America's "Heartbeat" Returns — Open Dealer Exchange Provides Digital Deal™ Innovation in Mending Economy

Open Dealer Exchange says the Digital Deal™ benefits both dealer and buyer in reduced sales time and costs by eliminating a cumbersome paper process — but also ultimately encourages consumers to buy, thereby providing better economic security for the Heartland.

(Tampa Bay, FL) January 13, 2014 – In 2009, automotive sales hit a low not seen since 1982. While the automotive trade has begun to recover, the New Economy has brought with it a demand to innovate and modernize—but the majority of finance and insurance (F&I) activities are still stuck in paper overload, leaving the automotive-buying practice disjointed and unorganized. The Digital Deal™, developed by Open Dealer Exchange, LLC (ODE), a joint venture with ADP and Reynolds and Reynolds, was established to streamline the auto-buying process with automated methods specifically designed for better management of the automotive industry. Digital Deal™ officials say automation drives customer satisfaction and confidence by speeding up and standardizing fair lending practices—ultimately protecting the consumer and providing better stabilization of the American economy.

Currently, the auto industry still relies heavily on paper-based processes, and despite the high number of sales in recent years, studies indicate the industry could benefit from improvements. The length of time buyers spend at the dealership has increased to an average of 4.3 hours in 2011 from 4.1 hours in 2010 [1]. ODE's Digital Deal™ reduces the sales cycle by one-third and eliminates the high probability of human errors— which ODE officials say makes the auto lending process open and transparent. In essence, the Digital Deal™ revolutionizes the car buying experience. As a result, dealers increase their profit margin, allowing them to sell 25 percent more cars— a boon for the American economy that is heavily tied to the auto market.

The Digital Deal™ was designed with both dealers and lenders in mind. Its goal is to assist dealers in providing quality data to lenders in real time and eliminate costly fines due to new banking regulations put in place by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). ODE officials say that a digital process is needed in order to take advantage of the current buying momentum and facilitate the selling process so that people are encouraged to buy. But still only a few companies have taken steps to digitize, such as:

VW Credit Inc., Volkswagen Group of America's captive finance company, will spend $30 million on information technology improvements over the next two years, CFO Christian Dahlheim said. One goal is to digitize every form that goes to VW Credit, starting this year for some dealers.

With the investment, VW Credit is joining the ranks of other captive finance companies that envision car buyers signing their contracts on iPad tablet computers, no ink required. Fans of the technology say it will make the process speedier and more professional, and also cut down on errors in contracts [2].

"Auto loans have an attractive risk-reward ratio, making them a winning business proposition for banks and finance companies," explains Steve Luyckx, ODE General Manager said. "An electronic system means fewer or no mistakes and incomplete forms, which reduces overall acquisition costs—translating into faster funding and better cash flow for dealers."

Because the auto industry is still mid-recovery, many dealers are paying even more attention to innovative and new retail methodologies, added Luyckx. Several dealer groups and their lender counterparts are leading the way with game-changing ways of selling automobiles, all of which are supported by the key components of ODE's Digital Deal™.

The third largest dealer group in the country recently announced plans to go digital. The company is working with ODE to implement the plan, and ODE and its DMS Partners will cover 100% of what the group is going to offer.

Through its two divisions—Lender Services and Provider Exchange Network (PEN)—ODE enables its customers to deliver innovative solutions for their dealers, such as contract data validation, eContracting, an extensive electronic forms library and forms preparation.

ODE eliminates the need for dealers to log in to multiple systems or re-key data into various applications during a vehicle sale, resulting in increased operational efficiencies, reduced contract errors and a more streamlined process with a lender or provider's franchised dealerships. But the telltale sign is the customer satisfaction index and reduced time, and the consequent increased profitability.

Luyckx says a smoother loan process makes buying easier, encouraging customers—particularly millennials—to participate in the new car experience.

ODE officials will attend the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) trade show in New Orleans in January (24-27), and will be open to interviews and Digital Deal demonstrations. Digital Deal™ is a registered trademark of Open Dealer Exchange, LLC.

For more information about ODE and its services, visit www.opendealerexchange.com.

  1. "2011 U.S. Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study." J.D. Power, 30 Nov. 2011. Web. 11 Dec. 2013. jdpower.com/content/press-release-auto/xWUuksT/2011-u-s-sales-satisfaction-index-ssi-study.htm.Healy, James, and Fred Meier.

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About Open Dealer Exchange, LLC

A joint venture between CDK Global™, LLC and The Reynolds and Reynolds Company, Open Dealer Exchange is a technology leader within the automotive F&I process for connecting lenders and F&I product providers with their dealer partners throughout the United States and Canada. By providing a direct connection into the dealership's main network — the DMS — Open Dealer Exchange virtually removes the need for the dealer to leave their system-of-record during the F&I process. This innovative process results in increased operational efficiencies, reduced contract errors, and a more streamlined process with a lender or provider's franchised dealerships. For more information on Open Dealer Exchange and its divisions, please visit www.opendealerexchange.com.