Which DMS do you recommend?

Which DMS do you recommend?

Postby nysautomotive » Fri Mar 14, 2014 1:37 am

Hi all - thinking about switching DMS after a long while, but not sure if it's worth the trouble or the expense. Which DMS you use and what does it cost?

Do you get the CRM or the add-ons?

We move about 250-300 cars a year.

Thanks all for any help - its much appreciated.
nysautomotive
 
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Re: Which DMS do you recommend?

Postby steve@gmdealer » Fri Mar 14, 2014 2:37 pm

What DMS are you currently using? Do they offer an upgrade? Is it not performing as billed or as you want? Just bear in mind that switching systems really throws a wrench into your business. It takes a long time for people to become comfortable with change and that is very expensive on its own. Not to mention the upfront costs & training.
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Re: Which DMS do you recommend?

Postby nysautomotive » Fri Mar 14, 2014 4:01 pm

Thanks, Steve! We are using ADP and its performing well, but the price just feels very high. Do you know if the others are usually less - like R&R, dealertrack, etc...I can't get a quote without going through like hours of sales pitches...

Thanks so much
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Re: Which DMS do you recommend?

Postby CTSVOWNER » Tue Mar 25, 2014 8:47 pm

Alot of dealers in our NE area are switching to AUTO/MATE 800-371-3970

Cost is MUCH less but also comes with less bells and whistles.

Yes there was a learning curve we've had it since 2009 and the savings is considerable
Dave
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Re: Which DMS do you recommend?

Postby MovingForward » Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:48 pm

We were a long time ADP client. Three years ago we switched to Dealertrack. In hind sight I have no idea why we didn't switch sooner. I was one of the doubters prior to the switch but have become an advocate for Dealertrack. They are very receptive when it comes to product enhancement recommendations and they are definitely a forward thinking company. There are just getting ready to start rolling out the newest version of the DMS as well and from what I have seen I am very excited to receive the new version. If you have any questions feel free to send me your contact information via email and I will try to answer any questions you might have.
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Re: Which DMS do you recommend?

Postby JustBob » Mon Apr 14, 2014 2:43 pm

For over 20 years I was a distributor for the 3rd largest DMS provider in the USA. Legal proceedings prohibit me from mentioning the name. During those 20 years I was obviously an advocate for that system. During that time I was involved with around 500 DMS installations with one failure where it became apparent 3 weeks into it we could not meet the customer irrational demands - wrote them a check for all monies paid to date and walked away from the deal. In addition to knowing what the DMS did well, I also know what it did not do well or at all. Since I no longer have a horse in the race I can share my unbiased thoughts based upon having either competed against almost every DMS vendor and replaced (unplugged) systems from every one of them. A few thoughts base upon my experience gained in the school of hard knocks:

1. There is no perfect DMS software.
2. Any DMS conversion should include TRAINING, TRAINING, TRAINING - ON SITE with trainers that have real time experience in a dealership.
3. If you do not receive what you were promised (sold) at the beginning STOP. It is not going to get any better.
4. Mandate all employees get on board or out the door. I have told dealers and General Managers they needed to change the name on the building to a department manager's name because they are running the store.
5. Review your contract and all other information thoroughly. Does it provide an exit without penalties if you are not satisfied?
6. "Ask the man that owns one" was a Buick ad line years ago wasn't it? Good advice - but not the list the vendor gives you. Contact those you know that have stores on the prospective system.
7. Consultants may not have YOUR best interests in mind.
8. Review the NADA survey that is conduced every few years to see what vendor has a high satisfaction rating.
9. PLAN. Do not schedule the training during the last month of pregnancy for any manager!
10. A sad situation I have observed too many times - If a Manager is "over protective" be suspicious. In a DMS conversion qualified trainers are going to observe details in the DMS Data that could raise suspicions of embezzlement. Several years ago I demonstrated to a Dealer in central Iowa. The comptroller sat in on the demo of every module, never asked any questions but refused to answer even the most mundane questions that were in no way confidential. He made the decision to not change. No problem I went on down the road to chase another sale (successfully). A year or two ago there was a news article on Dealers Edge about a million dollar embezzlement in Granger Iowa. Checked my old paper "sales book" - guess who the comptroller/embezzler was? Any :?:
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Re: Which DMS do you recommend?

Postby glengarymaster » Wed Apr 23, 2014 3:14 pm

I wonder if anyone has any experience integrating their DMS w/ third-party CRM software? I know a lot of dealers are super-attached to their DMS programs - but tech-heavy dealerships like mine have a lot of trouble w/ inbound campaigns unless we use something like Marketo to track everyone on site.
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Re: Which DMS do you recommend?

Postby Karen Ann » Wed May 14, 2014 4:29 pm

We switched September 2012 from Reynolds to DealerTrack.
We did try the DealerTrack CRM, it just wasn't advanced enough for us. It would work if you are just using the CRM for the basics, prospect and sales followup.
We changed to Dealer Socket, which we do like. It's only fault is it's not seamless like a CRM & DMS with the same company - updates in one don't necessarily sync to the other.
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Re: Which DMS do you recommend?

Postby JustBob » Mon May 19, 2014 2:01 pm

glengarymaster wrote:I wonder if anyone has any experience integrating their DMS w/ third-party CRM software? I know a lot of dealers are super-attached to their DMS programs - but tech-heavy dealerships like mine have a lot of trouble w/ inbound campaigns unless we use something like Marketo to track everyone on site.


I have worked with 3 different CRM companies over the years that integrated with the DMS that I previously distributed. Two of them are "big names" that most of you would recognize. The third is a CRM designed specifically to integrate with the DMS I was distributing. (By way of disclaimer I still sell that CRM) Below are some problems I encountered/observed along the way.

1. Lack of clear definition of what a CRM should do. Ask 5 DPs or managers you will get 10 (or more) unique answers.
2. Failure of dealership management to MANDATE using the CRM for EVERY tire kicker and be-backer that shows up. A 300 dollar pair of running shoes in my closet will not serve any purpose if they stay on the shelf.
3. Changes in the CRM or DMS programs that make the integration non functional. Usually followed by a he said-she said buck passing run around between the CRM and DMS companies.
4. Ditto for changes between the CRM and the major and minor internet lead generators.
5. Long term contracts that result in the sales person not really being concerned about the sold customer satisfaction - they are chasing the next sale/commission.
6. Lack of GOOD training at install.
7. Lack of GOOD training of new hires or new management.
8. The all too common front end VS.back end disconnect and lack of a TEAM attitude.
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Re: Which DMS do you recommend?

Postby Mike Nicholes » Thu Dec 11, 2014 12:28 am

The answers from "Just Bob" were very correct. Get everything in writing; leave nothing to oral promises; they won't be kept. Make training a key ingredient in the contract; If they refuse to properly train the contract, the entire thing should be rendered nul and void; have your our corporate or house attorney look at everything they write; after all, the contract is all about You (the dealership paying) and they (the DMS vendor) doing as little as possible.
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