The Way to Go in “Buy Here, Pay Here”
J.D. Byrider aims to offer better cars, affordable payments and better care.
When it comes to a franchise with a successful business model, J.D. Byrider bills itself among the highest return on investment opportunities in America. It combines a dealership and service with a finance company to offer a seamless start-up with ongoing support, thanks to proprietary software and an automated risk evaluator.
The company’s Discover Software System helps franchise owners find solutions while allowing them to adhere to standards and procedures in their operating manuals and contractual agreements.
“There’s a true value proposition here in our franchise system, where we offer turnkey solutions to operations,” said Tom Welter, the company’s vice president of franchise operations.
The brand also provides a full-time help desk to franchisees, including remote and mobile access to the system, which provides complete control to “real-time access of data,” Welter said. Access includes the data of all the other dealerships, helping franchisees see the full picture of how the business is operating, while discovering ways to improve profitability and learn best practices from peers.
JD Byrider also employs a staff of franchise consultants – people who look after a team of franchisees and serve as a personal business coach and advisor.
“Our field-facing team of franchise consultants offers more than 100 years of combined experience with J.D. Byrider,” Welter said. “We believe in leading with expertise and experience while building great relationships with our franchisees and the customers we serve.”
Formal meetings are held three times a year to review businesses and discuss ways to improve. Two of the meetings are focused, comparative operational reviews. The third is an annual convention where the corporate management team reviews the business and franchisees, and corporate staff engage in workshops and other opportunities to build relationships.
“We believe the model of our service to our franchisees really manifests itself to their customers at the dealerships, resulting in great customer satisfaction,” Welter said.
Recent corporate growth has been fueled an investment made by Altamont Capital Partners.
“We have a strong business model and an opportunity for investors to help us grow the brand’s footprint,” Welter said. “We see a great opportunity to grow our total system – via franchisees and company stores. I’m very optimistic about the future and expect to see many more people to join our team.”
For all 25 years of its operation, the Carmel, Ind.-based company has offered quality cars and service to customers. Its founder, Jim DeVoe Sr., had been in the car sales business since 1961 and recognized a need for outstanding customer service and professionalism absent in the industry at the time.
Through leveraging a background in the car and finance businesses, he launched J.D. Byrider.
“From day one, JD Byrider has focused on meeting our customers’ needs, helping them get a car and a loan and providing quality service they deserve, to set them on the long-term road to success,” Welter said.
Welter joined the company with a background in multi-unit management with publicly traded companies, including PepsiCo, YUM!, KB Home and 24 Hour Fitness, a multi-billion dollar operation. He joined JD Byrider because it was a family-owned operation in a position to grow, and he knew he could take it to the next level.
“We grew (24 Hour Fitness) from a single location to 400 units, a leader in fitness across the United States,” he said. “We also inked sponsorships with big names – Magic Johnson, Lance Armstrong, Shaquille O’Neal, Yao Ming and Andre Agassi. The thing that excited me was the great opportunity that our brand provides not only prospective investors and existing franchisees, but also our customers.”
“When I was considering J.D. Byrider, I saw many strengths, particularly a number of people who had been with the organization a long time and had substantial expertise in their area of the business. I was excited to work with those experts and partner with them to help take this brand to new heights.”
The company incorporates vertical integration and direct management between its two distinct brands – J.D. Byrider and Car Now Acceptance Company, a related finance company that services retail installment contracts. Every day, hundreds of calls are made to survey J.D. Byrider customers.
The brand has conducted nearly 900,000 surveys, with a 95 percent satisfaction rate with sales and 91 percent rate with service. It has 138 franchise and company-owned dealerships across 31 states and employs more than 3,400 people across the entire network.
“J.D. Byrider is committed to customer satisfaction,” Welter said. “It allows the franchises to have total control to make good business decisions that help maximize their profits. We have many long-standing franchisees that have helped us build this brand. Our partnership with our dealer body and the cooperation we have with them has been, and will continue to be, critical to our success.
“The franchisees operate 80 percent of the dealership under the Byrider flag and share our values and commitment to our customers.”
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AT A GLANCE
WHO: J.D. Byrider
WHAT: Used car and dealer-carried finance franchise enterprise
WHERE: Corporate headquarters in Carmel, Ind.