or support. The Muldrow Group is the shoulder your company can lean on for sup- port, and will provide dealers with the most up-to-date methods, skills and knowledge necessary for their business to flourish.

The Muldrow Group is the conduit you need to help your business grow by offering you support in the areas of: • Using funds to buy dealerships instead of paying out of pocket 

  • Purchase Inventory and grow your business
  • Buy service contracts
  • Train F&I managers and Compliance training through our national training center
  • Aftermarket parts, service, contracts
  • GAP
  • Vehicle protection products
  • Environmental (fabric and finish)
  • Tire and wheel guarantees
  • Other F&I products.
  • Brian understands the importance of the customers' wants, needs and their appetite for risk, which is why he has become a proud member of Ford Minority Dealers Association (FMDA).

Brian's vision is to help minority dealers grow their businesses by offering them options such as loans, revenue sharing, strong support and wealth-building options to help generate long-term accounts in order to recoup their investment.

For more information, contact Brian Muldrow at 315-252- 9000, Email: [email protected] or visit our website at www.themuldrowgroup.com.


 

ID Drive, the first touch in the dealership–the driver’s license scan–could solve many issues if done correctly. A mandated driver’s license scan with the right technology can give dealers unique visibility into who a customer is and how they qualify, eliminating ID and financial fraud and protecting them from CFPB compliance issues; but it also triggers a data purification and enrichment process which instantly delivers authenticated data into the CRM/finance systems. With ID Drive’s cross check enhancement, important information fields including name, address and DOB verified, insures purified data is securely exported into the CRM, Desking and Finance platforms ––eliminating contracting paperwork errors and eliminates ID fraud.

Please call eLEND Solutions for a demonstration of the ID Drive; 877.458.5000 • DON ZALE • [email protected].


 

 Speeding The Wholesale-to-Retail  Process

Since 2009, the gap between list price and transaction price has steadily declined. Here are some ways that dealers can overcome this margin compression by infusing speed and efficiency into the wholesale-to-retail process.

Inventory Acquisition
Technology can provide dealers with specific stocking recommendations based on demand in their market, their sales volume and profit goals while factoring in reconditioning, transportation and other costs. For example, vAuto’s Stockwave can aggregate listings from multiple auction houses across the country and display profit potential and maximum recommended bids for each vehicle.
Buying online via simulcast auctions and online wholesale marketplaces, like those provided by Manheim, can expand a dealer’s radius to provide fast and convenient access to a wider variety of vehicles that align with a dealership’s strategy.

Floor Planning
Once vehicles have been sourced, the next step is to fund them. Consider partnering with a vendor that can offer the capital and expertise needed to maximize your wholesale strategy and make inventory available without expending any dealer capital. A floor planning provider that offers inte- gration with auction platforms can provide the agility needed to get sought-after vehicles to market quickly.

Transportation Logistics
Consider centralizing with a trusted (and insured) transportation provider that specializes in smaller loads, can opti- mize loads with carriers for the best price, and can provide guaranteed prices, transportation routes and schedules. Manheim customers can use Ready Logistics and CentralDispatch® solutions to transport cars so that they are ready to sell within a few days.

Reconditioning & Detailing 
Buying vehicles that have been reconditioned and detailed at the auction means getting them on the front-line faster and increasing inventory turn. It can also mean cost savings when personnel and resources that would normally be relegated to wholesale vehicle refurbishment can be allocated to other activities – such as maintenance and repair – that drive profit for the dealership. Manheim auctions, for example, feature a full range of services – from detailing to light mechanical repairs – in a one-stop shop designed to eliminate logistic and scheduling hassles.

Merchandising
Getting vehicles online before they leave the auction can significantly improve the chances of turning inventory quickly. Where possible, photos can be taken, acquired from a wholesale listing or condition report (or provided by Manheim imaging services) and posted online while the vehicle is in transition so that consumers are immediately informed where they can buy in-demand  inventory.

This article was provided by Cox Automotive, a Ford Minority Dealer Association allied member that offers industry-leading digital market– ing, software, financial, wholesale and e-commerce solutions for dealers, consumers, and manufacturers. The Cox Automotive family includes Autotrader®, Dealer.com®, Dealertrack®, Kelley Blue Book®, Manheim®, NextGear Capital®, vAuto®, Xtime® and a host of other brands. For more information, visit www.coxautoinc.com.


 

Improve Customer Satisfaction With A Flexible Payment Approach

Do you ever have cashier lines at your dealership? When service work is completed, can your customers pay online? Can they specify the time that they want to pick up their vehicle, so you can have their vehicles ready for them when they arrive? Do you collect signatures on paper invoices? Do you have to scan these documents or file them away? Can you email invoices to your customers? Are you asking yourself these questions more and more?

Customer's expectations are shaped by their daily interactions at restaurants, gas stations, and other retail businesses . . . ePayments allows dealerships the ability to offer their customers the payment experience that they have become accustomed to. In fact, research shows that 47% of customers would pay for their service transaction via email or text if given the option. This means that the number of people waiting in line at the cashier during busy vehicle pick-up times would be reduced by almost half. Paying via email or text provides convenience and a better overall experience for your customers.

Satisfy Customers with Convenient Payment Options
Now you can experience improved control of customer payments in all areas of your dealership. An e-payment solution integrates the payment system with the transactions on your Dealer Management System (DMS). This improves the accuracy of traditional cashiering by making the payment system one with the service transaction, reducing errors and saving time. In addition, you can gather electronic signatures from customers for electronic storage in a digital data archival application. Signed documents can be printed or emailed to customers – an option that is truly “paperless” for both the dealership and your customers.

Benefits for Your  Dealership

  • Engage customers who want self-service or remote payments
  • Greet customers at their vehicle with tablet-enabled service advisors
  • Accept payments via tablet-enabled service advisors
  • Create an excellent customer experience and improve customer satisfaction
  • Increase efficiency and accuracy in the parts and service departments

Benefits to Your Customers

  • Enjoy more choice, convenience and a better overall shopping experience
  • Pay remotely via email or text
  • Choose which payment method is best for you: cash, checks, credit cards, PayPal, Google Wallet or Apple Pay
  • Electronically sign your invoice and receive an emailed or printed copy
  • No more waiting in line for cashiers – pay before you arrive back at the dealership
  • Specify the pick-up time for your vehicle or parts 

Today, Ford dealerships using CDK ePayments for Ford SMARTT can help deliver a payment solution that transforms the traditional payment process, to help increase revenue, reduce expenses, control risk and improve cash flow. And since CDK ePayments for Ford SMARTT integrates your CDK Drive DMS transactions with your payment system, you’ll save valuable time reconciling payments.

Additional Benefits include:

  • Integrated payment cashiering for parts and service
  • Integrated payment processing for cash receipts
  • Text & email customer payment notification
  • eSignature on final service invoice and parts invoice
  • In-store mobile cashiering
  • Digital Wallet creation

For more information on CDK ePayments for Ford SMARTT, contact Kathy Gilbert, [email protected].


 

Are You Ready for The New Tax Year?

With the new year upon us, it’s a good time for your business (as well as you personally) to plan for the upcoming year and discard of some poor habits from the past. It’s a good time to look at strengthening record keeping while the books are starting off fresh for the new year. The CPAs at Fenner, Melstrom & Dooling, PLC would like to point out some good bookkeeping and other general business habits to pick up for the New Year.

Leverage  Technology
Most people absolutely dread having to track all of their donations, expenses and mileage during the course of the year. Try using technology to lessen the burden of the record keeping. There are apps available that allow you to track these items in real time. You can now record and even take pictures of your business meal receipts while still at the table or update your trip log before you get out of the car based upon your GPS. The few seconds it takes to record these items in real time is negligible compared to the time it takes to gather these items at month/year end.

Record  Keeping  for Meals and Entertainment
The IRS does not require receipts for meals if the required documentation is recorded in a log and the cost is less than $75. If used properly, an IPhone or Android app could replace the need to save several receipts.
Travel, Meals & Entertainment expenses need to be documented with the following items: The amount of the expense; Time and place of the expense; The business purpose of the expense; The business relationship between the taxpayer and any person(s) being  entertained.

Record Keeping for Travel 
It’s a good idea to have traveling salespeople track their trips on a daily basis. This will assist the company in tracking the productivity of the employee, mileage reimbursement or auto expenses calculation and will help determine where the company might have some tax exposure.

Internal Controls 
Do you have adequate procedures in place to stop or at least mitigate fraud? Recently, a Bloomfield Township woman was arrested with the embezzlement of over $1 Million from her employer over a 6-year period. By adding a few simple procedures, they might have caught this activity several years ago. The owner or someone not responsible for check preparation, should open the bank statement or go online and review the payees on cancelled checks. Owners can make inquiries about any unrecognized payees shown on a check. Sometimes even if a payee is known, it might be a good idea to raise awareness and to let the employees know that people are paying attention. Good internal controls will allow employees to work efficiently but also limit opportunity for theft or errors. A good philosophy is trust, but verify.

Yearly Reflection
Take time in the New Year to reflect upon any Life or Business changes that occurred during the previous year. Did your business grow or contract substantially? Is your industry changing? Did you have another child or grandchild during the year? Did you or your children get married or divorced? By reviewing these and other items at least yearly, you hopefully reduce the possibility of items becoming severely out of date.


 

A. V. Fleming

Message From The Executive Director

GREETINGS, MEMBERS, SUPPORTERS  and  FRIENDS

As we begin to put our plans in place for 2017, we know that this year has the potential to be another great year for the retail automobile sector. We will be keeping a close eye on Washington to see how the new Trump administration will deal with domestic issues surrounding the dealership such as consumer financing, fuel economy, etc. The regulations that surround our industry are slowly moving to the forefront of the political American agenda; please watch this space in the future.

We are also keeping a watchful eye on the interest rates that affect our customers and dealers. If the interest rate starts to increase significantly on 2017, this could affect our customers’ ability to purchase the vehicle they desire or, even worse, postpone the purchase altogether. We must look at creative ways to help our customers and ensure that we have the inventory ready and available for the customer when they go on-line or enter the showroom to purchase the vehicle.

As the interest rates start to increase on the wholesale floor plan, every day that the car is on the lot without any incentive to offset the floor plan affects the bottom line of the dealership. Dealerships always must contend with inventory day supply and turnover; however, with the expected increase in interest rates, it may be important for the dealer- ship to put more importance on executing the business plan in this area than what has been done in the  past.

Even though I stated earlier that 2017 has the potential to be another great year, we are still approaching a plateau in the industry. We must still just continue to be aggressive and go after market share as we had to do in the past. Our association will continue to search for ways for you to increase market share and profit. We know that many of you are in 20 groups and that is a great way to constantly continue to improve your dealership. However, if you do not currently belong to a 20 group, Ford MDA has a 20 group which may have an opening that you can fill. For more information, please contact the Ford MDA office.

One of long standing champions reporting on minority issues has decided to retire. Ms. Arlena Sawyers has been covering stories that affect minority dealers for years. Now with her retirement, there will be a void with the coverage of minority dealers. However, Automotive News is keeping its commitment to cover minority issues by replacing Ms. Sawyer with Mr. Vince Bond. Mr. Bond has hit the ground running and we welcome him in his new-found position.

Respectfully,
A.V.  Fleming
Executive Director, Ford MDA