Paying bills is never fun, but at Kuni Automotive, it used to be downright onerous.
It took "seven or eight" people "one or two" days a week to manually process invoices and sign 90,000 checks a year, said Verna Daly, director of centralized accounting at Kuni.
All of those checks required two signatures. They still do.
But just over a year ago, accountants at the Vancouver, Wash., group's newly centralized accounting department started approving invoices for payment online, from virtually anywhere and at any time. They pay vendors electronically with a credit card that rebates the dealership group about $15,000 a month.
The group also has reduced the amount of paper its uses, freeing up a 10-by-12-foot storage unit for other uses.
Under the old system, "we had check-signing parties -- that was the only way to make it sound fun," Daly said, with a laugh.
"We'd pick a day, lock ourselves in a room. Sometimes, I'd order in lunch or pick a time of day when we knew there wasn't much going on and could be away from our desks. Starbucks was our best friend," she recalled.
Kuni ranks No. 68 on the Automotive News list of the top 150 dealership groups based in the U.S., with new-vehicle retail sales of 13,110 in 2014.
Kuni Automotive, founded in 1969, has 15 stores in Oregon, California, Colorado and Washington. In 2011, it acquired the Pioneer Group.
The five former Pioneer stores used a dealer management system from ADP Dealer Services, now known as CDK Global. The Kuni stores used one from another vendor that Kuni CFO Laura Carlisle declined to name.
In 2012, around the time the Pioneer stores were being integrated into the group, Kuni also was moving accounting duties from each individual dealership to a centralized operation that served the entire dealership group.
"When they folded [the former Pioneer stores] into our company, we then had different computer systems that we needed to learn how to manage at the same time we were doing centralized accounting," said Carlisle. "So that was a complex thing to figure out.
"We decided to move to CDK, and now all our dealerships are on CDK. One system companywide makes it more efficient."
The next step was to find additional technology that would make the centralized accounting department even more efficient, Daly said.
In October 2014, the department began implementing an electronic payment system called Nvoicepay. It enabled the group's accounts payable staff to approve invoices online, which equates to an electronic signature that releases payments to vendors.
The payment process still takes two approvals from Daly and her designated staff, but it is less burdensome because they don't have to be in the same place at the same time to make it happen.
Also, the system integrates with the dealership group's DMS, she added. "I can approve an invoice during the day, or I can do it at home or when I'm traveling," Daly said. "You're paying your vendors, and that doesn't stop."
The group can pay vendors by electronic direct deposit, by a private credit card issued by the electronic payment system company or by MasterCard.
The method of payment depends on the vendor's preference. But given a choice, Kuni prefers to use the MasterCard, which rebates Kuni a percentage of what it spends, said Sara Humbert, the group's vice president of accounting and compliance.
The accounting department processes paper checks for the few vendors that request it, Daly said.
The centralized operations and new systems have enabled the group to make changes and streamline some tasks, Humbert said.
For example, the accounting department reconciles each dealership's bank account every day, providing each store with data about its cash positions by 9 a.m. That helps the dealership's controllers manage their store's cash, she said.
Before the changes, each store did this task for itself.
Said Daly: "It's our job to serve our dealerships, to be problem solvers and a resource for them."See article on the Automotive news website at: http://bit.ly/1OZ7R83
We are delighted to share news that The Wayne D. Kuni & Joan E. Kuni Foundation contributed $5 million to Oregon Health & Science University's (OHSU) Knight Cancer Institute. The gift is dedicated to OHSU's Knight Cancer Challenge to transform early detection and treatment of cancer and save countless lives, which completed its $1 billion fundraising campaign on Thursday June 25th. The gift from the Kuni Foundation was one of a handful of major gifts in recent weeks that allowed the Knight Cancer Institute to meet the Challenge in record time.
The Challenge included a matching pledge from Nike co-founder Phil Knight, and his wife, Penny - a pledge contingent on OHSU's ability to raise $500 million in two years. Over 10,000 donors from all 50 states contributed toward meeting The Challenge.
The gift is a fitting tribute to the long-standing relationship between the two organizations, and a reflection of Kuni's commitment to supporting OHSU's work to find smarter, foolproof ways to detect cancer in the early stages.
The Kuni Foundation is Kuni Automotive's largest shareholder. Since its founding in 2005, the Kuni Foundation has made grants totaling several million dollars to support the research of a number of "Kuni Scholars" working in leading cancer research hospitals in the Northwest, including OHSU. Kuni Scholars are carefully chosen by a scientific review panel, which works on behalf of the Foundation. One of OHSU's most prolific cancer researchers, Dr. Joshi Alumkal, is a Kuni Scholar who is credited with making great strides in prostate cancer research.
We congratulate OHSU on meeting this historic challenge. We're pleased to play a small role in their success.
Last year was a great year for used-vehicle sales. The top 100 dealership groups based in the U.S., as ranked by used-vehicle retail unit sales, increased those sales by a collective 9.9 percent to 2,560,013 in 2014. That outpaced the 5.9 percent rise in new U.S. light-vehicle retail sales. This supplement focuses on the used-vehicle operations of those groups. The data are drawn from the survey information that the Automotive News Data Center uses to produce its annual list of the top dealership groups based in the U.S. ranked by new-vehicle retail sales.
A dozen groups increased used retail sales 20 percent or more in 2014, while one-third of the top 100 boosted sales 10 percent or more. Fourteen groups on the list retailed fewer used vehicles in 2014 than in 2013.
At Kuni Automotive in Vancouver, Wash., used-vehicle retail sales jumped 34 percent last year to 15,365. That was the largest percentage gain of any group on the list.
Kuni, which ranks No. 24, was one of 11 on the list of 100 to sell more used vehicles than new ones.
Kuni CEO Greg Goodwin said the group added one store last year: Audi of Palo Alto (Calif.). But the new store was not the reason for the group's dramatic increase in used-vehicle sales. The group, he said, is getting the payoff from efforts over the past several years under the guidance of previous COO Joe Herman to put more emphasis on used-vehicle sales. Among the practices embraced under Herman's guidance is the group's use of used-vehicle inventory management tools. Herman died last year.
Kuni COO George Athan added: "There was never an intent or directive to grow our used-car department bigger than our new. I think it was the result of some of the business practices we put into place as a company."
Lithia Motors Inc. racked up the second largest percentage gain on the list. It increased it's used-vehicle sales 25 percent to 71,812, having acquired DCH Auto Group and its 27 dealerships on Oct. 1. Lithia did not disclose how many new and used retail sales DCH added to its count.
Performance Automotive Network of Fairfield, Ohio, near Cincinnati, raised its used-vehicle sales 25 percent to 14,219, for the fifth-largest percentage gain among the top 100. The group ranks No. 31 on the list.
Shane Dever, Performance Automotive vice president, attributed most of his group's increase to the acquisition of five dealerships in the Salt Lake City market last year: two Ford dealerships, one of which includes Lincoln, and one each selling Honda, Chevrolet- Buick and Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram.
"We owned the Toyota store in one of the same areas as one of the Ford stores and the Honda store, so it was a great fit," said Dever. "We wanted to expand in that market as well."
He said trade-ins are important to his used-vehicle sales operations because prices of used vehicles at auction are fairly steep. "We try to limit what we wholesale as much as possible," he added.
March-Hodge Automotive of Tampa, Fla., added a Honda store in Chantilly, Va., to its group, boosting its used-vehicle sales 16 percent to 6,832 last year, said co-CEO Tony March.
"It was a large open-point Honda store; it was literally a no-brainer," he said. "Anyone in the car business would have wanted to open that store." He said his used-vehicle sales in general are helped by a used-vehicle inventory management tool that helps his group buy the right vehicle at the right price, then price it to maximize its retail sale.
The ranking of the top 10 groups in used vehicle sales, which include seven publicly held companies, was unchanged from the previous year. Collectively, the top 10 sold 1,511,328 used vehicles, or 59 percent of all used retail sales by the top 100. The seven public groups alone sold 1,290,704 used vehicles last year, or half of the top 100's total.
Publicly held CarMax Inc., the nation's largest used-vehicle retailer by far, is mainly responsible for the dominant share of used retail sales held by the top 10. Its sales of used cars and trucks increased 18 percent to 526,929 in its fiscal year that ended Feb. 28, 2014. CarMax accounted for 21 percent, or just more than one of every five, of the vehicles sold by the top 100. Revenue from those sales increased 18 percent to $10.3 billion.
Data from CarMax's most recent full fiscal year, which ended Feb. 28, were unavailable when the ranking was compiled. Those data, released April 2, showed that CarMax's used vehicle retail sales rose 11 percent to 582,282.
on February 04, 2015 at 5:00 PM, updated February 05, 2015 at 10:05 AM
This award is one of the automobile industry's most prestigious and highly coveted honors. Recipients are among the nation's most successful auto dealers who also demonstrate a long-standing commitment to community service.
Goodwin, 64, was chosen to represent the Oregon Auto Dealers Association in the competition - one of only 55 auto dealers from 17,000 nationwide - nominated for the 46th annual award.
He was nominated in part for his position as dealer and owner of Kuni Lexus of Portland, one of four Lexus dealerships in the nation to receive the prestigious Elite of Lexus award every year since its inception 23 years ago.
Goodwin took his first job in the retail automotive industry working in finance and insurance in 1978 for a dealership in Salinas, California.
In 1986, he moved to Oahu, Hawaii, to run a Honda dealership where he met Wayne A. Kuni. They founded Kuni Lexus in Denver and soon established themselves as the leading luxury brand in their primary market.
Today, Kuni Automotive owns 15 dealerships in Oregon, Washington, California and Colorado. The company headquarters -- The Kuni Garage -- is located in Vancouver, Washington. Local dealerships include Kuni Lexus of Portland and Kuni BMW in Beaverton.
Kuni died in 2006 at the age of 75. Shortly before his death, Kuni transferred his shares to a charitable trust.
"Wayne's decision to transfer his company shares to the Wayne D. Kuni & Joan E. Kuni Foundation, which has donated millions to cancer research and supported housing for developmentally disabled adults, left me in a unique role in our industry: dealer, CEO and steward," said Goodwin in a news release.
He says he takes pride in shepherding the company founded by his mentor and continues to give back to the communities his dealerships serve.
Kuni Automotive also is a lead sponsor of the Classic Wines Auction of Portland, which raises money for five charities that serve the needs of low-income families.
Other organizations supported by Goodwin include Randall Children's Hospital in Portland (former co-chair of capital campaign), Medical Teams International in Tigard, Oregon (member, leadership council and former auction co-chair), Friends of the Children (national board of directors member) and George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon (president's council).
He and his wife, Michele, have four children and two grandchildren.
-- Vickie Kavanagh
Via: Oregon Live
Kuni chief lands prestigious national dealer honor
and Matt Newell as chief legal officer
Vancouver, Wash. - July 14, 2014 - Kuni Automotive, one of the West Coast's premier auto groups with more than $1 billion in annual revenue, today announced three key promotions: former chief operating officer Joe Herman will serve as executive vice president; George Athan III, former president and general manager at Kuni's Audi San Diego location, will fill the role of chief operating officer; and former general counsel Matt Newell will serve as chief legal officer.
"We are excited about Kuni's future with Joe as executive vice president, George as chief operating officer and Matt as chief legal officer," said Greg Goodwin, chief executive officer of Kuni Automotive. "All three have a proven ability to deliver great service to the communities we serve."
Goodwin added, "Kuni began as a family-owned company, and we continue to treat our employees and customers as part of the family. Joe, George and Matt are committed to Kuni's professional philosophy of doing the right thing every time. They are key members of our team and we are fortunate to have their leadership as we grow."
Joe Herman joined Kuni in 2010 and is a well-known leader in the automotive industry. He brings four decades of hands-on experience and a wealth of expertise to the company, with direct oversight of more than 200 dealerships during his career. Herman has been promoted to executive vice president and previously served as Kuni's chief operating officer.
George Athan III brings more than a decade of leadership experience in the automotive industry. During his two years as president and general manager of Audi San Diego, the dealership experienced a 100 percent growth in sales and jumped from 94th to 39th among Audi dealerships. As chief operating officer, Athan will play a major role in ensuring that Kuni continues to provide industry leading customer service, superior brand representation and top tier operating performance.
Prior to joining Kuni, Matt Newell practiced law in the Corporate, Securities and Finance Group of Stoel Rives LLP in Portland, Oregon. Matt has a wide range of expertise in both business and legal matters, having represented and advised public and private companies on corporate governance, federal and state securities regulation, mergers and acquisitions, debt and equity financing, and more.
Vancouver, WA based auto group with more than $1 billion in revenue expands in California
Vancouver, WA - April 1, 2014 - Kuni Automotive, one of the West Coast's premier auto groups with more than $1 billion in annual revenues, today announced the acquisition of Carlsen Audi in Palo Alto, California. The acquisition brings the total number of Kuni dealerships to 15, with locations in California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington.
"We are excited to expand our presence in California and invest in the growth and success of the Palo Alto facility, as well as provide great service to the surrounding community," said Greg Goodwin, Chief Executive Officer of Kuni Automotive. "We are also pleased to build on our strong relationship with Audi, bringing our total number of Audi dealerships to three."
Jason Mattia will oversee Palo Alto operations as President and General Manager. Mattia, his wife and three children are long-time residents of Santa Cruz. During nearly 30 years of professional experience, Mattia has held a variety of general manager roles and is familiar with all facets of the automotive industry. Mattia previously worked as a partner and general manager with Kuni, and has owned and operated dealerships in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Goodwin added, "Jason brings significant expertise and experience, and is committed to Kuni's professional philosophy of doing the right thing every time. He is a key member of our team and we are fortunate to have his leadership as we grow in California."
Kuni Automotive, a privately held company based in Vancouver, Washington, announces the acquisition of its 15th new vehicle dealership with the purchase of Stammler Audi of Boulder, Colorado. The Audi dealership was previously owned by Adolph Stammler of Boulder since its opening in 1973. The newly named "Audi Boulder" joins Audi San Diego to become the second Audi dealership in the Kuni Automotive group.
The President/General Manager of Audi Boulder is Jaymie Hampson. Prior to her move to Boulder, Ms. Hampson was Fixed Operations Director for Kuni BMW of Beaverton, Oregon. She has worked for Kuni Automotive dealerships, including Kuni Lexus of Portland, Oregon since 2004. Ms. Hampson's prior experience includes positions in the business office, service, sales, and Chief Operating Officer for an automotive group based in Northern California.
Kuni Automotive owns and operates dealerships in Oregon, Washington, California, and Colorado, representing Lexus (4 dealerships), Audi (2), BMW, Land Rover (3), Porsche, Infiniti, Honda, Volkswagen, Cadillac, and Chevrolet. The acquisition puts Kuni Automotive on track to exceed $1B in sales for calendar 2013, an important new milestone for the company, which has 1100 employees throughout its dealerships and at its headquarters, "The Kuni Garage," in Vancouver, Washington.
Greg Goodwin, Chief Executive Officer of Kuni Automotive, announced the acquisition by first congratulating Jaymie Hampson, saying "Jaymie has been a key member of our management team and a true standout in terms of delighting guests, recruiting and training the industry's best technicians, and demonstrating her commitment to the Kuni philosophy of "doing the right thing every time." Kuni is proud to once again promote from within by offering Jaymie the opportunity to become part owner of this exciting dealership."
Goodwin also stated that "We are pleased to expand our operations in Colorado, as Audi Boulder joins Kuni Lexus of Greenwood Village, Kuni Lexus of Colorado Springs, Kuni Honda (Arapahoe Road in Centennial, Colorado), Land Rover Denver East, and Land Rover Highlands Ranch, becoming our sixth Colorado dealership. We are excited to expand our relationship with Audi and its incredible lineup of vehicles that are tailor made for Colorado's active, outdoor-loving population."
Pioneer Centres dealerships in San Diego and Denver, Colo. were sold to Kuni Automotive, MD Johnson Inc.announced Thursday. MD Johnson is a U.S. provider of automotive dealership buy/sell financial advisory services.
Pioneer owned and operated Audi, Porsche and Land Rover dealerships in San Diego on Miramar Boulevard, next to the Miramar Marine Corps Air Base. Pioneer Centres also owned and operated two Land Rover dealerships in the suburban Denver market.
Kuni Automotive owns and operates dealerships in Oregon, Washington, California and Colorado and employs more than 800 team members. Kuni owns and operates Audi, Lexus, BMW, Land Rover, Porsche, Infiniti, Honda, Volkswagen, Cadillac, Buick and GMC dealerships. The Wayne D. Kuni and Joan E. Kuni Foundation are the beneficial owners of the dealership group along with Greg Goodwin, CEO of Kuni Automotive.
Richard Eason provided legal services for Jack Brewer. Matthew Newell provided legal services to Kuni. Robert Jensen and Susan Dukes executed the transaction on behalf of Pioneer.
"Kuni valued the organization Jack and his team built over several decades. They were an excellent fit for Jack and the Pioneer team," said Mark Johnson, president of MD Johnson Inc.
The dealerships have been renamed Land Rover Denver East, Land Rover Highlands Ranch, Land Rover San Diego, Audi San Diego and Porsche of San Diego.
Kuni Automotive Dealerships in Seattle, Portland, San Diego, Sacramento, Palo Alto, Denver, Boulder, colorado springs and Kansas
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