With an eye toward constant improvement, Toyota Financial Services has a steady stream of technology developments flowing through its Innovation Lab. TFS, the nation’s largest captive, used its Innovation Lab to test enhancements and upgrades.
“It’s so important to understand business requirements,” said Vice President and Chief Information Officer Ron Guerrier. “That’s why we focus on prototypes ― to make sure there is a clear business understanding prior to developing solutions. At the end of the day, we’re not a hardened technology shop, we’re a technology group within a rather large finance company.”
Here’s a sampling of concepts on the drawing board at TFS, meant to spark ideas at finance companies large and small.
• Halfway through the testing for a replacement to its 30-year-old core legacy system, Toyota Financial Services is gearing up to create a new dealer “desking” tool, or management system, which it piloted earlier this year. The captive is partnering with RouteOne to determine if the product is commercially viable.
• In recent months, Toyota Financial unveiled a handful of new iPad and iPhone apps to enable employees to subscribe to newsfeeds, gain immediate access to relevant information, and receive notifications on important leadership or sales messages via their mobile devices.
• TFS has also created a mobile-friendly interface that provides employees with key performance indicators and metrics. “We are, in essence, bringing interactivity to our analytics via a mobile optimized solution to facilitate an enhanced consultative sales process,” Guerrier said. “Some examples include finance and insurance objectives, such as new vehicle sales and marketshare.”
• On the consumer end, TFS expanded its mobile capability earlier this year to include Android on the platform that already supports iOS.
• For dealers, TFS is making sure its web-based dealer communications system, Dealer Daily, is as efficient as possible in its back-end infrastructure, security capabilities, performance, and access. “Once completed, we will turn our attention to redesigning the front-end system,” Guerrier said. TFS will focus on usability, personalization, and accessibility ― ensuring that the system is available on any device, from mobile to desktop. TFS is partnering with Toyota Motor Sales, which has its own Dealer Daily portal, on the initiative to make sure both systems are aligned.
• TFS is looking to improve services like insurance tools, auto care, and vehicle service agreements.