F&I selling software makes desktop debut


In somewhat of a digital switcheroo, Vehicle Armour is set to launch a desktop version of its innovative mobile F&I selling app this summer.

Based on the popular iTapMenu app, which launched nationwide in Canada last fall, representatives said the new desktop version packs all of the functionality of the tablet version and more.

“All the features are there,” explained Vehicle Armour business development manager Jim De Luca. “Users can still make calculations on the fly, stream video, write notes, link to service repair orders and imbed direct links to websites and YouTube videos. But instead of using your finger on the touch screen, you use the mouse.”

At the time of the tablet version’s launch, De Luca characterized the program as the F&I office unplugged and online. “You can kiss the static paper brochure and the calculator-aided payment number-crunching goodbye,” he said.

So why, after a year in market, would the company want to tether that technology to a desk again?

The big benefit, he said, is the desktop’s ability to virtually eliminate the “no T/O” where a customer doesn’t go through the traditional business office and is usually contacted by phone by doing turnovers via the third-party conference program GoToMeeting.

“The Internet buyer is a rapidly growing section of the market and this technology will allow business managers to do full-blown presentations to people in their offices, homes or even on their smartphones,” he said.

Since it launch in 2012, over 80 rooftops have started running the iTapMenu tablet program.

De Luca said dealerships have seen an average increase in profitability of $400 new and $300 used per car.

The system, which essentially digitizes your dealership’s F&I menu selling program and product suite, can make your business office pitch completely customizable and brandable. F&I options – warranty products, insurance offerings, protection packages, etc. – appear in an interactive interface where icons can be moved in and out of the customer selection column.

“The problem with the static three-column menu is just that. It is static. It is written on paper. If you want to make any changes to it, out comes the pen and you have to disengage yourself from the customer and crunch numbers. The system is flawed.”

The desktop version offers either two or three column options, though they recommend the two-column feature for ease of use and a clean look. Users manipulate the program with simple tap and drag movements common on many smartphones and tablets to build a custom program.

Simply chose the desired products by tapping then dragging the customizable icons into the customer choice column.

And no need for a calculator as payments are tallied automatically when products are added and removed.

Price can be shown as monthly, daily or total cost over amortization period. Business managers can also change the amortization period, payment schedule, term, rates, frequency and down payment.

Want to show your customers more about each product? Just tap the icon and a brief synopsis of benefits pops up. Videos can be linked in as well as the team works towards YouTube integration so business managers can play any custom dealer or OEM videos posted online.

De Luca said icons could be changed to represent the provider or the dealership, should it have a white label program.

Take, for example, the problem of extended warranties. Proactive business managers will have a set of basic repair orders pulled straight from the service department detailing what some average costs can be and the value of the extended warranty.

For iTapMenu users, the system will automatically show the average cost of repair work when not covered by the extended warranty on screen.

“The program works so well because it offers the consumer a user- friendly and completely transparent presentation,” he said. “ITapMenu encourages customer to get directly involved in a consultative process that allows them to continue their Internet research right in the business managers’ office.

As of printing, Vehicle Armour confirmed there would be no additional cost for the desktop version for stores running the tablet program.

For more information, email Jim De Luca at jim@vehiclearmour.ca