JAAMA

Two new deals for fleet
software firm

Jaama, a fleet management software
specialist, has recently won two deals which it said will help
companies in their efforts to reduce costs and time.

The Tamworth-based firm, which provides fleet
management solutions to fleet operators and contract hire and
leasing companies, said that both deals concerned Key2 vehicle
management, its product for car fleets of over 250 and companies
operating over 15 commercial vehicles.

In the first deal, Jaama said the Key2 software had
allowed its customer, an end-user fleet, to save at least £6,000
yearly by highlighting discrepancies relating to vehicle
registration documents, road fund licences and MoT
certificates.

In addition, Key2 highlighted that almost half of
the company’s minibuses qualified for free Road Fund Licences as
they transported disabled people, which resulted in another £4,000
reduction.

In another deal, Key2 helped a company slash fleet
administration time by a day per week.

Manchester-based AK Worthington, a distribution and
contract packaging company, said the new technology adopted, which
replaced an array of spreadsheets previously used to record fleet
management data, was estimated to save eight hours a week in
administration time.

 

SWORD APAK

Swiss software system selected
by Mazda

Mazda has selected software provider
Sword Apak’s wholesale technology, WFS, for use in its network of
dealerships in Switzerland, with the system to be implemented in
May. Mazda itself will provide the financing.

Mazda dealers in the UK are already using Sword
Apak’s system, which has recently gone live following the
appointment of Santander Consumer as the new finance provider for
Mazda Motors UK.

Sword Apak said dealers will be able to use the
software to maintain and manage their accounts online through
‘real-time’ views of their inventory, available credit, vehicle
details and history.

They will also be able to use the system’s ‘bank
calendar’ to view all past and future financial information.

 

FRONTLINE

IT firm has designs on
brokers

Following the launch of its new software
system, Frontline Solutions has revealed it now plans to
consolidate the position it holds among UK motor finance software
providers by targeting both dealers and big brokers.

In October, the Batley-based company introduced
DealTrak123, a point-of-sale system which allows private car and
commercial vehicle dealers to stream a finance proposal to the most
appropriate lessor without the need for multi-proposing deals.

Since the new launch, according to Frontline
Solutions director Andy Shuter, the company has been “growing very
nicely in a very depressed market”.

Shuter said that, despite the current market
conditions, the number of users has grown to over 100, with some
14,000 applications already processed in around three months.

With this trend, the company said it forecasts a
“steady growth” this year, as it is being approached by an
increasing number of potential clients.

It also said it has a target of 500 users of its
web-based solution by mid-2010 and hopes to reach 800 users by the
end of 2011.

Shuter admitted that, because of the credit crunch,
some of its finance broker clients – the sector for which Frontline
Solutions developed its first software product back in 2003 – had
taken “a real hammering” during 2008 and there had been “several
casualties” among its existing customers, some of whom had been
forced to cease business.

Despite that, Frontline Solutions said it has been
able to secure deals with some “big” brokers and now intends to
consolidate that area of its business.

Shuter explained: “The good thing is that the
DealTrak123 system is not in conflict with the big brokers, who may
not want to buy our broker software because they have their own
software, whereas their customer has the DealTrak123 system.”

However, DealTrak123’s main goal, according to
Shuter, is to strengthen Frontline’s position within the dealer
sector, “which is where we really wanted to go in the long
term”.

Shuter, who had a long career in car dealerships
before turning to the software systems business, said his
experience helped him understand dealers’ needs.

“As a car dealer, I always thought I needed a
system which could allow me to implement a proposal at once, then
pick the lender that I want and send it electronically to that
lender, without jumping from one system to another,” Shuter
said.

He added that, compared to brokers, with dealers
there had been a “bigger challenge”, which had been addressed by
building a web-based application.

“With brokers it is very easy to deploy the
software because there are not so many of them. But if you look at
our other target market, with 9,000 dealers you really need to
deploy technology across the internet to do it properly, and that’s
what we are doing,” he said.

Frontline technical director Mark Spink, who
developed DealTrak123 together with Shuter, explained that a key
characteristic of the software was the linking to manufacturers, as
a franchised automotive dealer typically directs 50 or 60 percent
of proposals to the manufacturer’s captive finance company.

“For a dealer, linking to the manufacturer system
is vital,” Spink said.

“Currently we can link with eight manufacturers and
are working with dealers to forge new links with manufacturers’
finance companies.”

Shuter also said that dealers needed software
systems “based on efficiency rather than volumes,” which
represented a “key issue with the shortage of credit from
lenders.”

He explained: “What we find is that lenders don’t
need dealers to be sending them lots of applications, only to end
up not writing much business. They want to monitor dealers’
statistics, their usage, and they want a certain ratio [of
applications to acceptances].”

In the meantime, Shuter said that good software
solutions could help dealers by speeding up processes, freeing up
time so that sales staff could “concentrate on more proactive
activities, such as selling insurance products, which is where the
market is now as the demand for insurance is increasing”.