David P. Trinder is the owner and CEO of F&I Administration Solutions, before acquiring F&I Admin, David was Senior Vice President, Network Solutions, at DealerTrack, Inc. where he oversaw the development of the new SCS Auto R8 platform. Prior to that he was Chief Executive Officer of DealerAccess Canada Inc. David has a long history of building successful companies that have consistently delivered to customer needs. In South Africa, he built and operated two businesses, and was director of a venture capital fund that focused on technology investments. David is a South African Chartered Accountant and has an MBA from the University of Cape Town.
Kumar Kathinokkula is the COO of F&I Administration Solutions, LLC, the leading provider of F&I product administration solutions in North America. He is responsible for the development and management of the SCS Auto Platform, the industry leading solution for F&I Product administration. Previously, Kumar was Director of Product Management at DealerTrack Inc where he was responsible for the development and management of the DealerTrack Aftermarket Network and the SCS Auto platform. He has more than 15 years of technology management experience with a specific concentration in delivery of Finance and Insurance solutions on the Microsoft technology platform, including consulting experience at Deloitte Consulting and CGI Group, Inc.
Interview with David Trinder of F&I Administration Solutions
This article was originally published by P&A Magazine in their May 2012 Issue. See the original article here.
P&A Magazine had the opportunity to catch up with David Trinder, CEO of F&I Administration Solutions to discuss his company, products, the industry now and what it will look like in the future.
Tell us about your company and the products that you offer.
F&I Admin is dedicated to the development and support of the SCS Auto platform. SCS Auto is a fully integrated, web-based solution that automates and streamlines the administration of F&I products. We have developed modules to support a broad array of products including VSC, GAP, Limited Warranty, Key Replacement, Theft, Tire & Wheel, Appearance Protection, Prepaid Maintenance and much more. In addition to a full administration solution, we support a dealer front end for electronic quoting, electronic contracting and electronic remittance as well as many other functions. Our system is also electronically connected to over 20 menu and other dealer systems for electronic rating and electronic contracting. In short, we are the leading solution for the administration of all F&I products.
How does your product offering differ from other providers?
Our system supports more products and is more widely connected than any other system available today. With over 20 menu and other selling systems connected for electronic rating and electronic contracting our provider customers are able to offer more options for electronic contracting to their dealers than all other administrators. In addition, SCS Auto has specific enhancements to support GAP, Limited Warranty, Tire & Wheel, Appearance Protection, Roadside Assistance, Theft, Prepaid Maintenance and more. Our connectivity with Wright Express for single use credit cards for claim payments to dealers and our functionality to electronically request and track inspection requests with a number of inspection companies also sets us apart from all other systems available today.
Who are your target markets and what messages would you like to give them?
All administrators of F&I products can benefit from our services. Our message to them is that adopting our solution will ensure that they achieve the greatest operational efficiencies possible as well as guarantee that they are as widely and comprehensively connected to agents and dealers as technology can deliver today. But perhaps most importantly, we believe that the interconnectivity of all systems within the auto industry and its constituents – the dealers, agents, administrators and insurers – will increase exponentially in the years ahead, and being part of the SCS Auto platform will guarantee that they are at the leading edge of these developments.
Tell us about yourself and the path that lead you to F&I Admin.
I emigrated from South Africa to Canada in 2000 and soon found myself as CEO of DealerAccess Canada Inc. DealerTrack bought the Canadian business and in 2005 I moved to the DealerTrack New York office where I took various roles as a Senior Vice President and member of the management team. In February 2009, I left DealerTrack and Kumar Kathinokkula and I bought this business from DealerTrack. In the last three years we have tripled the number of customers and significantly broadened the company's offering.
Looking back over the past five years, how has the industry changed and how do you see it changing in the future?
The past five years has seen a growing influence from technology in the F&I office and dealerships as a whole. Whereas five years ago, technology had to be pushed onto an F&I manager, today the F&I manager (and dealership) is demanding that technology adds to the ease, accuracy and speed of their sales and administration processes. The next few years will see mobile technology become mainstream, an expectation that all systems will seamlessly talk to each other and that technology delivers on its promise to create efficiencies throughout the entire process.
What technology and products do you believe will drive your future success?
Our mainstream administration solution will always be at the core of our success and we will continue to add functionality to ensure that our customers have a solution that is far ahead of any competitive offering. At the same time, we will continue to build on our success in connecting to third party systems to support sales and operational efficiencies. Last but not least, our mobile strategy will be a big driver of our future success.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Family is at the top of the list although with two children in college and one a Junior in high school, my wife and I are starting to find the time to play golf together again. When not golfing, or coaching my son's ice hockey team, I sail as much as possible. In my late 20's my wife and I sailed round the world on our 31ft yacht. Since then I have raced yachts of all sizes on a regular basis.
An Interview with F&I Admin
This article was originally published by P&A Magazine in their June 2010 Issue. See the original article here.
Despite the tough times the auto industry has been facing, David Trinder and Kumar Kathinokkula say the future looks promising. They are the CEO and COO, respectively, of F&I Administration Solutions (F&I Admin), a full-service administration system that was bought from DealerTrack Aftermarket Services in February 2009. F&I Admin's product, SCS Auto, is electronically linked to three menu systems with another three to be added shortly. Trinder and Kathinokkula talk with P&A Magazine about the latest trends, technology and customer needs they see for F&I product providers.
Do you think sales volumes will improve in the near future?
Trinder: It's anyone's guess, but the general consensus is that sales will increase modestly in the next few years.
There has been so much upheaval that it's going to be some time before we're back at the levels we have seen before.
It was originally hoped that dealers would sell more aftermarket products to make up for less volume, but that didn't really happen. Dealers want to get customers into cars and because the whole lending world has changed, the dealer's ability to finance other products became more challenging.
We expect the penetration of aftermarket products to at least stay the same or grow as lending loosens back up, but sales volumes will also need to increase.
Why did you think this was a good time to buy F&I Admin and expand its offerings?
Trinder: When we bought the business, the auto industry had already declined significantly, so we based all our projections on some pretty low numbers. Therefore, the business had the right staff complement in terms of skills and numbers and incorporated a revenue stream that reflected significantly reduced car sales. Also, we were already familiar with the company, the customers and the software, so we knew we had a solid base from which to build the business and capture a larger market share.
What makes an administrative system stand out from the others?
Kathinokkula: Apart from the obvious requirement of delivering to all of the necessary administrative needs of the business, the administrative system must be able to provide connectivity to all third-party systems. It's an absolute requirement. When agents say, "I've got this fantastic product," they know the dealer's first question is whether it is connected to the menu or the DMS that the dealership uses. If it's not connected, this objection cannot be overcome and the agent gets no more of the dealer's time. We are also connecting to other service providers in the industry. Our recent announcement that we have connected to Wright Express is a perfect example of this.
What benefits does connectivity give the provider?
Trinder: Open, standards-based connectivity to external systems ensures that providers have the freedom to form greater numbers of partnerships, make each partnership more efficient, and improve the efficiency of nearly every administration process. It can increase the potential of dealer signup because of the connectivity to their menu and DMS. Once a dealer is signed up, the provider has the ability to change rates and product offerings without worrying about getting the changes implemented in external systems. And when connected to external service partners like roadside assistance, payment plan providers, parts providers, etc., the potential for efficiencies is enormous. The connectivity we recently announced to Wright Express delivers significant processing efficiencies because all information is managed in the administration system. It is no longer necessary to jump to different systems to make claim payments, and all reporting is consolidated.
What do you see F&I product providers and administrators looking for?
Kathinokkula: We are constantly hearing from providers that they are looking to build a more complete suite of products. This means that they need a system that can support more than one product. It is important for an administrator to be able to manage every product effectively and efficiently as well as be able to view dealer performance across all products.
At the same time, our customers make it clear that we must meet their administrative needs while making the process faster and easier for them and the dealerships. More recently, a greater emphasis has also been put on helping our customers sell more products.
What is the core competency of your business?
Kathinokkula: We are entirely focused on a complete and comprehensive administrative system and the corresponding needs of our customers. We have formal calls with each customer every week and many informal discussions in between. Most discussions center on their needs and how we can deliver added functionality to support them. We also have an annual conference at which our customers discuss their needs and we agree on the developments for the coming year. Listening and responding to customer input is incredibly important.