F&I Process Change to computers was super scary for dealerships


Process change is often a scary idea in the automotive F&I industry. When dealers make the vast majority of their front-end revenue in the F&I department, changing any part of the F&I process is often interpreted as risky. Potentially disrupting current revenue and profit margins with a process change causes many managers to have instant heart palpitations.

But without process change, we wouldn’t be using computers in the F&I department. I don’t think there are very many pre-computer F&I managers still working today, but if you know one, they will tell you how much of a disruption and process change the computer age created. We all agree today that it would be foolish (and very unprofitable) to run the F&I department without computers.

Since computers’ insertion into the F&I process, the process has continually morphed and changed into what each dealership uses today. There are hundreds of “processes” that dealerships have created to work for their business structure and model. Each of these “perfect” processes has grown, adjusted, and improved over the years. Technology improvements and consumer behavior changes have directed the adjustments you have implemented over the years to get to your current process. 

Every dealership has adjusted its F&I process over the years. That does not mean change happened quickly and without in-depth analysis. When dealing with a significant revenue stream like the F&I department, it’s best to understand the change required and the benefits gained through process improvement. Fortunately, humans also have the wonderful mental ability to forget pains and remember the pleasurable parts of life. Thus, the idea of change is way scarier than actually going through change. The real benefits of change are usually far beyond the perceived initial benefits because the fear of change drastically reduces the perceived benefit expectations. Understanding human nature helps us realize why change is a relatively slow process.

However, the “slow process” of change is being affected by technological advancements. We are going through more change faster today than we were ten years ago. It often feels like we are NEVER NOT going through change. That is mostly true because the only constant in life and business is change and forward progression, which are coming at us faster than ever before. Can you imagine how scared (even terrified) by the changes a person from 1870 would be if you drove them around the streets of your city or town in a modern vehicle? They would have no time to absorb the historical changes in the small increments that happened over the last 150 years!

When you look at change as smaller incremental adjustments over time and upon the already known processes we implemented in the F&I operations, change is a lot less scary, especially compared to that unlucky 1870’s person that you just raced around town within your mind. 

Benefit from process changes comes in many different forms today. Time savings, increased productivity, increased profits, increased mental capacity, etc. The key is to identify that your current F&I process will not be static for the next 2, 4, 10 years and look at ways to improve it to meet your dealership objectives.

Do you want to increase PVR on F&I deals immediately?

Do you want to have each F&I manager increase their volume of deals by 20%, 30%, 50% to drive growth without adding headcount?

Do you have a young F&I team that you want to get to the ‘expert’ level faster?

Do you want to simplify F&I training for future F&I employees?

Do you have an expert team and want to increase productivity levels?

Do you want to centralize your dealership group’s F&I processes or even create a remote F&I department that handles multiple or all your dealerships in one location?

Change, even small incremental changes, is a lot less scary when you know your objectives and how a solution can meet those needs.

We’d be happy to hear your needs and objectives and show you how you can meet the above goals with very little process change or, if desired, a whole new process like a remote F&I department and anywhere in between.

If you are interested in learning more about ProfitIQ and ready to start capturing the many $1,000’s most dealerships are missing every month, please reach out to us at – sales@creditiq.com 

Kent Mihlbauer
Author: Kent Mihlbauer