A carefully selected, sought after and adhered to finance and insurance department structure and philosophy can cultivate a positive customer encounter. Galati Yacht Sales aims to achieve an enhanced buying experience with its business office.
The Anna Maria, Fla.-based marine dealer has taken a traditional F&I approach and added its own twist. The company’s business office combines its F&I and closing functions. The business office is a means to an end, but not the end itself; the office’s mission is to support the customer experience and assist boat sales. The combined F&I and closing protocol guarantees the office has a conversation with every one of the hundreds of customers the dealership works with every year. The constant exposure has helped Galati garner 13 percent of its net profit from F&I.
“We call this department our business office as opposed to the F&I department,” the company says. “The latter implies that the primary function of this department is to create additional income for the company. And while this is important to any marine dealer, income production is secondary to meeting our customer’s individual needs within the closing process. This behind-the-scenes approach continues to be a winning formula for our business office.”
To ensure that business office operations run smoothly, Galati Yacht Sales has created two important roles to oversee it. A chief financial officer keeps an eye on the entire F&I process, and a quality control coordinator, who reports directly to the CFO, supports each of the business office team members with a rigorous checks-and-balances approach. The process is designed to ensure all the dealership’s documents and money flow through the business office, decreasing the chance for mistakes and ultimately creating a seamless transaction for the customer.