FOCUS – F&I, Computers

Companies offering finance, insurance and computer services in the powersports industry continue to create opportunities, hoping to catch business from consumers, dealers, distributors and manufacturers.
They offer dealer financing for floor units; OEM-specific credit cards; digital parts catalogs; custom Web sites; loss-prevention software; and even services that allow dealerships to be run using wireless hand-held personal computers.
There’s AdvanceDesk, GE’s new Internet-based finance management system that serves as a one-stop tool for dealers working with GE financing; PartSmart Version 8.0, an electronic parts catalog reconfigured by ARI Network Services to offer more user-friendly options; iPLUS (Internet Purchasing Leasing Underwriting Servicing) from Sparta Commercial Services, software that allows immediate point-of-sale credit application decision-making and contract processing; a loss-prevention video solution called Remote Manager IP that links Retail pro software to continuous video surveillance; and eBay’s increased dealings with powersports retailers and OEMs.
In addition, the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) says big changes will be taking place at the parts counter by the end of the year. Major powersports companies, working together with the MIC, have spent more than two years developing a standard for dealer management systems (DMS) to connect with suppliers.
Using this Powersports Standard Protocal (PSP) dealers will no longer need to log into different supplier systems or phone and fax information that has to be keyed back into their business software. Business data, like parts orders, product registrations and credit applications will be processed in a consistent way right inside the DMS to increase speed, accuracy and greatly reduce the time it takes to train dealer personnel. Although industry wide adoption of PSP will not take place overnight, key companies are moving rapidly in this direction.

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