CBT News: Elead NADA 2020 Update

From our studios in Atlanta…
this is Car Biz Today And here now… Hi everyone Jim Fitzpatrick
with CBT news thanks so much for joining me in another edition. Today we’ve got a special guest in the house here – Mr. Bill Wittenmyer. “Billy the Kid” as you know.
He’s Vice President of Sales, Layered Apps and Competitive Accounts for the number one — the one and only — Elead. So thank you so much Bill for joining us on the show. Oh, it’s always great to be on, Jim. Good to see you appreciate you having me on. Sure, so let’s let’s kind of jump right in here. You guys have been making some
big waves out there with the new Elead brand and kind of a you know a
refreshment of the whole brand as we’ve known it and making it better. Talk to us a little bit about that.
Why now and what are some of the changes. Well we really thought it was great timing, and and you know it was it was the right
time from our perspective you know with after the acquisition with CDK and CDK
Global has been so great during the acquisition you know we looked at it and
made the decision that was a right time to come out with a refresh or rebrand
you know we really wanted to we wanted to do a couple of things with the gym we
wanted to have a look back and kind of a nod to the past and the history and the
great tradition that he lead had been for the 30 plus years and then we also
wanted to look forward you know with more of a modernization and being more
innovative and and I think we really accomplished that with the logos and the
look and our marketing team just did a fantastic job in a very short period of
time going through the entire process and it was really exciting to do that
roll it out well. That’s that’s exactly right it looks phenomenal and we’ve
got a lot of good feedback on it from some some of the dealers that we’ve
spoken to as well. What’s stayed the same? You know it feels like a lot of
things. You know there’s going to be a lot of familiar faces when we talk about
NADA a little bit later on. That’s a big thing you know –
huge retention as I mentioned the CDK acquisition. It’s just been – it could not
have gone any better and certainly could have gone a lot worse and I think you
and I talked about that at at the time of acquisition yeah that it felt that
way and and it’s really actually executed you know what what’s happened
is we’ve grown massive retention on the employees and
particularly in all the key leadership areas. You add in that we’ve done massive investments and resources and that’s not just resources in terms of you know what
are you doing in dev and what are you doing in R&D but but boots on the ground
a lot of things that made us very successful, you know we just amplified
that and and that amplification was going to be adding you know. More account managers in the field and on the ground. More performance managers, you know, more support team – so all those things that I felt like were really key to us you
know being fast, flexible, friendly, fun – I think all those things what we did is we
just amplified them and that’s been a really great testament, you know. Not only
to all the folks at Elead, but also CDK Global and their support. The keeping all of those employees, you know, onboard — very impressive. I mean and then also
having also having the power of CDK to make the process and the products even that much better. Right. Yeah. And you know – it wasn’t even just retaining employees
because anytime you go through any kind of transition like that it can be you
know a little nervous or anxious or people but yeah the teams did a great
job the leadership did a great job. CDK Global did a great job, but you know what – our clients you know our partners really did the best job! You know. Not only did they stay, we had tremendous growth last year through the last 15 months of the
acquisition. It was just really an exciting time and we’re really looking
forward to as we go into the future. Yeah for sure. What can dealers expect? I mean
what talked to us a little bit about that. Yeah – I think a lot of its going to
be you know “hey, it it’s not your dad’s old Elead” like they used to say about a
Buick right it’s a we’re certainly a lot more modern. We’re going a lot more
innovative. Certainly with the support and the resources and backed by CDK
Global has been a tremendous help. There’s a lot of really cool things that
we’re going to see upcoming as we get to N-A-D-A and a lot of rollouts that way.
But, I think it’s going to be again as I mentioned earlier it’s really amplifying
you know all those great things that that got us to where we were and now
having the resources to be able to continue to do that and grow along with
our great clients and partners. And talk to to us a little bit about the I guess the the new branding will be, really, a new booth basically at N-A-D-A this year. Yeah that’s a big one. So huge booth this year. We’re
right next door to see CDK and Fortellis. So we’ve got a really good sized Elead
booth with the new branding dedicated to the Elead products – not only CRM but also all the other layered apps that we have, and and we’re really pushing that
agnostic you know aspect that, yeah “look we’re for everyone. We’re the CRM for every man and woman” as I like to say. and you know it’s still not a CRM out of
the box, right? It’s still; you know. we want to be that client that kind
of circles around your processes inside the store and try to better suit that
and that continues with open up APIs as well. You know that’s been a huge
addition with the Foretellis platform and being able for us to not only
continue the great integrations that we’ve had with so many partners, but now open and expand that even further. Give us a little quick review of some of the
products and enhancements and why dealers would benefit by meeting with
you out at N-A-D-A. Yeah I appreciate that you never want to let all the cats out
of the bag right you want to have a couple surprises by Christmas morning. But you know a couple of things. You know we’re going to be looking at our
Connected Store and DealBuilder which is our digital retail application —
a real separator in the industry from the standpoint that it truly is a single
ecosystem from the online shopping and buying experience all the way through
the inside the store. We’ve got some great enhancements there. I think one of the big ones is going to be, you know, something that a lot of dealers expected
which is you know a greater marriage between CDK and Elead. And what I mean by that is an example you know we have an enhanced integration now where
– and this is big – we’re going from a hundred and fifty fields that we
originally had integration points to over 800. So I mean you literally have a
seamless connection between CDK DMS and Elead now, you know, greater than anything else that’s out there between a lot of vendors which has huge advantage and and
you’d expect that right that was one of the things that we needed to work on and
move forward. A couple other ones – Audience Builder – which is going to be a
part of our different data query system. Up to 60 different filters –
I think every dealer in the world wants to be able to use and and matriculate
their data and the way that they want to and that’s a great platform that we’re
gonna be rolling out at N-A-D-A, and I’ll give you one last glimpse. I think another big one is going to be advanced self-service workflows.
You know every dealership has their own kind of creative way that they wanted to follow
up and they want to do other things and there’s a lot of things our dealers have
been asking for we’re really happy about rolling that out of N-A-D-A. And there’s a whole list of others I forgot what the number was but it was something like 50
or 60 different enhancements and products that were rolling out
at N-A-D-A. And what a great venue right? We’ll be in Vegas. We’ve got a brand new booth
with a brand new look and feel. And we’re super excited about it. Sure you guys have got something going on or you’ve had something going on with
FordDirect. Talk to us a little bit about that. Yeah – really, really excited
about the relationship with FordDirect. You know, we’ve been the FordDirect CRM
and CRM Pro for the last few years and we just recently signed an extension with
FordDirect. And couldn’t be more excited and pleased with the relationship. They’ve been a great partner with us. They’ve provided some really great
exclusive integrations for their Ford and Lincoln dealers and that’s a huge
benefit to a Ford and Lincoln dealer as well, right? Not only do you have those
exclusive integrations that can save you a tremendous amount of time, but you know
a really aggressive and special price point for those dealers as well and I
just couldn’t be happier about signing that extension with them just a few
weeks ago and yeah there’s a lot more innovation rolling out you know FordDirect is an extremely innovative company. you know they do a great job
obviously inside the Ford blue oval house for their Lincoln and Ford dealers
and just the things that they’re rolling out rolling out together we couldn’t be
more excited about it. For dealers that are going to N-A-D-A this year, do yourself a favor and make it by to say “hello” to Bill Wittenmyer and also find out
more about the products that they are offering this year and that they’re
rolling out because you can do yourself a huge favor and your dealership a huge
favor by by listening to the two what’s going on at Elead and along with CDK –
obviously two powerhouses in the auto industry and the retail
auto industry, and I think together you know you make a great partner for
dealers that are out there that that need to also squeeze every single ounce
of dollars that they can out of a deal and be as efficient as they can
right with with their partners you know on the showroom floor, in the service
center, in every area of the dealership. And you guys have done such a great job
with that over the years. Dealers make it out to the Elead booth take a look at the new branding. Talk to Bill and and his team. I know that you’ll be amazed when you walk out of there. So Bill Wittenmyer, thank you
so much for joining us on CBT News. This has been great! Jim – Thanks so much for having me on. Can’t wait to see you out in Vegas. Safe travels and I know you have a
really busy schedule, so I’ll try to just see you for two seconds because I know
the big man has got a lot of people to talk to. All right man good seeing you. Thanks so much likewise, Jim. This is CBT News – the number one most
watched network for retail automotive news. This has been a JBF Business Media