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Why So Many Dealers Get Stuck Using Legacy Systems

by Dealertrack
on February 7, 2018

Fear is a part of life. You might fear the unknown, fear change, or even fear missing out on the latest and greatest consumer craze. But, no matter the form, fear shares a common theme, one defining characteristic that can be particularly harmful if it finds its way into your business. Fear paralyzes. It forces otherwise savvy, reasonable-minded auto dealers to make (or refuse to make) decisions that aren’t in the best interest of their business. And, as it relates to your technology, fear can force you to stick with an outdated and inadequate legacy DMS.

Fear of Tech Transition

While fear may be paralyzing and bad for business, it’s also perfectly understandable. Your DMS is vital to your business. And, the thought of changing anything that touches every aspect of your operations can be frightening, especially when you’ve been operating one vendor’s DMS for decades.

But, just because you’ve been doing something one way for years doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the best course of action. And, if a simple fear of moving on to uncharted tech territory is keeping you from exploring your options, it’s time to understand your DMS alternatives.

The Evolution of the DMS

Dealer Management Systems have been around since the early 1990s, but back then there were only a few companies in the industry – pioneers that paved the way for the technology to come. When the technology was first introduced, it was a no-brainer for dealership general managers, financial managers, and CEOs to invest. It was a revelation. It made life easier and businesses more efficient and profitable. And yet, without a lot of competition in the marketplace, these early vendors failed to make necessary changes to their products, and in the intervening years better alternatives came about.

Today, the DMS market is filled with options, many of which are less expensive and more in tune with modern technology than previous offerings. And, while the legacy systems still work, they lag behind, often providing a more complex, frustrating, and expensive DMS alternative. As an analogy, imagine using a modern iPhone or Android operating the same software as the very first cellular phones introduced 30 years ago. You would have nearly limitless potential in the palm of your hand, but almost no capability to take advantage of any of it. That’s essentially what dealerships are doing when they run an outdated legacy DMS. The basic architecture is there, but the systems expired years ago.

Overcoming a Fear of Change

When asked what keeps them from making a switch to a modern DMS, many dealers cite a fear of the installation process, a fear of losing familiarity, and a fear of data loss. The good news for these dealers is that their fears are unwarranted. The switch isn’t nearly as scary as you might think.

If you’re ready to explore your DMS alternatives, download our free guide to learn how more dealerships are overcoming their fears and getting unstuck from their legacy DMS.

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