As a dealer, I am sure that you’ll agree: a dealer management system (DMS) conversion can be an intimidating and difficult process.
However, the potential to cut monthly costs, boost efficiency and streamline workflow for your dealership can far outweigh any upfront inconveniences resulting from a DMS conversion.
In an article titled “How to Find the Right DMS” in the May issue of Auto Dealer Monthly, I explore the three critical elements you need to look at when selecting your next DMS, including:
- The Right Technology
- A Long-Term Partnership
- Robust Capabilities
When evaluating your DMS options, there are many things to consider from a technology perspective. For example, here are some questions to ask yourself: Are you looking into an in-house system or a more progressive hosted (cloud-based) system?; or Which system will allow you to take advantage of the latest innovations quickly, such as mobility, cost-effectively and securely?
In the area of partnerships, you’ll want a DMS provider who has the expertise to understand your current needs and requirements, and has a long-term vision that is compatible with your own. In addition, you want a partner who fundamentally believes you have ultimate ownership and control of your data. You’ll also want simple implementation and fee/billing processes to help control expenses.
Whether you are an independent dealer or a multi-location group, you should see if the capabilities of the DMS that you are evaluating is compatible with the way that you do business, and is intuitive and customizable. That is, Can you share dealership information securely across departments and locations?; Can you consolidate your books?; What types of reporting are necessary for your business?; Does the system “play well” or integrate with other systems within my dealership?
To view my entire article in the May issue of Auto Dealer Monthly, click here.
Needless to say, converting your DMS can be a disruptive as well as a time- and resource-consuming project. But, if you practice due diligence and take the time to assess the technology, capabilities and partnership levels of each provider, you will find the best DMS for your dealership.
Let us know how your DMS conversion is going.
Sharon Kitzman is Vice President and General Manager for Dealertrack DMS.