Why a flood of new technology could switch off dealership efficiency

Mercer david secure

Software has been hailed as a saviour for dealerships as it automates routine tasks and provides rapid business insights, but experts warn the growing range of platforms in use could undermine its benefits.

Industry analysis found that many new systems are isolated from existing networks, which creates a series of software silos that become a burden, with multiple logins that cause added friction and demand extra effort during the daily administration of the business.

David Mercer (pictured), managing director of V12 Vehicle Finance, which carried out the market overview, said its vision was to provide used car dealers with integrated solutions.

He added: “Our aim from the outset was to make the user experience as dealer friendly as possible, right from logging into systems to integrating with other parts of their business software.

“Our 12‐month process of developing our proposition definitely showed us that too much new technology is not always a good thing for dealers.”

V12 Vehicle Finance is the automotive financial services arm of Secure Trust Bank, which has loans and advances to customers totalling nearly £2.3 billion across the group’s businesses.

Secure Trust Bank aimed to create a financial services hub for UK auto dealers with the launch of V12 Vehicle Finance earlier this year.

The launch is part of a strategy to treble the bank’s motor lending by 2023 to around £1 billion through a range of innovative services covering the sourcing, funding and financing of used cars and vans.

To drive growth, it has developed a strategic partnership with innovative national vehicle remarketing specialist Aston Barclay Group to provide a broad service to dealers.

A wholesale proposition, ‘Aston Barclay Stock Funding powered by V12 Vehicle Finance’, will support the remarketing company’s 6,000 buyers with rapid access to finance to fund a vehicle’s value, including auction fees, delivery charges and refurbishment costs up to £1,000, including VAT.

Aston Barclay has integrated the finance proposition into its buyer’s app, so customers can digitally source and fund stock in a ‘three tap transaction’ covering search, bid and fund.

Dealers who partner with V12 Vehicle Finance will have access to Aston Barclay’s recently launched e-Valuate vehicle appraisal tool, so they can inspect and value trade-ins, and the e-Xchange stock sourcing portal that includes live online bidding and a ‘buy now’ option.

V12 Vehicle Finance has also automated the wholesale and retail finance lifecycle process by investing in the CALMS asset finance platform from White Clarke Group.

When dealer customers return for servicing, they will be offered interest-free credit over six or 10 months through a partnership with the bank’s sister company V12 Retail Finance, a point-of-sale funding specialist that has hundreds of thousands of customers in sectors ranging from furniture to electrical goods, home improvement and jewellery.