Thursday, October 4, 2007
Interview with Jonathan Ord, Founder, DealerSocket
Interview with Jonathan Ord,
Ted: Please tell our readers a bit about the history of
DealerSocket. Jonathan Ord
Ord: DealerSocket was incubated by me and my partner Brad
Perry. We had worked in the CRM space prior to this company.
National Remarketing Founder,
We knew a lot about customer relations management, and about
Conference & Used Car Expo integrating CRM solutions for a bunch of different industries;
anywhere from professional sports teams to American Express DealerSocket
and a bunch of diverse industries. We learned how to make
people successful using technologies to get the right business Contact Info:
processes and actions that would drive the business, whether it email@example.com
be selling products and services or making customers more
successful and reputable. We did that for a number of years.
Tim Copacia Named EVP of
Customer Experience at Outsell We grew that company and sold it. We saw a huge need in the
dealer space, so we actually developed a beta version for some of our dealer friends and they said, "Great, but only
three of our people are going to use this." We responded, "You need to have your whole staff use it and get value out
Maureen Huber Promoted to VP
of it.” They said, "Yes, you're right. But you guys aren't car guys and you don't understand the business."
of Finance at Autoweb/Secorex
RVI Group Names Kelly Lane as Ted: So how did you handle that?
Ord: We actually went in and worked inside of dealerships for a year. We worked for free so that they wouldn't fire
us, because we asked way too many questions. We really tried to understand the business as well as we could. We
Citation Chooses Robert Sawyer came out of that and understood what they were telling us to begin with. We then created DealerSocket on the heels
as New CFO of that with our knowledge of CRM and our experience with Siebel and Onyx and a lot of the generic CRM tools in
play. We coupled our CRM experience and our dealer experience to create the DealerSocket application tools.
Auto Dealer Traffic Names
Jennifer Ridenour VP of Solutions for Dealers
Strategic Customer Accounts
Ted: What solutions does DealerSocket offer dealers?
Ord: DealerSocket manages every prospect interaction that a person has with a store; everything from the sales side
of the house, including Internet lead management, showroom tracking control, as well as telephony management. We
replace companies like Who's Calling, and Call Source on the telephony management side. We replace companies like
AVV and ICar on the Internet lead management side, and in showroom traffic control we've replaced companies like
AutoBase and HigherGear. We basically consolidate everything that the dealer needs to do with the sales side of the
Sam Dunbar Named Safety-Risk house into one easy-to-use tool.
Manager of the Year
We also have a big application play inside the service side of the business, which is a big differentiator from our
competitors. We manage all of the online service appointments and the operation codes that are being assigned to
those service appointments. We manage the client for recommended service type of marketing campaigns. We
manage all of the different business rules and interactions that will drive people to service their car more often and
more profitably at the dealership. We also make sure that those customers are followed up on at the right time with
the right type of customer satisfaction message to resolve their concerns and make sure that they are going to be a
No-Haggle Policy at Lithia customer for life.
Ted: What is DealerSocket University?
Ord: We found out a long time ago that we could have the best technology in the industry, both in terms of breadth
and depth across the functional areas of business, but if people did not know how to use the technology or found it
too cumbersome, it didn't matter how much value the technology provided. So we created DealerSocket University,
which is basically an online training tool for our dealers to teach them about DealerSocket technologies and how to
Ken Lees, President & CEO, use them. It also teaches them to implement best practices that can be leveraged and used to drive the value in a
ABS, Inc. way that was not thought possible. DealerSocket University has been huge, and we train about 10,000 users per
month through the university.
Click here to view all executive interviews
A Toyota Dealer Sees Sales Skyrocket
Ted: Any recent success stories you'd like to share with us?
Ord: There are quite a few of them that we have had. One is a Toyota dealer here in California that had never sold
over 240 vehicles a month in the history of their store. I got a call in April that they had just gone over 360 vehicles in
Financial Analyst/Customer a month, just based on easy implementable stuff. It wasn't rocket science; it was following up on the customers that
Account Manager they should have been following up on and the accountability tool to make sure that happened every day with no fail
and no exceptions.
Click here to view available positions
Ted: Please tell us about your history. What did you do before founding DealerSocket?
Ord: I am bit of an interesting bird. I got my master's degree in Accounting with an emphasis in Information Systems
and I had been in the entrepreneurial world before I went to graduate school. After graduate school, I went to work
for Ernst & Young and was on their operational assistance consulting group. I went around the country and did job
cost and core financial systems consulting for the top 100 home builders. At the tail end of that tenure, I spent time
integrating the sales office systems with these job cost and accounting systems and found that there was whole other
world out there on the sales force automation side and showroom tracking control side and in integrating that with
the transactional accounting systems. It just created so much more value for the enterprises that we were getting
I helped grow a new company that was totally based on CRM at that point and tried to figure out how we would
integrate that in a generic basis, from customer relations to management back through order entry to the transaction
or accounting system. We built that company and we were the 43rd fastest growing company in the U.S. at one
point. We grew that company and sold it. We did about 250 different customer relationship management
implementations over a five-year period, and we were basically a consulting firm that billed for hours. What that gave
us was a great knowledge of how to make people successful using this type of technology and what the pitfalls were
and what the successes were and how we could really drive that success home. That was one of the building blocks
Ted: What do you like to do in your free time?
Ord: I have five children. I have two girls and three boys and so my wife and I are fairly busy when I have do have
free time. Most of the free time is spent with my family and doing stuff that they like to do. I have three soccer
games on Saturday and I try to coach their basketball teams. From a free time perspective, I look at all of my time as
free time and I choose to spend all of it either in the business or with the family.
National Remarketing Conference & Used Car Expo
When: October 24-26, 2007
Where: Las Vegas, NV
Registration: Click Here
Why this conference is significant:
This can't-miss event brings together the entire automotive remarketing community for meaningful discussions and
debate on the industry's future. It's held in the beautiful setting of the Red Rock Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.
Speakers and Panelists Include:
q Mark Mathews, Director of Used Vehicle Activities, General Motors (keynote)
q Lonnie Miller, Director of Industry Analysis, RL Polk
q Peter Kelly, ATC – Onlane
q Jim Hallett, ADESA
q James Bell, Publisher, IntelliChoice.com
q John Scordo, Universal Special Auto Finance
q Neil Boardman, Regional Acceptance Corp.
q Dan Crowe, Honda Certified
q Paul Pejza, GM Certified
q Norm Olson, Toyota Certified
q Glenn Burke, Ford Certified
q Chris Little, Hendrick Automotive
For More Information:
Tim Copacia Named EVP of Customer Experience at Outsell
Outsell LLC has hired of Tim Copacia as Executive Vice President of Customer Experience &
Strategic Partnerships. Copacia was previously President of Wunderman, which led Ford Motor
Company's marketing services business. Copacia moves to Outsell with a vision to help
dealerships improve the automotive customer experience and close more sales at higher profit
Maureen Huber Promoted to VP of Finance at Autoweb/Secorex
Maureen Huber has been promoted to VP of Finance at Autoweb/Secorex. She was previously
Director of Finance at Autoweb. Since joining Autoweb in 2005, she has brought financial
discipline to the organization and made considerable operational improvements that have
resulted in significant savings to the company. In her former position, she provided oversight in
managing the financial aspects of the company's recent acquisitions of Datranet and Secorex.
RVI Group Names Kelly Lane as Underwriting Manager
The RVI Group has appointed Kelly Lane as Manager, Underwriting. He most recently spent
three years as Senior Valuation Analyst at GE Capital Solutions. Lane will be responsible for asset
forecasting and remarketing as part of RVI's commercial equipment team.
Citation Chooses Robert Sawyer as New CFO
Citation Corp has named Robert Sawyer VP and CFO. In this role, Sawyer will serve on Citation's
executive committee, and will also be responsible for managing the Finance and Accounting
functions, the development of financial strategies and policies, and will provide financial reports
to the board of directors. Prior to joining Citation, Sawyer was the CFO for two Detroit-based
private equity companies, Prestolite Electric LLC and Tapco International.
Auto Dealer Traffic Names Jennifer Ridenour VP of Strategic Customer Accounts
Auto Dealer Traffic, Inc has named Jennifer Ridenour as VP, Strategic Customer Accounts. Her
most recent position was VP of Planning and Performance Improvement at National City
Mortgage Co. In her new role, Jennifer will focus on developing partnerships and alliances that
will solidify Auto Dealer Traffic's position in the industry as the premier SEM provider for
Sam Dunbar Named Safety-Risk Manager of the Year
SmartDrive Systems and the radio show "Fleet Radio by SmartDrive" has announced their Safety-
Risk Manager of the Year for 2007 in the US: Sam Dunbar. Dunbar is Director of Safety at Con-
way Freight and is in charge of more than 7,000 power units and 16,000 drivers. This year,
under Dunbar's tutelage, Con-way sent 52 of its drivers to the National Truck Driving
Championships in Minneapolis.
No-Haggle Policy at Lithia
'One for the Road' seeks each week to find, feature and share a quote from a leading automotive
executive that is timely, insightful and substantive.
"Bargaining has been the nature of the business for years. But that's why consumers don't
like buying a car. No-haggle is where we need to go." -- Sid DeBoer, CEO, Lithia Motors
Automotive News, September 24, 2007
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