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Can You “Kondo” Your Outdated DMS Technology?

by Lindsay Lauck
on February 27, 2019

Have you heard about the trend that is Marie Kondo, the Netflix star and best-selling author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. This cultural phenomenon has sparked a movement encouraging everyone—at home and at work—to declutter and experience more joy in minimalism. Which leaves the question: How tidy is your dealership?

What’s really holding you back from switching your DMS?
The fear of a technology transition holds many dealerships back from switching to a DMS that meets their needs. And, this is very true: status quo, the comfort of a familiar system, and dealing with the discomfort of change management can delay a much needed upgrade. But there may be more to it than that. Dealerships aren’t run by robots, they’re run by human beings. And humans have a hard time letting go.

If you overpaid for it, it’s hard to let go.
The average dealership is now running on about seven different technology systems. Those numbers add up—seriously!—and that has a funny psychological side-effect. It turns out, the potential aversion to losing anything your dealership has invested a significant amount of money in will always outweigh the perceived benefit of change. This “sunk cost fallacy” is only holding you back, so many dealerships invest in more technologies to integrate with the systems they’re already paying for, rather than give up on a failed investment.

Want to see how much your dealership is spending on technology? Let’s plug in the numbers!

Change feels uncomfortable because your brain is actually experiencing pain!
Your old, familiar DMS might drive you crazy. It might come with long-term contracts that seem unfair, sneaky billing tactics, and even extra fees that hold your data hostage. But, changing your DMS—the very idea of letting go of your old system—gives you a stomach ache. Are you crazy? No, in fact, researchers at Yale School of Medicine have studies that can confirm you’re not insane. Letting go can activate similar regions of your brain that have been associated with the physical pain of addiction (in extreme cases). While this fact may be disconcerting, the simple fact that you now know about it can help you move past it.

“Switching over was kind of like cleaning out the garage, taking everything out, blowing out the cobwebs, and putting it back the way (we) wanted to put it back.” – Sean Flanagan, Vice President of Smythe Volvo 

Once you make the decision to clean out the mess, it’s like a fresh start.
While the cultural trend of “letting go” and decluttering might feel like hype, you can take it from our partners at Smythe Volvo on the benefits of a DMS change. According to Vice President Sean Flanagan, “The switch to Dealertrack enabled us to really organize the way we thought about (our) business. Switching over was kind of like cleaning out the garage, taking everything out, blowing out the cobwebs, and putting it back the way (we) wanted to put it back.” That sounds a lot like “life-changing magic” to our ears!

Ready to learn more about making a DMS switch? Get a copy of our report from over 200 dealer participants: Switching Your Dealer Management System.

Tags: DMS, Fear of Change, Switching Technology