Why You Need to Keep Your DMS Up to Date With Changing Consumer Habits

A modular dealer managment system provides dealers real-time data accessibility, plus security for their customers

Summary: Dealerships can adapt to thrive within an environment of constant change by implementing a modular DMS.



It’s no secret that technology is spurring many shifts in consumer buying behavior, and by extension, radically changing the nature of dealership sales.

For example, car shoppers are no longer willing to spend hours in the dealerships finding a model, test driving cars, and then negotiating a deal. Why should they? Thanks to the integration of mobile devices into the retail process, all the information they need can be found in the palm of their hand.

The process is becoming so streamlined that buyers can find the exact vehicle they want while also previewing and agreeing to a potential deal structure before they even enter the dealership’s door. Or worse, maybe while standing in a competitor’s showroom.

This means a dealership must continuously adapt to thrive within this environment of constant change. The way to do it? Implement a modular dealer management system (DMS).

Make high tech a strategic advantage

The shift to digital-first practices requires dealers to alter their business models dramatically, and do more than ever to differentiate themselves from the competition. By being a digital-first dealership, you can make consumers’ increasing reliance on tech in the buying process your opportunity to shine.

The implementation of a modular DMS system helps you capitalize on that opportunity. A modular DMS provides dealers real-time data accessibility, plus security for their customers. Additionally, its cloud-based infrastructure allows for modular and flexible systems by its very nature.

Most importantly, this type of system allows dealers to choose which third-party vendors they wish to partner with, without high implementation fees. This flexibility is vital for dealerships that need to evolve at the speeds that only a technology-focused company can.

The power of technology makes it possible to integrate with the third-party providers you like best and to modulate those decisions as needed, even as your business processes continue to evolve and change over time.

Forward-looking tech—and cloud-based modular structure—allows for fast adoption of new solutions to enhance the car shopper’s online to in-store experience, increase customer retention rates, and ultimately, help grow your dealership.

Pair high tech with high touch

High tech provides most of what’s needed for the partnership of DMS and dealership to shine. Pairing high tech with high touch—the other big need and opportunity in the changing market—is equally critical, however.

High touch is the human element: a tangible partnership that can felt long after installation. Consider the three greatest challenges your dealership faces: managing profitability, improving the customer experience, and hiring and retaining the best talent to fulfill your vision.

Each of these challenges is greatly influenced by technology. But they are perhaps equally influenced by the quality of the working relationship between your dealership and its DMS partner.

Regardless of the flexibility and ease of use of a system, a dealership’s greatest challenges are influenced by the quality of the face-to-face and person-to-person interactions with key providers. When a problem arises, a great DMS partner is on a plane, prepared to work it through in person with a dealership client.

The power of partnership

A high-touch priority produces valued partnerships that extend well beyond profitability numbers and sales. Motorcars Cleveland in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, is a great example of a dealership that has leveraged a modular high-tech, high-touch DMS to yield great results.

Together, the dealership and its DMS partner have reduced vehicle delivery time, produced more revenue from ancillary services such as car washes, and resulted in the creation of a new service assembly line that allows customers to observe the work in progress and ask questions.

Even better: The partnership has supported the launch of Motorcars Mobility, a division of Motorcars Cleveland that specializes in customizing vehicles for drivers with disabilities.

For every dealership with a desire to leverage change, the message is clear: A modular DMS that effectively combines high tech and high touch will propel your success.

Dealertrack DMS, under the leadership of Sharon Kitzman, vice president and general manager, is helping to transform the way dealers sell cars, engage customers, and run their businesses. Kitzman is a 25-year automotive industry veteran responsible for leading Dealertrack’s DMS division from single- to double-digit market share, and for executing triple-digit growth.

Sharon Kitzman

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