How to Choose the Right Dealer Management System Provider for Your Business

A proper dealership management system should cover all aspects of your business. This typically includes hardware, software, maintenance, and training. If a vendor claims to meet your needs, look for confirmation through a detailed demo. Ask potential vendors for their total implementation prices. Also, inquire about complementary services such as consulting and office supplies.

Understand Your Needs

A proper dealer management system provider should provide you with all the tools you need to run your business effectively. That means it should include sales functions that allow your team to maximize their number of closed deals; a purchasing system for streamlined inventory, increased efficiency, and reduced costs; a service department management feature to boost customer satisfaction and profitability; and an email marketing platform for targeted follow-ups with past customers to keep them engaged over time. A good vendor should also offer comprehensive IT support, including informative data banks, user forums, tutorials, and online training courses. It should also have a phone, email, and chat support option for when you need help outside regular operating hours. Finally, you should look at the total cost of the system and not just the sticker price. Full implementation typically includes hardware, maintenance, database configuration, training, software and hardware support, and other factors you must consider in the pricing.

Ask Questions

Choosing the right DMS provider can be challenging for dealerships because of all the available software and data services. A good DMS should provide complementary services to help your dealership operate more efficiently. Ask potential vendors about these offerings and what they could mean for your dealership’s bottom line. Finally, ensure the DMS can support your dealership’s growth over time. A DMS should be able to expand alongside your business rather than requiring you to change systems, which can often be disruptive and costly. Once you’ve narrowed your options, ask the finalists about their experience and what they think they can bring. This will give you a good idea of whether they fit your dealership’s unique needs. 

Schedule a Demo

Once you’ve gathered your information and narrowed down the list of potential dealer management system providers, you can finally schedule a demo. Before the demo, create a list of questions you want to ask. This will ensure that all of your essential concerns are covered. You can also make notes during the demo to remind yourself of important points. Afterward, you can use your notes as a comparison point to determine which dealer management system is best for your business. It’s also good to ask about the provider’s complementary services. For example, some providers offer consulting, office forms and supplies, data analytics, and advanced training to help dealerships improve their operations. Additionally, these services can help you avoid costly mistakes affecting your profitability.

Ask for References

A sound dealership management system can improve customer service by allowing employees to access the data needed to deliver a seamless experience for car buyers. These systems can also provide data analytics tools enabling dealerships to assess their marketing performance and analyze inventory movement trends. Dealerships with a clear list of functional requirements can often avoid getting seduced by shiny software that may or may not add value. It’s essential to keep your plans for the future in mind and look for a provider that can scale with you. Also, take the time to evaluate the vendor’s IT support. This could make or break a dealership’s ability to use the system. For example, a vendor’s IT professional should be able to ensure that critical information is automatically backed up every evening and protected against natural disasters. They should also be able to provide best practices and guidance for internal safeguards. 

Get a Quote

The choices can be overwhelming when choosing software, data services, and other technologies for your dealership. But none is more essential than its dealer management system (DMS) among the many pieces of technology a dealership invests in. Your DMS is the brain behind all your operations, including sales, finance, accounting, and inventory management. That’s why it’s essential to carefully evaluate potential DMS providers before deciding. When selecting a DMS provider, choose one that provides you with the tools you need to grow your business and succeed. Look for a vendor that offers robust and flexible solutions with no hidden fees or restrictive terms. Look for a vendor on the cutting edge of modern dealership technology trends. If they provide old-style hosted designs or talk about “virtual servers” during a demo or contract negotiations, it’s a red flag that they are not the right choice for your dealership. Choose a vendor that values your business and wants to partner with you for success. Then, get a quote to see how they can help you reach your dealership goals.