By: Amanda Krause, Marketing Lead Specialist
A Dealer Management System (DMS) is a vital part of running any automotive dealership. It maintains customer information while measuring, reporting and controlling all aspects of the store. The success of a car dealership largely depends on the reporting and audit trails offered by the system. Without it, there is little insight into staff operations, service drive orders and overall sales.
Unfortunately, with the advent of the digital age, it is likely that your automotive dealership’s DMS is outdated- causing legacy software frustrations. Bill Bok, VP of DMS Sales for Dominion Dealer Solutions, talks about the various pain points for dealers associated with an outdated automotive DMS and gives insight into the benefits of a modern, cloud-based system.
[Q]: What are the primary DMS ‘pain points’ dealers have expressed to you?
[Bill]: Dealers have been facing similar pain points for a long time. Access to data is a large pain point. There are two reasons for that. One being a business decision that the DMS provider has engaged in. The second is difficulty in extracting data from some of the older systems. In addition to data access, dealers experience a big pain point with their DMS contracts. The final pain point that I hear frequently is the unfriendliness of the software. If you’re placing an ad for a new controller, you have to call out which DMS you currently have.
[Q]: What are the biggest problems that exist in the popular legacy automotive DMS systems?
[Bill]: Legacy DMS systems run into many challenges. Why would you, as a DMS provider, incur significant expense to rewrite a system when automotive dealers have done well over the past 40 years with the same core system? The DMS providers hire a lot of people to maintain these old systems. Because it’s extremely difficult to update legacy technology, the main challenge occurs at the core of the DMS when extracting data. How do you create a dashboard that pulls data out when every time that data is pulled, code that was written 15 or 16 years ago is affected?
[Q]: What are the benefits and challenges of having a DMS in the cloud?
[Bill]: A DMS in the cloud is a very vogue item right now. With a cloud-based system that is hosted by, for instance Microsoft Azure, a couple things come built within it like elastic scalability. In the morning or afternoon, when there is heavy demand on your auto dealership’s DMS, the cloud scales to provide the necessary requirements. Geo-redundancy is another feature. With a cloud-based DMS, dealers don’t have a single server. The data is spread geographically across the United States, so if there is a problem in one region, you can be assured that your dealership’s data is safe and protected with bank- level encryption. In addition to the added security are the back ups, any updates that would typically be required from a legacy DMS disappear with a cloud-based DMS. This type of DMS also works on an Ipad and any browser- Microsoft Edge, Safari, Google Chrome, etc. That is where dealers really start to get into the benefits of a cloud-based DMS system.