F&I roundup: Updates involving Darwin, RouteOne, Reynolds and Hendrick

ISELIN, N.J., and DAYTON, Ohio - 

Two leading providers of technology to help dealership F&I offices function smoothly — Darwin Automotive and Reynolds and Reynolds — each recently landed significant developments to boost their industry presence.

First, Darwin Automotive announced that Darwin Online is now integrated with RouteOne for retail contract validation, submission and approval.

Meanwhile, Reynolds and Reynolds and Hendrick Automotive Group said that the Reynolds docuPAD system will be installed in all dealership F&I departments throughout the dealer group by mid-July.

Darwin explained what its relationship with RouteOne means.

From the dealer’s website, a consumer can select their vehicle, briefly describe their driving habits, select payment options and then receive a 100 percent accurate payment.  After being educated on the available protection and accessories, the consumer can opt to save even more time and get approved via the RouteOne integrated credit application.

Darwin Online then can send the detailed deal structure inclusive of qualified customer and vehicle incentives and programs, insurance products, as well as any trade detail, if applicable.  Dealers have full control over how much of the process is automated via their online retail services configurations.

If the dealer chooses no further automation, notifications are immediately sent to assigned dealership personnel, and direct consumer engagement occurs. 

If the dealer chooses further automation, credit bureau selection occurs. Depending on the results and deal parameters, the deal automatically can be submitted to select finance companies. This process all can occur in seconds while the customer is still engaged on the dealership’s website.

RouteOne pointed out that that firm can protect dealers from compliance and fraud with a number of free services built into its platform as well as premium subscriptions for those looking for a more encompassing solution, including the dealer’s own privacy policy, Credit Score Disclosure Notices and Red Flag Screening, to name a few.

“Undeniably one of the last pieces of digital retailing yet to be tackled is online F&I,” Darwin Automotive chief executive officer Phil Battista said. “Dealers need to adopt digital retailing technology that directly addresses and prominently promotes both the ‘F’ and the ‘I,’ or there will be one less profit center for them to count on.

“With our RouteOne partnership, Darwin Online continues the evolution of digital retailing in F&I, allowing customers to shop the way they demand,” Battista continued. “We offer dealers F&I everywhere — the ability to educate and sell F&I protection to customers wherever they choose to engage your dealership and our dealers are profiting from this immensely.”

Darwin Online interfaces with more than 142 different product providers and allows dealerships to control their profitability and disclosure. It can interact with all dealership websites without any need for DMS integration. The platform can provide accurate payments that match the dealership’s DMS to the penny.

The provider noted that studies show that 63 percent of online consumers surveyed said they would be more likely to buy F&I products if they were educated about them before they came into the dealership. Darwin Online can prescribe products the customer needs 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Approximately 2,500 dealerships have enrolled in Darwin Automotive’s F&I software in just the past two years. 

For more information, or to schedule a product demonstration, call (732) 781-9010 or visit .

Hendrick adds the Reynolds docuPAD System in all dealerships

As mentioned, Reynolds and Reynolds and Hendrick Automotive Group recently announced that the Reynolds docuPAD system will be installed in all dealership F&I departments throughout the dealer group by mid-July.

Overall, Reynolds will install more than 350 docuPAD system workstations in the 96 Hendrick Automotive Group dealerships, with a large portion of those installations already having occurred.  Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Hendrick Automotive Group will be the largest single user of the docuPAD system in the United States.

“The docuPAD system has proven itself everywhere it’s been installed,” said Bob Brockman, chairman and chief executive officer of Reynolds.  “I’ve always admired Hendrick Automotive Group as disciplined and well run.

“Adding the docuPAD system to their F&I functions will help them take another step forward in the efficiency and effectiveness of their operations and in generating better financial returns in F&I,” Brockman continued.

Installing the docuPAD system also can enable Hendrick Automotive Group stores to adopt Reynolds eWorkflow, an end-to-end digital solution for creating and processing a deal and securing funding using eContracting.  Hendrick Automotive Group dealerships are already using electronic deal jackets and eliminating the stacks of paper that go to the accounting office, the lender and the consumer.

Reynolds eWorkflow also can improve dealership cash flow by cutting contracts-in-transit time and facilitating faster funding of deals.  Additionally, it reduces document storage costs.

“The people at Reynolds are true partners who share many of our company’s core values,” said Rick Hendrick, chairman of Hendrick Automotive Group.  “Continuous improvement has been a long-standing focus for our company.  The combination of Reynolds’ leading technologies and close working relationship with our team members is helping our dealerships take care of a whole new generation of customers.”

The Reynolds docuPAD system is well established in dealerships across the automotive industry as an effective way to increase financial returns in F&I offices, while also reducing errors in the F&I process and safeguarding a dealer’s compliance efforts.  At that same time, the docuPAD system completely changes the consumer experience in F&I.

“Reynolds is working with our dealerships on becoming more efficient, helping reduce storage costs, and simplifying compliance needs,” said Robert Taylor, vice president of Hendrick Automotive Group information technology.  “These new technology platforms are also fully interactive and allow our team members and customers to go seamlessly through an interactive F&I process.  They are interchangeable, giving our individual F&I departments the ability to customize the process, fit the needs of their customers, and improve the overall dealership experience.”

Dealerships across the industry last year closed approximately 1.6 million vehicle sales using the Reynolds docuPAD system, which is an increase of more than 30 percent over 2016.  On average, those dealerships also realized increased gross profit in F&I operations, according to Reynolds.

Looking ahead, Reynolds projected that 2 million vehicle sales will be closed through the docuPAD system in 2018.

“All of us at Reynolds are extremely proud to work with the people across Hendrick Automotive Group,” Brockman said.  “We recognize that their customers expect a rewarding, convenient, and efficient experience.  We believe the new solutions we’re providing will help every Hendrick Automotive Group store deliver that experience more effectively and profitably.”