If You Had To Reinvent or Update Your DMS What Would You Add?

There is not much discussion on automotive forums  regarding Dealer Management System (DMS) innovation. 

The automotive DMS market is dominated by two companies today: Reynolds and ADP.  


So I ask dealers on this forum:

"Has the dealer community not seen a willingness from DMS providers to adapt to changing market needs and dealer requests?  Have dealers grown tired of waiting for innovation from DMS providers?"


The Evolution of Dealership Websites


If you step back and look at evolution of auto dealership websites  over the past 5 years, innovation was propelled by passionate marketers, dealers, and consultants who demanded more from automotive website providers. For the most part, website vendors realized that with ample competition, they had to listen to dealer feedback to remain relevant.


The introduction of the Automotive Website Awards  (AWA) in 2009 created an independant standard for judging websites and elevated the core search functionality that all vendors needed to deliver.   The AWA judging forced vendors to listen to the dealer community to deliver a better product in a timely manner.


Since the DMS software is critical to dealership operations, why has so little innovation been tolerated?  

Has the lack of competition allowed DMS vendors to rest on their first to market advantage?


Is anyone else tired of hearing how long it takes to integrate new products into a DMS system?  How about the politics surrounding that approval process?


Your Top Three DMS Requests


So, for 2013 let's start a new thread about what dealers would like to see changed in their DMS systems.  If you had to list 3 things that you would like DMS developers to deliver to dealers in 2013, what would they be.


Use the blog numbering tool to list your suggestions like this:


  1. Feature 1
  2. Feature 2
  3. Feature 3


This way comments can be address to the author and the feature that they would like to see added.  I'm looking forward to seeing if there are many common threads that DMS vendors would benefit from hearing on the Dealer Elite forum.


Join in the discussion and please share this post on your social media channels to get other dealers to engage in the discussion.

Brian Pasch,CEO

PCG Consulting







Views: 436


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Comment by Duane Sanders on January 15, 2013 at 1:14am

1. We need an ongoing relationship manager for our dealership. The problem I see is that once you buy the system you are lost in the "call the help desk" maze and its hard to find people who are know the system from a dealer opeartions standpoint. One point of contact who knows the resource specialist to reach out to at their company to help.

2. A dealer advisory board that can give them real guidance on what we need. If we can help them eliminate a lot of the fluff and get to down to our real needs maybe we can save each other some money in the long run.

3. Ongoing boots on the ground and web training on subjects that really matter. Most of the canned training is luke warm and hard to navigate.

Comment by Big Tom LaPointe on January 6, 2013 at 11:42pm

1. Better interface

2. Better data access / reports

3. Better 2-way CRM integration

Comment by Dave Rogers on January 6, 2013 at 2:43pm
1. Ease of use- make it user friendly so employees can be more productive and speed transactions.
2. Web based reporting that can be customized and with ability to drill down. It's absurd that most dealers pay 3rd parties to extract their data from the DMS they already pay for.
3. Real time reporting
Comment by Kathryn Carlson on December 3, 2012 at 10:09am
1)Better interfaces with third party solutions. There should be common APIs for HR program, payroll, reporting tools...
2)Decent reporting tools. It's the dealership's data- make it easier to use that data.
3)Open access
Comment by Michael Gordon on December 1, 2012 at 1:52pm

Here is what I see happening.  The DMS companies will tell us that they are staying current with new technology by introducing new products each year.  The problem is the DMS companies have been developing half baked ideas for years that don’t always work in the real world or not flexible enough to meet specific needs of the dealerships.  On the dealership side they buy into the better mouse trap and purchase the new product only to not execute the product correctly or not completely and are left with a bigger computer bill, but no more functionality.

This no different than a dealership having a well thought out marketing program they must have a well thought out information technology objectives.  If the dealership has a well thought out plan when the DMS shows up at the dealership to pitch the newest product the dealership will know if the product will assist their dealership or is a waste of money.


My Suggestions to the DMS Companies:

1)      Stop with the proprietary software and give the dealerships Linux version of the DMS System.

2)      Stop with long term contracts that lock dealerships in for long periods of time.

3)      Stop being reactionary to the newest technology or marketing idea and develop a long term plan that utilizes current technology.

Comment by Brian Pasch on December 1, 2012 at 7:48am

Thanks Frank, Steve, Dino, and Manny for commenting.  Let's  see if other DealerElite members have suggestions.

Comment by Frank Prevett on December 1, 2012 at 5:19am

1. Easy reports

2. Ipad App & smart phone app for on-line service scheduler

3. group pricing wizard for labor operations without going one at a time

Comment by Steve Gerhartz on November 30, 2012 at 10:50pm
1. Easy to create reports
2. Easy to create reports
3. Easy to create reports
Comment by dinof777 on November 30, 2012 at 10:40pm
1 basic 3rd party access to my data would be nice.
2 how about an apple like App Store, crowd source and take a cut everybody wins.
3 rinse and repeat step 1
Comment by MANNY LUNA on November 30, 2012 at 7:23pm

Very good Brian Pasch, and right on time!


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