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Reynolds and Reynolds customers can complete deals online or in the dealership.

Reynolds and Reynolds Rolls Out Streamlined CRM, Contracts

Leadership changes at the company led to overhauled software designed for the modern dealership.

Anyone who doubts Reynolds and Reynolds would make good on its promise to reinvent itself after its recent leadership shake-up needs only to look at its newest offerings.

The Dayton, OH, dealership software developer and provider introduces a new software system that allows nearly effortless access to inventory, sales, F&I products, accounting, service and other functions throughout the dealership. This enables staff to share information that results in speedier deals, service and overall business practices.

“We have a concept of a single system that works seamlessly from the ground up,” Dave Bates, Reynolds and Reynolds vice president of Customer Relations and chief customer ambassador at Reynolds and Reynolds, tells Wards. “And I think some of our competition has a different approach. We think our approach is the right one where it is a seamless experience for the people in dealerships. And we believe we're the only ones that have that end and kind of omni-channel experience for the consumer and for the dealer.”

The system’s features include deal customization akin to “plug-and-play” where the dealer staff and customers use interactive menus to choose everything from vehicle specifics to payment plans and F&I products. Customers can choose to interact online, in the dealership or through a combination of each.

“We started down a path of retail anywhere that allows a transaction to begin….whether it’s in (the customer’s) home, on their phone, when they’re sitting in the beauty salon, or wherever it is,” Bates says. “Then at some point you come to the dealership and the information continues to flow. From a customer standpoint, it’s easy for them. They don’t have to start the transaction over when they step into the dealership.”

The recently announced and implemented changes were developed after meeting with dealers to discuss their software needs, friction points and communication roadblocks.  The company also restructured dealer agreements; contracts are about half the length of past versions and include simplified terms and conditions. Current Reynolds customers received updated agreements.

The new system prompted Neil Huhta, chief financial officer- Boniface Heirs, Melbourne, FL, to return to Reynolds and Reynolds after a few years’ hiatus.

“Our employees are highly efficient. If you’re not 1% more efficient (than your competitors) you’re going to fall behind,” Huhta tells Wards. “Reynolds and Reynolds came out with an excellent system that allows us to do so many things, that makes us better. And it’s not only an efficient system, but the support is also top-notch.”

Huhta relays the story of an online accounting glitch that he and his staff could not resolve. They called Reynolds and Reynolds tech support.

“We had maintained a relationship with one of the (staff) that is an expert in the field,” says Huhta, noting the long-time tenure of many Reynolds and Reynolds staff. “She carved out time for us and we were able to change the parameters at all of our dealerships (to correct the problem). We have not found that type of support in any other provider.”

That type of expert knowledge is not unusual, says Bates. He notes the number of employees who started their Reynolds and Reynolds careers answering telephones and at lower levels of the organization. Plus, he says, the company has a rigorous, ongoing certification process.

That allows Reynolds and Reynolds to help dealerships make sure all employees work at their top capacity and ensures the system is continually optimized.

“We’re continually enhancing the software,” says Greg Uland, Reynolds and Reynolds vice president of marketing. “And we provide communication to the dealers and their folks about how we enhance it. Sometimes people get caught up in the day-to-day business and may not notice it or understand it. So we have someone come in and…show them what is new.”



TAGS: Retail
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