CommunityAmerica Credit Union ($1.7B in MO) approached vehicle remarketing like many credit unions do: something that needed to be done but was only one part of an employee's larger responsibilities that might also include repossessions, bankruptcies, legal accounts, charge-offs and more. Although the credit union was able to remarket its vehicles, CommunityAmerica recognized the need for a more effective vehicle remarking program as the number of repossessions increased. As a result, they hired a dedicated repossession and loss specialist, Dawn Perkins to create a more centralized remarking process that would improve the efficiency of the process and ultimately reduce loss.
When implementing this new position, CommunityAmerica was faced with two challenges. First, the position was entirely new to the credit union and involved shifting responsibilities from multiple departments. This made transferring all the knowledge difficult. More challenging, however, was the manual nature of the process. The credit union's remarking process was very paper driven: relying heavily on faxes, follow-up phone calls, and accurate filing. Given that time is an enemy of vehicle remarketing, CommunityAmerica needed to find a new way to decrease losses per unit, increase turnaround time, and monitor and control expenses.
CommunityAmerica found a solution that reduces the amount of paper and manual effort and created more transparency throughout the remarketing process by adopting an inventory management system. The most immediate benefit was time savings. Using an online system dramatically reduced the time necessary to submit, track and receive documents. It created faster communication between all the parties and allowed CommunityAmerica to follow the remarketing process more closely as the car transitioned to the auction house. Beyond speed, the management system also provided more detailed condition reports with pictures of the vehicle. This increased capability enables Dawn to better determine the value for remarketing.
In addition to improved processing the vehicle can also be auctioned more efficiently. The technology allows CommunityAmerica cars at local auctions to be represented over the Internet. In real time, from branch locations, CommunityAmerica is able to approve or decline bids. This virtual personal representation helps provide better control the outcome of the auction and ensure that the credit union receives the greatest return possible from the vehicle. CommunityAmerica finds the inventory management system enormously beneficial to its in-house remarking program. Since adopting the system there has been a five to seven day reduction in time between repossession and sale date and, at the auction, vehicles are selling for closer to their actual value.
How has your credit union changed the way it handles vehicle repossessions and remarketing given the strained marketplace?