Jonathan McCauley, Director of TechnologyIncreasing automation, digitization, and novel business models have revolutionized industries today and the automotive sector is no exception. With diverse mobility, autonomous driving, and connectivity services, the industry is driven by the increasing speed of innovation. As electrified vehicles are becoming viable and competitive, many states are embracing electronic solutions to old paper processes. For example, in the Temporary Registration Permit (TRP) process in Arizona, “Every vehicle that is purchased from a dealer in Arizona, must have a TRP mandated by the legislation,” begins Jonathan McCauley, Director of Technology, eDealer Services (eDs). Saving cost on the old paper permits and speeding up processes, TRP makes the process of purchasing a vehicle easier on dealers, MVD, consumers, and law enforcement. Building this original application in 2003, Phoenix, AZ based eDS, has carved a niche in the automotive industry with its internet based software solutions that assist in Electronic Lien and Titles (ELT), vehicle registration, title processing, document management and issuance of license plates and TRP. ELTs enable lien holders to reduce the handling, storage, and mailing costs associated with paper based titles. Satisfying the key service metrics of responsiveness, capacity, availability, and reliability in services, eDS helps customers develop, implement, and maintain a successful ELT program from start to finish.
The first technology project created was eTitle in 2001, which is an application that assists dealers in their title and registration work from start to finish. It is used solely by AADA, eDS’s parent company which is an authorized third party for the state of Arizona. “The software program enabled dealers to upload their funded vehicles directly from their dealer management systems into eTitle and prepare them for processing. This cut down on title clerks at the dealerships from having to enter the data again,” McCauley explains. eDS worked with the state as part of this project to develop and begin sending batch files nightly to get new vehicles titled and registered.
The concept of eDS was created to take the firm’s experience and expertise outside Arizona and pursue other technology based projects, and an ELT project with the state of North Carolina became its first venture. A little background on eDS’s experience with the ELT program, in 2010, they were given the responsibility to run the electronic title and lien program—enabling eDS to become a hub between service providers and the state, with regards to vehicles that were titled with a lien. North Carolina put out a Request For Proposal (RPF) in 2014 and eDS was awarded this contract. “Since then, we persist to pursue ventures that could benefit from our experience in the automotive industry,” McCauley affirms.
As stated before, eTitle initially started out as a service that calculated fees and allowed import of funded vehicles from dealer management systems. It was the flagship application and was very robust in all that it did for dealers and MVD. eTitle is a full service title and registration application used by the association to process new and used vehicles for dealers. Since the dealer base grew significantly from using the product, the need for a web-based solution became imminent and the second version was launched in 2006. As part of the new version, there were to be phases of the project that worked to improve functionality for the dealers and MVD.“Phase two was the ability for eTitle to connect directly to Arizona’s mainframe and update vehicles instantly, instead of the batch process. We contracted with the state and had them build the services necessary to accomplish that,” McCauley says.
The implementation of eDocument management solution has saved the State of Arizona millions of dollars and pieces of paper each year
While phase three comprised of processing used vehicles in real time, phase four was the ability to be completely paperless with the title and registration process. eDS worked with the state and dealers to create standards and meet the requirements for dealers sending necessary paperwork to AADA for electronic processing. “This saved our state and dealers millions of dollars and paper each year,” extols McCauley.
Moreover, the firm also offers eDocument Management service that allows for electronic submission of title and registration documents from dealership to processing and state agencies. Built on a highly secure platform, the service eliminates the in-route time for paper documents to be delivered to the appropriate office.
Store and Forward
In this mundane world, several factors negatively impact the dealers from being able to sell vehicles. Providing them a silver lining, the company’s ‘store and forward’ was introduced to assign the numbers and send permits to MVD to update their systems, as soon as it was backed up. Building an innovative technology and infrastructure with a promise to never be late on any project, eDS provides top notch services to dealers, service providers, state agencies, and lenders.
In addition to offering business driven applications, eDS works extensively with end users and clients to develop a myriad of reports to assist them in their daily, weekly, or yearly tasks. Processing over 3 million transactions yearly, McCauley believes that it is essential to have accurate reports for their customers when it comes to billing and transaction statuses. In an illustration, eDS developed and implemented a document management program for one of their esteemed clientele. The solution allowed the client to submit title and registration documents electronically to their certified processors at AADA. The processor then sent these documents on to the motor vehicle department electronically, making the whole title and registration process not only more secure and efficient, but also 100 percent paperless. “The implementation of eDocument management solution has saved the State of Arizona over 1.5 million pieces of paper per year,” says McCauley.
Putting the Best Foot Forward
eDS’s employee friendly work environment and a positive outlook during adversity is a testament to its passionate and dedicated employees who put their best foot forward. By never believing in failures and striving to stay ahead of the curve, the company is focused on rebuilding their state-of-the-art eTitle application to make it more user-friendly. Currently working with other states to integrate the multi-state title as a part of their application, the firm is keen on expanding its projects to boost its client base.
“We don’t believe in failure, that has negative connotations to it,” emphasizes McCauley. As Thomas Edison rightly commented, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” As for eDS, “we will continue to find numerous ways to succeed and improve,” concludes McCauley.