Women in Remarketing

Board Member Spotlight: Allison Kline

Allison Kline is seeing increased consignor interest in using available data to maximize values within their portfolios.
By Daryl Lubinsky

After DaimlerChrysler Financial Services hired Allison Kline in 2003 as a member of an internal consulting team focused on strategic projects such as new product launches, her first assignment was in the area of remarketing. She had no expertise in remarketing at the time.  “I was brought in to help redesign dealer engagement at the lease turn-in process,” in anticipation of DaimlerChrysler Financial Services’ high volume of lease returns around the mid- to late-2000s, she said. The captive finance company was looking for best practices on how to maximize all of its sales channels to engage dealers, increase sales, and support the brand.  She was impressed with Eckart Klumpp, who was vice president of remarketing and who is now senior vice president of sales and marketing at Hyundai Capital America. She described him as “proactive and visionary.”  “When the major volume came in, he was proactively managing how we would minimize our losses,” she said. “I liked working in that organization because of how forward-thinking they were and how he was trying to put a strategy in place that would benefit the organization a year or two down the road when all this volume came back. He was trying different things, challenging the norm, and I liked working in that environment. That was my first introduction to remarketing.”  She went on to perform other project work for DaimlerChrysler Financial Services, and she accepted a position in remarketing under Klumpp.

The remarketing business is interesting to Kline because it is continually evolving. But she noted that through the evolution, the goal remains the same: to minimize losses, minimize cost, sell faster, and earn more. She added that industry members can follow various best practices such as auction consolidation to reach those goals.  While at DaimlerChrysler Financial Services, she worked with major auction houses and always had good experiences working with Manheim.
“I had good experiences with most of the auction houses, but Manheim stood out due to their position as an industry leader and my respect for many of the leaders there,” she said.  “I was always impressed with Manheim and how they delivered on results and what they were able to deliver from a technology and data perspective.” The more soul searching she did and the more she learned about Manheim, the more interested she became in joining the company.  Leaders from Manheim who she respected reached out to her about an open positions at the time she was ready to make a change. She made the move to Manheim in January 2017 and now leads national and regional commercial sales teams. The teams sell Manheim services to non-OEM-related commercial clients, such as banks, credit unions, rental car companies, and fleets. Her group sells Cox Automotive products as well as Manheim-specific auction services.

Asked what trends she is seeing in customer product requests, she answered, “People are very interested in data.” She mentioned Manheim Express, a mobile-app tool her company launched in March that offers dealers the ability to sell directly from their lots prior to moving the inventory to auction. Kline said her group would get involved with Manheim Express if Manheim offered the products to a commercial client.

Manheim offers its customers real-time data on vehicles as well as information about what types of sales are occurring in the industry. Many companies are interested in data-mining that information. “Where should they sell, where should they price, and how can they maximize values within their portfolio based off of what information is available: A lot of clients are inquiring along those lines.”  

Staying on top of issues such as those is one reason Manheim joined IARA, and Kline replaced retiring Chuck Novince as Manheim’s IARA representative in February. But she had long been familiar with IARA since former ARI president Bob Graham introduced her to the organization several years earlier. Since then, she has always seen the value in the association. She is especially impressed with IARA’s certification and training programs.  “Anytime we can help educate and escalate people’s knowledge and skillset and try to create some consistency across organizations, I think everyone benefits, and it validates the whole industry,” she said.  She also likes that IARA helps promote issues that are important to consignors, through lobbying or representing consignors and the overall profession in coming up with industry guidelines.  “I think IARA plays an important role in trying to promote industry-wide issues, taking a stand on those, and trying to lobby whichever organization has an influence.”

Board Member Spotlight: Amy Weisenburger

 
Amy Weisenburger of AutoVIN considers herself an early adopter of technology that the industry might not be ready for … yet.
By Daryl Lubinsky
 
Amy Weisenburger’s first job in the remarketing industry was with Walden Fleet Services, and after her colleague Brent Sergot started Marketwise Solutions, Weisenburger followed him to the remarketing company as its very first employee in the late 1990s.  “That move completely changed my life and the course of my career, and I have never taken another job since,” Weisenburger said. She is now executive director of national accounts for AutoVIN, one of several companies for which she has worked through four different mergers and acquisitions. She was there through all the transactions, helping to integrate different companies with different cultures, systems, products, and services. So even though she has never accepted another job offer during that time, “I’ve had the opportunity to serve in many different roles every few years.”

As her career progressed, she began taking on a role of an early adopter, or “disrupter,” as she likes to describe it, working on programs and projects that might not have been popular at the time but that became more popular later on when the industry was ready.  Her work as a disrupter accelerated after wholesale used car auction company Autodaq acquired Marketwise around 2000. Getting involved in the first wholesale online auto auction at a time when few people knew much about it was interesting to her.  “We were trying to be something different, innovative, highly disruptive, and not popular,” she said. “It was a clear venture from the traditional wholesale auctions.”  

She experienced some positive disruption of her career a short time later, when JM Family acquired Autodaq in 2005. She called it “a game changer” because JM Family “is absolutely one of the best companies to work for in this business.” She worked with JM Family’s CenterOne Financial Services and then for its financing and risk management products business, DataScan. Her time at DataScan brought out more of the disrupter in her as she worked on the consumer initiatives of Inspect My Ride and PRNDL  “We got to do something very visionary, very innovative, and a little disruptive,” she said. Inspect My Ride offered direct-to-consumer inspections for buyers of vehicles through sites such as eBay, Cars.com, or AutoTrader.  DataScan also created an end-to-end and fully virtual F&I experience called PRNDL, named after the parts of an automotive gear selector. Weisenburger described the program as “the total online experience” that offered services such as inspections, financing, warranties, and transportation for online vehicle buyers. But the program was too ahead of the game at the time, she said. “It’s interesting to me to see all these different companies now attempting to do the same thing that we were doing so many years ago but nobody was ready for.”

When remarketing services company AutoVIN acquired DataScan in 2015, Weisenburger went back to her roots of offering more traditional, field-based remarketing services. She now manages a team responsible for business development, legal and compliance, and client relationships in the United States and Canada. But she notes that another disrupter is coming to the forefront: self-inspections. Weisenburger is working with the AutoVIN Self-Inspect product, which is live in the marketplace today. Version 2.0, which is in development in partnership with AutoVIN’s sister company TradeRev, will incorporate artificial intelligence and client-specific excess wear and use pricing of damages. Being able to reduce inspection time to just a few minutes, which will have “huge ramifications for our field network, our company, [and] our industry, but most importantly, for our clients.” Hundreds of AutoVIN employees conduct inspections on-site now. “There is a lot of time and resource and expense in that, so what this technology means to us as an organization from an efficiency and technology standpoint is really exciting.”

That passion for the industry drew her to IARA, and she joined the association’s board of directors in late 2016. She has participated on the group’s education committee. But a desire to give back to the industry, as well as the IARA’s focus on consignors, was most important to her.  “It’s an opportunity to network and stay close to the issues and industry topics that are important to my clients, ” she said. “The consignors are the industry from my perspective, and that’s what the IARA tried to do that was a little different than the average conference or event. We try to make sure the consignors are the focus. I think that’s important to who we are, and it was important to me when I decided to get involved.”

For the future, she plans to continue efforts to be an early adopter and pursue additional disruptive technology. “I’m a patient disrupter,” she said. “It’s all about timing. Sometimes the market is not ready for it, so you just have to be patient.”
 

Board Member Spotlight: Lori Murtagh

 
Compliance in areas such as remarketing is one of Lori Murtagh’s tasks as chief risk leader for SCI Lease Corp. and SCI MarketView, and she feels that information-sharing with IARA members will help her in that role.
By Daryl Lubinsky
 
As chief risk leader for SCI LeaseCorp and SCI Marketview in Markham, Ontario, Canada, Lori Murtagh focuses much of her attention on compliance issues. That includes keeping an eye on compliance topics in the U.S., and she participates in alliances such as IARA that address those topics. Privacy issues related to connected vehicles with telematics is one example of those compliance areas of focus.  Features such as navigation systems capture a great deal of data that many consumers might consider private. Murtagh is seeing an increased focus on determining who is responsible for that data. She has seen that many legislators in Canada and the U.S. believe that the OEM should be responsible for facilitating the ability to obtain consumer consent prior to utilizing the connected services.
“Then we’re talking a lot about when those vehicles are off-lease, and that takes us to the remarketing side of the business,” Murtagh said. She is hearing that when vehicles are returned, the telematics systems in those vehicles might still contain what could be construed as personal information about the  previous drivers.“We’re talking about ways in which we can support deleting that data, including suggesting that to consumers themselves by virtue of communication to say, ‘When you return your car, make sure you’ve deleted all that data from your vehicle.’ We’ve been focused on trying to get ahead of any legislation that may deem the consignors to be responsible in some way, so we’re trying to be good global citizens by talking about it and generating awareness.”

Keeping on top of the latest compliance issues is just one of Murtagh’s areas of focus at SCI Ltd., which includes two companies: SCI LeaseCorp, which handles leasing for Chrysler and Maserati in Canada; and SCI Marketview, which is a technology company that provides digital marketing products and services to dealers. She took on an executive leadership role in launching SCI LeaseCorp in 2015, meaning she came a long way from her start 28 years ago with Municipal Leasing, a small independently owned company in Toronto. She worked in the legal department as part of the lease obligation enforcement team and eventually moved up to become a small claims court litigator for the company, representing it in lease contract default cases for more than seven years before she was promoted to supervisor of the legal department.  The company went through several acquisitions through the years—it was officially renamed FinanciaLinx in 1999—and she worked in various roles, including human resources. In 2007 she began serving as vice president of operations, overseeing originations, servicing, and lease maturity administration. After GM Financial Canada acquired FinanciaLinx in 2011, Murtagh eventually transitioned to a role in operations support where she was responsible for driving technology initiatives on behalf of the business before leaving in 2015 to join SCI Ltd.

She began her role at SCI building and overseeing every aspect of SCI’s leasing business from start to finish, meaning from the initial customer credit check to the end of the lease. She explained that SCI LeaseCorp dealer clients enter their customers’ credit information into an SCI portal, and SCI funds and services the lease transaction. “When the cars come back at lease end, we will remarket them with the solutions we have available to us,” such as physical and online auctions, she said.  

In 2017, she became chief risk leader for SCI Lease Corp and SCI MarketView, supporting both businesses from risk and compliance and legal perspectives. She feels IARA will help her in that role. “I need to be a part of any partnership or committee that would put us in the same company of, in the case of IARA, other consignors that we would traditionally be likened to,” she said. She joined IARA last year and now serves as the co-lead for the alliance’s compliance chapter in Canada. She was elected to the board of directors effective this year. She likes that IARA members want to share best practices to support the remarketing industry as a whole. “The information sharing, the news, and knowledge has been probably the most compelling in terms of where I see the value in that committee.”
Template 1 column - IARA q2 2018 newsletter

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