Dealership vendor Safe-Guard Products International, a leading provider of dealership F&I protection products, acquires Dealer Solutions and Design, a firm that works with dealerships to supervise and coordinate design, sourcing of materials and equipment, and construction of new and renovated fixed operations facilities.
“This is our first venture outside of F&I products,” David Pryor, president of Atlanta-based Safe-Guard Products, tells Wards.
Besides extended-service contracts, Safe-Guard’s product lineup includes prepaid maintenance, tire and wheel protection and Guaranteed Asset Protection.
Safe-Guard considers Dealer Solutions and Design, based in Duluth, GA, as an adjacent business, Pryor says. “This is not a classic M&A (Merger & Acquisition), where you’ve got to go in and change the business models” or eliminate redundancy.
While there’s no overlap in the product offerings, he notes that the two companies are already entrenched with many of the same OEM and dealer customers. Both companies also measure success largely in terms of helping dealers and OEMs retain loyal service customers, he says.
“We help support dealer initiatives, making sure customers are coming back for service,” Pryor says. The more forward-thinking dealers are looking at what’s next, what will the next one, two, three, four years look like.”
DSD partners with dealerships to move them toward such future goals, he says.
Clayton Terry, president and COO of Dealer Solutions and Design, calls the company a “one-stop shop” for dealership owners who want to cede control of a dealership construction project, knowing the result complies with automaker requirements.
Dealer Solutions and Design doesn’t design the projects as such, but as project manager, the firm applies its experience with more than 1,000 dealership projects and counting to “see around corners” and anticipate problems, Terry says.
The company is also a distributor for equipment manufacturers that make a laundry list of equipment needed in new parts and service departments, such as lifts, and supervises equipment installation, he says.
The final project frees dealers’ time and worries about compliance, design and construction.
“Facility construction is one headache they need a little bit less of,” Terry says.