After months of being restricted by the “stay at home” orders within many states and social distancing required everywhere, another sector in the automotive industry that was hit was the F&I training companies. As you are all aware, finance training is usually done classroom style by companies like JM&A, Ethos, AFIP, etc. Now that we are getting back to “normal” and restrictions have eased, many of these companies are back in business.
JM&A, for example, is resuming in-person training classes, but they aren’t as they used to be. Their main training center in Deerfield Beach, FL is still currently closed, but as other classes resume, they have adapted to follow the CDC guidelines, rules, and regulations for health and safety. Classes will be limited to “X” number of people per class; students will be seated 6 feet apart; no handshakes and masks are just a few of the changes that will be implemented. Depending on the level of interest from dealers, classes will be scheduled accordingly. As much as training is needed and wanted, some people will not necessarily be comfortable sharing classroom space with others from around the country. JM&A sends out their representatives for in-store training as well, and of course, safety precautions will be followed.
As dealers are requesting the in-person training, many F&I companies have to adapt to a new way of teaching, and of course, follow all CDC procedures, including wearing face masks and gloves. At the same time, some companies are also modifying classroom topics, adjusting to the current market, and pandemic. Digital sales and solutions will now be a part of the training platform if they weren’t before. The overall goal is to keep everyone safe while still being able to conduct business, and the ability to have a somewhat normal training class.
One company, however, is adding another layer to its training platform, and that is AFIP. Although they will have their first in-person training in July and will still offer in-person training, they also wanted to offer their platform digitally. Therefore, those who need to get compliance training, but are uncomfortable traveling, or searching for an alternative way to get certified, can become certified online. AFIP has partnered with Product Prep in order to offer its training courses through Product Prep’s online training platform. There will be a combination of prerecorded classes along with live interactive classes, for a more “classroom feel.” The new program is called “Compliance Prep Powered by AFIP” and this is a game-changer because it allows dealers to stay up to date and compliant on all F&I aspects remotely, will continuing the strict standard set by AFIP. It also doesn’t take your F&I Manager or Sales Manager out of the dealership for days at a time, allowing them to still conduct business during the chaos that is happening today. We all have to adjust to a “new normal” in some shape, way, or form, so we can continue to grow, learn, and adapt to the changing market.