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Sword Apak

‘Our most successful summit yet’

Thought Leaders convene for ‘outstanding’ Wholesale Floorplanning Summit

For Senior Business and IT professionals, the Sword Apak Wholesale Floorplanning Summit has proved inspirational. For Sword Apak, it is simply the most successful Summit we have yet hosted. Over 100 clients and prospective clients attended, representing over 40 leading Floorplan providers across the UK, Europe, Russia, and the United States. Over 10 of our business partners provided further support. The event was a unique opportunity to network and to gain invaluable insights into the global business and IT trends shaping our industry today.

Introducing Peter De Rousset-Hall, Summit Chairman

Opening the Summit, Tony Allen, CEO of Sword Software and President/Director Sword Apak, welcomed attendees and introduced Summit Chairman, Peter De Rousset-Hall. Peter has extensive experience with Ford Credit Europe and continued consulting in the industry. He shared his experience of the European economy and its impact on the Automotive industry since 2008. At the time commercial endeavours – and especially wholesale finance – were hit hard. However, Peter now sees real evidence of an upswing. Wholesale Finance, he says, has been proven to provide an extra profit centre for both captives and independents in Europe.

Outlook positive

Peter introduced Marguerite Watanabe, President of Connections Insights. They summarised the recent history of the Floorplan/Asset Finance industry, beginning with events prior to 2008’s economic turmoil. They assessed the impacts and the progress made in the UK, Europe and the US. Although the European market continues to face huge economic challenges and the competition is intensifying everywhere, Peter and Marguerite were optimistic that all markets are showing positive trends. They highlighted the importance leading technologies play in creating flexibility, integrated solutions, business intelligence, and dealer self-service. These functions give lenders the capability to differentiate their companies and offerings to the automotive lending market.

An insight into the future

Marguerite then chaired the Executive Automotive Finance panel discussion between David Morpeth, Operations Director, Blackhorse Finance, Kyle Birch, Executive Vice President, GM Financial, David Betteley, Director Financial Services, Jaguar Land Rover, and Jukka Salonen, CEO, Nordea Financing. They gave their insights into the impact of economic and regulatory compliance on wholesale. They also considered how to positively impact dealer satisfaction through technology, program integration and access to real-time information about – and for – their Floorplan dealers.

Using data and analytics for competitive advantage

Our FICO business partners, Mark Ryan, Director, US Financial Services and Daniel Melo, Director, EMEA Financial Services, focused on the use of data and analytics in gaining competitive advantage. Their presentation highlighted Third Platform Technology which is anchored by mobile, social, big data and cloud. This burgeoning investment area enables use of big data and analytics in companies across EMEA, UK and the US.

Global economic challenge and opportunity

Jeff Bunch, Vice President of Black Book from the US, discussed the impact of the global economy in recent years on vehicle values across the US and how that might impact a wholesale portfolio. John Dennis, National Sector Manager, CAP, shared how CAP has been working with its clients in the UK to identify potential risks and opportunities.

The drive for continuous improvement

Peter Jobst, Global Managing Director, Benchmark Consulting, discussed the need for continuous improvement in Dealer Finance efficiencies. He elaborated how this can be driven by a common Dealer Finance system and harmonization of processes across deployments. Key drivers to success in implementing a common platform included Top Management Support, Team Setup, Local Buy-In, and Client – strong Vendor Partnership.

WFS v6 delivers on dealer satisfaction

Sword Apak’s customers shared stories on working with WFS v6, and the efficiencies and increased dealer satisfaction created. The speakers were Colin Maddocks, Director Network Development, Mazda Motors Europe, Andre Thomas, Head of IT, Bank 11, and Mike Engels, VP Wholesale Credit and Operations, Volvo Financial Services.

What’s New in Sword Apak

Sword Apak outlines the continued developments on their roadmap and previewed the forthcoming Business Intelligence application currently under development.

A word from the Yeoman Warder

The event was closed with an entertaining presentation by Yeoman Warder, Bill Callaghan, a tour of the Tower of London with a viewing of the Crown Jewels, a reception in the White Tower, and dinner in the New Armouries.

And finally… ‘Thank you’

A very big ‘thank you’ to all the clients, prospective clients, speakers, business partners and staff who attended and contributed to such a successful event. We really do value our dialogue with you, and use your feedback to inform our future direction. Our focus, as always, is to base our strategic development plans firmly on client priorities.


Summit Presentations

If you attended the summit and would like to download the speaker presentations, please register your details with us by subscribing to What’s New in WFS’ . The presentations will then be available to view.