Jim Fitzpatrick with Casey Coffey, CEO of Greenway Automotive & Hugh Hathcock Discuss The Benefits Of VelocityEngage Marketing Solution
The used car industry is a huge part of the Greenway platform. Coffey says ReconVelocity gives them the ability to move cars rapidly and have complete transparency for all the managers. One of the challenges, Coffey has had was running a large organization in a lot of different dealerships across the country. They wanted to be able to have visibility of what was going with their inventory at each store. How quickly you get inventory through the system is paramount to being able to be on top of the market and delivering the type of vehicle your customer wants on a timely basis.
Hathcock says ReconVelocity is a software where a lot of dealers are a little slower to act on it because it takes a lot of work. Hathcock says they were able to put 10 to 15 pilot stores in place with both products and let the GMs and salespeople experience what the product could do for them.
Having sticker prices is majorly important says Coffey. It’s important to understand all the different offerings each car may bring. He says if you don’t have the window sticker, and the ability to look at it, you may end up missing something. It could end up costing you a car deal.
Hathcock says nobody has done in this category, where the CRMs are pushing the platform and integrating it. He says it’s a huge deal. The integration has probably been one of their biggest advantages for dealers to see because it makes everything so easy. Coffey says, what they’re trying to do is make the whole deal simple. To the consumer, it’s all about time and being able to gather information in one spot. Not only does it educate the customer, but it educates the salespeople as well. It’s been a great tool for us says, Coffey.
Hugh Hathcock and Kalah McCoy talk with Jim Fitzpatrick of CBT News about the benefits of the integrated window stickers in VelocityEngage, such as not losing out on trades, more accurate trade appraisals, salespeople being product experts of all makes and models on the lot, and greater transparency with customers,
Customer trust and transparency are crucial elements for every car dealer to consider when selling vehicles digitally. In fact, the majority of consumers today expect a high level of transparency when making large purchases. In order to help car dealers earn that trust, VAS offers digital window stickers as part of the larger VelocityEngage portfolio. Window stickers are the number one tool that gets the most engagement from consumers.
Every time a car comes through your dealership’s inventory, a digital window sticker is generated automatically for consumers with no wait time. From the dealership perspective, McCoy says as customers bring in trade-ins, used car managers have more nuanced data to assess the value of these vehicles.
The readily available information that the digital window sticker provides can even assist dealerships with their finance companies. Due to the current prices of used cars, finance companies might be hesitant to extend larger auto loans without comprehensive knowledge of the specific vehicle. However, with digital window stickers, anyone can have access to a complete vehicle profile. Banks are far more likely to approve larger loans with this information on demand.
“What’s the number one thing dealers want and are thinking now? Acquire more used cars,” says Hathcock. “If a used car manager scans the VIN, up pops the window sticker. He knows everything about the car now. So, he can make a trade appraisal to that consumer that’s going to be the best one.”
McCoy adds that when dealers set their used vehicle prices with various tools, what is not being considered is the crucial element of consumer engagement. If a pricing tool is telling the dealer to lower the price of a vehicle based on the local market and past performance, but the vehicle is getting a high level of engagement, then the dealer might not want to drop the price. This is what digital window stickers and the VelocityEngage portfolio as a whole offer.
“[The portfolio] is great for used cars, there’s no doubt about it, but it’s really for all of your inventory,” explains McCoy. “There’s no reason you wouldn’t have it for every car, new and used.”
At the end of the day, car dealers can have the best digital retailing tools on the best websites, but if consumers can not find all the information they need in one convenient place, they won’t even start the transaction phase.
Take a look at our latest CBT Interview! The panel discusses the new VAS digital portfolio tool VelocityEngage, and why car dealers need to focus on creating value for potential car buyers. Hugh says that in the last 6 months, the product has changed and grown so much. 300 car dealers have already committed to it, which is well on its way to having 1,000 car dealers by the end of this year!
Hugh Hathcock, Found of ELEAD1ONE & Velocity Automotive Solutions, and Troy Duhon, Owner of Premier Automotive Group – talk with Jim Fitzpatrick of CBT News about VelocityEngage and the acquisition of a long-standing company that provides window stickers to dealers, consumers, and banks. VelocityEngage embodies ReconVelocity, the industry’s most advanced recon workflow management software – giving dealers multiple solutions within one tool. VelocityEngage’s window sticker component also integrates with vAuto – and allows dealers to pull an unlimited amount of window stickers automatically within their digital portfolios, in the showroom, and while appraising vehicles. Salespeople are now armed with all the information they need about a vehicle to answer any questions their customer may have. This level of transparency creates an atmosphere of trust and values, which ultimately translates to more car deals and increased gross profit.
After selling his wildly popular CRM and BDC software solutions company eLead1One to CDK Global for over $500 million dollars last year, automotive retail veteran Hugh Hathcock knew he wasn’t done with the industry yet. Coming back strong with a brand new reconditioning solutions company, Hugh, who was recently featured in Automotive News, stopped by the CBT Studios with his son Gage, and daughter Hailee, to discuss ReconVelocity, and how its debut software can help your dealership run a more efficient recon process.
When working through the basics of Service One with Fixed-Ops for eLead1One, Hugh says that reconditioning was something they knew they needed to improve upon, however, they wanted to make sure they gave the problem their full attention and set it aside until the time was right. Well, over the course of the next two years eLead1One was sold to CDK Global and Hugh felt that it was time to act on this open opportunity within the industry, thus going on to found ReconVelocity. Hugh continues to describe what exactly ReconVelocity does to help dealerships and why there is such a disconnect when it comes to reconditioning in dealerships.
Jim Fitzpatrick: I know that you know this name, Hathcock. Today we’ve got Gage, Hailee, and Hugh Hathcock. Welcome back to CBT news.
Hugh Hathcock: Thanks for having us.
Hailee Hathcock: Thank you.
Gage Hathcock: Thank you.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Yeah. This is very delightful for us, because we want to know what you’ve been up to, Hugh. Talk to us about the latest company and the solution that you’re providing to dealers.
Hugh Hathcock: Well, you know, back when we were building Service One with eLEAD, about four or five years ago, we were talking to a lot of fixed-op, used car guys, general managers.
Jim Fitzpatrick: You guys were all over the country.
Hugh Hathcock: And service was different than variable front end. You know, we were great in CRM, but as we were putting together the Surface One thick stop solution, we were talking about not just NPIs and techs, and lane apps, and advisor training, but Recon came up a lot.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Oh I know. Yeah.
Hugh Hathcock: At that point, we were so involved in just trying to get the basics of Service One with fixed stop right, that we kind of said, okay this is something we need to look at, but we want to give it full attention. So we kind of put it as a back project and said, you know, we’re going to get to it when the time’s right. And the company ended up record selling over the last two years to CDK, and yeah, the time became right when I needed a product that dealers would use to make a lot of money. And there’s a huge opportunity there that the average dealer doesn’t recognize. We learned that from two years. You know, they were saying, this service won’t do anything for reconditioning. None of your used car inventory tools have a recon process built into those, right? No. CRMs do.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Yeah, recon’s been kind of that forgotten territory, right. That dealers said, we need a solution for this. Some dealers don’t even know they need a solution for it, because they might’ve been lied to from some of the people in the dealership. And please don’t write to me a fixed ops directors who used car managers on this topic. But you know what I’m talking about, because I too was a dealer and this was an area that was near and dear to my heart, recon, right?
Hugh Hathcock: Well the dealer, the GM thinks he knows, because he’s listening to his used car manager.
Jim Fitzpatrick: That’s right. I thought I knew.
Hugh Hathcock: It’s his stock guy saying, “Boss, we got this. It’s five days or less.”.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Sure.
Hugh Hathcock: And we walk in and we talk about a reconditioning tool like ReconVelocity, and the first thing the dealer is thinking is, “I’m already good at this. I don’t need this and this isn’t a problem.”.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Sure.
Hugh Hathcock: And if you ask him to show you how he comes up with his five day or less process, he can’t show it to you because it’s not a … it’s on a spreadsheet, it’s on a Google doc, it’s on a whiteboard. There’s not a piece of technology that 80% of the dealers are running that really takes the reconditioning process and gets it dialed in, makes people accountable, and gets people passionate about something so important in the auto industry today.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Well, Gauge, talk me about what you hear Hugh talking about here? Because it does boil down to the right operations, the right processes inside the dealership, right? Talk to us about that and your role there.
Gage Hathcock: I mean I, I would say it’s about the people. I mean the software, all of that is really just a tool, a hammer, so to speak.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Sure.
Gage Hathcock: It’s gonna be really about the people that we’ve invested in, these recon experts. We’re going to constantly be monitoring and talking to our dealers like we’ve always done. I mean that’s what’s going to separate us, and that’s what’s gonna really allow us to achieve what we’re trying to achieve for the dealers, right. So the dealer, that’s what we’re here for, right? We’ve got to make sure that that million dollar profit center, really that’s sitting in most dealers hands right now, that we’ve got address that. And the only way we’re going to do that is through having these experts, having this hands on support model, having people assigned, going through constantly helping the dealers do this. Showing them where to swing the hammer to make the biggest impact.
Jim Fitzpatrick: I was going to say, at the end of the day dealers have been sold a great number of different softwares in their time as dealers and it’s kind of like you leave them on an island. Not you.
Gage Hathcock: Most do.
Jim Fitzpatrick: But many companies out there go, “did you sign the order? Yeah, it’s good for a year. You can’t get out of it. Ha ha. And we’ll see you.” Right?
Gage Hathcock: We basically pioneered the whole no contract, on the CRM side. If that’s right. That’s the way we just do business. We don’t know how to do it any other way. So our investments have been, yeah a ton in technology, but mainly it’s been in the people and the experts that are gonna help achieve this.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Sure, sure. Hailee, talk to us a little bit about what your role is and the differences that you see in a ReconVelocity versus maybe some of the other people in this space.
Hailee Hathcock: I just graduated college in May.
Hugh Hathcock: Where did you go?
Hailee Hathcock: University of Florida.
Jim Fitzpatrick: We gotta get that in, right? Go Gators.
Hailee Hathcock: Of course he does. I think it’s just interesting to see that whenever we walk into dealerships, even in the past few weeks, they just look at us and they’re like, “Why are you here? Why are you working?” Like you said. And it’s really because his passion has kind of given off to me and Gage, and others in our family and that work with us.
Jim Fitzpatrick: And it’s always been a family run company, right? I mean, that’s really where the passion came from.
Gage Hathcock: The dealers is our family. They really are. So if they succeed … They’re the reason why we’ve succeeded, first of all, so we need them to continue to succeed. And this is the next biggest thing for a dealer is this recon gap.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Sure.
Hugh Hathcock: But when you talk family, I’m here because I want to transfer the knowledge.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Right. It’s not about the money as much as it is …
Hugh Hathcock: If you’re lucky enough to have kids that want to work in the business that you spent your whole life in.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Sure, I’m one of those. I know exactly what you mean.
Hugh Hathcock: It’s very rewarding when they say, “Dad, hey, we want to do something. We want to build something like you and your mother did with eLEAD.” And this guy brand, the whole dealer support team for, for Elite One. And he just left CDK a month ago. And I mean, this is his life, he loves it, he breathes it, he’s so passionate about it. I’m so proud of him.
Hugh Hathcock: And she’s a weekend of the deal, really where she’s going to be digital.
Jim Fitzpatrick: But she’s a Gator, so that’s kind of like ten years advantage.
Hailee Hathcock: Big advantage.
Hugh Hathcock: But she’s going to be in doing a lot of digital. She’ll be in marketing, but she’s going to learn this just like he learned it. She’s going to go in and do installs. She’s going to go on sales calls. I mean, how many dealers kids have we seen that maybe didn’t do it the right way and they weren’t as …
Jim Fitzpatrick: Yeah, so this is a very exciting opportunity. I mean, for not just you guys here, but … And overseeing this whole thing and launching this, but also for the dealers, for the customers out there that you’re going to have that say, “you know, wow, this is an area that I didn’t really focus on in the past.”.
Gage Hathcock: I’m sexy.
Jim Fitzpatrick: And I know you’ve got a solution to that. I mean that’s really what it is.
Hugh Hathcock: It is. It’s not like CRM. CRM, if you … We became really the market leader in CRM, but it took a lot of hard work, and a lot of technology expense and time to build out desking and data mining, and all the integrations and all the digital retailing, and everything that eLEAD … I mean it touched everything in the store.
Jim Fitzpatrick: I know it did. Yeah.
Hugh Hathcock: This is a lot easier to build because it’s really a 10 step workflow process that we had to build. The key is staffing it with the recon experts, the performance team. We put in early two thousands when eLEAD, was in its infant stages, we were the first to build in house performance teams, where somebody was calling the dealer and saying, “Hey, your sales people, these 10 worked their work plan, these five did half of it, and these five are clueless.” We’re doing the same thing with this company.
Jim Fitzpatrick: This tool will allow a GM or dealer principal to really identify where the problem lies in recon and who is doing what, right?
Hugh Hathcock: All the bottlenecks, all the finger pointing, all the blame game, it’s all part of this. It’s all about communications, right? And people want to be recognized when they do a good job.
Jim Fitzpatrick: That’s right. Good point.
Hugh Hathcock: And the majority of these guys … This organizes, this makes people accountable. And when you get everybody understanding, it’s a time thing. It’s about going from 10 days to five days.
Jim Fitzpatrick: That’s huge.
Hugh Hathcock: And five days is two terms. S.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Times that by 50 cars a month, and then if it’s 100 cars a month, and then it’s 200 cars a month, and then to some of these auto groups out there that have 15 and 20 and 25 stores or to the big public’s out there that have got 2 and 300 stores.
Hugh Hathcock: Oh, it’s multi-millions.
Jim Fitzpatrick: All of a sudden, that really starts racking up. Right? You know what I mean? Plus it makes the process inside the dealership that much easier, doesn’t it?
Hugh Hathcock: Anytime you can get people communicating better, and they understand the culture of where we’re trying to go with this … But I think the key, Jim, is you’ve got to have people in the store that are field reps with eLEAD, I mean we were …
Jim Fitzpatrick: Yeah, that was your whole deal. I mean it was boots on the ground all the time.
Hugh Hathcock: And we’re going to replicate that model. That’s my brand. We’re going to put people in the stores, and that’s expensive, but it’s worth it. And as we get this thing going, when we see a dealer go from 10 days to 5 days, and 5 days to 4 days.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Right. I know there’s not many players in this field, but what separates you? I know that you had mentioned to me something about a delivery program or something that you touched on. Talk to me a little bit about that.
Hugh Hathcock: Well Recon is priority one. At ReconVelocity we’re going to make sure we own this space. We’re going to do whatever it takes to get in every dealer in the United States, and do them a great job.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Something tells me there will be thousands of dealers in the next 24 months.
Hugh Hathcock: Oh there’s already … We’ve got 500 committed already and we’ve been in business less than two months.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Oh my gosh, right.
Hugh Hathcock: In the first year we’ll easily put in over a thousand stores, but we’re going to do it the right way. We’re not going to WebEx your install like most of my competition does in this business. I don’t think you can WebEx and get people to buy in. If you’re doing keystroke training over a computer and a speakerphone. We’re not going to do it that way.
Gage Hathcock: We’ve never been software off a shelf. That’s just not how we do it.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Ha, software off a shelf.
Hugh Hathcock: But your question was about pickup and delivery.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Yeah.
Hugh Hathcock: We all know how Amazon has changed retail.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Without a doubt. Digital retailing is coming.
Hugh Hathcock: Customers don’t want to come into your service lane and bring their car. It’s an inconvenience. It takes time. If you can go pick up a car, once the car is there put It on the rack, ID, whatever additional service it needs, communicate it to the consumer, there’s no doubt you’re going to double your RFs. If you deliver the car back, you take all of the inconvenience out of this.
Jim Fitzpatrick: That’s right?
Hugh Hathcock: So we purchased the company, and it was a overseas company that were doing some work for Mercedes and Hyundai, and it’s called velocity valet. We’re three months into a rebuild, we had to add some North American integrations, OEM stuff, recon stuff. A lot of neat computer technology stuff that is takes a little time to get it right. So we’re probably about a month, two months from rolling that. That’s going to be a module within ReconVelocity.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Wow.
Hugh Hathcock: ,I want to give dealers something besides just recon in this tool that they can grow into. And if you know me as we grow this company, we’re going to make sure we’re the best recon company that’s ever been in the car business.
Jim Fitzpatrick: I am sure of that.
Hugh Hathcock: But we want to do more than that. We want to help dealers grow their profits. And we had been a sales front end company for the majority of my 33 years in the auto industry. But I’ve learned a lot about fixed ops and recon over the last seven, eight years as we built surface one out. So there’s a lot of opportunity there.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Well Gage, Hailee, and Hugh Hathcock thank you so much for joining us on CBT news.
Hugh Hathcock: Thank you Jim.
Jim Fitzpatrick: It sounds very exciting. I wish you the best of luck when you sell it for 600 million maybe you can call me and we do like a boat trip or something. Or can I get anything?
Gage Hathcock: I’ll let you be the buyer.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Ha ha, I’ll let you be the buyer.
Hugh Hathcock: They’ll be selling it and I’ll be gone by then.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Thank you so much, man.
Hugh Hathcock: Thank you.
Hailee Hathcock: Thank you.
Gage Hathcock: Thank you.
CBT Automotive Network. The number one most-watched network in retail automotive. This has been a JBF Business Media production.