Dealership Management System or DMS is the popular term for Auto Dealer Software. It implies a comprehensive set of measurements, controls, and reports that will give you an accurate view of your whole dealership system. In choosing a software, or if you are currently using one, be sure that you look for a program that will help you and your whole team manage and operate your entire dealership. You cannot just choose the one with features that only deals with sales, service, or accounting. It should collaborate to all of your team members to perform what’s needed to be done in the whole dealership process.
Now, if you are a dealer, you might already have the knowledge about DMS providers. You also may have suffered some rough times during your dealer management system conversion. Indeed, using a new auto dealer software is a difficult thing to do. You have to be ready with unsettled employees, some business disruptions, and busy days and nights during that process. The good side, though, there is that potential to streamline workflows, boost efficiency, and cut monthly costs. Those benefits that you can get when switching into a new DMS are very attractive to dealers. So, if you are one of these dealers, keep on reading this because we will talk about the tips about looking for your next Dealership Management System. This article from CrowdReviews.com should teach you about the important components that you should look for in a certain DMS.
Choose the One With the Right Technology
There are plenty of auto dealer software out there. Most of them offer an in-house or cloud-based system. In order for you to select the right one for you, you must study how your dealership works. You must also foresee where you want your dealership to be in the future, maybe three to five years from now.
You have to purchase a server that will reside in your dealership when you choose a DMS that operates with an in-house system. The ones who are responsible for maintaining and installing data and applications on every machine are your IT team. They must also perform regular data backups. On the other hand, with a hosted system or the cloud-based system, you don’t have to buy a certain software or hardware. There will be a service provider who will keep upgrading the software. Then, your employees can just access the information there through a secure and safe internet connection.
You have to choose to either one of these delivery methods. They can both work well in a DMS. However, before deciding whatever method you might choose, you must consider that your new DMS is a great investment. You must choose something that could at least be used for 5 to 10 years. Having said this, you must look ahead in the next decade on how you want your dealership to function. Now, the reason behind this is because you don’t want to be stocked with an outdated technology in the future. You must look for a DMS that will help your dealership business grow even after a decade or so.
If you are wondering how you can do this, you can consider the following:
1.Controlling Your Expenses
The downside of having a DMS with an in-house system is in the additional costs. This particular system involves upgrading processing power, adding storage, maintaining the environment for the data center, and providing maintenance and administration. All of these processes can greatly increase your expenses. On its competing side, the hosted system is a much cheaper option because you don’t have to do all those processes. It only requires a good internet connection, which almost all businesses must have, so it’s not considered a problem. In an estimate, you can save up to $10,000 per month if you don’t use the in-house system.
Protecting your data should be the utmost priority of your provider. Protection of your important information is more than anything, whether it’s the convenience of the system or the cost efficiency of the DMS. The first thing that you can do to ensure your safety is to ask if they comply with Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements, Number 16 or SSAE 16. This was organized by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants for service organizations in giving financial reporting. It includes physical and logical security controls that are audited by a third party.
Our world is increasingly becoming more advanced especially in the marketing industry. The auto dealership is not an exemption to that. Sales associate are now using their smartphones to compare cars and show them to the customers. Some have also been using customer-facing tablets to make their F&I presentations more interactive. Like what had been said earlier, you should choose a DMS with a system that can adjust to the flow of the fast-paced technological advancement. The trend today is using smartphones; you should choose a DMS that is flexible enough to go mobile. Plus, if ever there are future innovations in the auto dealership market, it must also have the capability to evolve with the ever-changing world.
Find an Enduring Partnership
The compatibility of your long-term vision and goals determines if your partnership with your chosen DMS will endure. This is very crucial in order for your auto dealership business to succeed. One quality of a good DMS provider includes the one that recognizes the partnership you both have. It should allow you to properly address the opportunities and problems with your own flexibility and creativity.
If you are not sure about choosing a certain DMS provider, you ask its previous and current customers for advice. You can also research about the reputation of that certain provider. Find out if they have big-time customers and a good name in the market. You can also ask some of the dealers if they know something about that DMS provider. With all these questions, you are most likely to get your needed information – that is to have an insight on how that DMS provider works if they have expert qualifications, and if you can build a long-lasting compatible partnership with them.
Find out how the billing practices of that service provider work. Some dishonest DMS providers will give you hidden fees and complicate other charges. If you are hearing about this from other customers of that provider, surely, your partnership with them will not last however good they are in other aspects. Find the one that gives you simple and easy-to-understand bills, instead, so that you can track your expenses to know if you are gaining or losing.
If you are going to change your DMS provider, you’ll have to examine their implementation process first. Find out what is their project management structure. Ask if you will have a professional who will help you during the process. Knowing this will prevent you from high expectations about your new DMS provider. Understanding the flow of the implementation of your provider will let you adjust to a new routine. This will, in turn, help you to map out your future plans with the collective effort of your team and your provider.
Consider Their Capabilities
You should expect that a good provider can handle all business functions and workflow you will demand them to do. You should consider all their capabilities if they can match the requirements of your dealership business. You can ask them if they centralize purchasing. Do they consolidate your documents and reports? Would they share inventory between locations? There is nothing wrong about asking a lot of questions. You can also read reviews about auto dealer software to learn more about them. The bottom line is to narrow down your choices of new providers by listing the things you want your new DMS can do or their capabilities.
Look for a DMS provider that has an easy-to-use system. A system that is customizable and intuitive is much preferred. If you are using a system that frustrates and confuses you, it will not give you much benefits. Also, consider the third-party integration of your provider. Ask them if they will utilize a third-party group that will handle your data. Are they going to work with your current partners? Are they open for new partners in the future? Asking these questions will narrow down your options in choosing the best auto dealer software.
The success of your dealership business depends on all departments working with a collective effort towards achieving a single goal. Although switching into a new DMS provider means a lot of investment, we cannot just refute the fact that they are one contributor to the success of this industry. If you are reading this article from CrowdReviews.com, you are most likely to agree to that.
Finding the best DMS provider for you could be overwhelming at first without having prior knowledge about this subject matter. But now that you have the idea about it, you can now narrow your choices and select the one that best fits your preferences. You can also do some further reading about the auto dealer software reviews and rankings in the CrowdReviews.com.
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