On average, every five years, dealers find themselves selecting a DMS vendor. It is a complicated process and more often than not, dealers elect to stay with their current provider, mainly because it easier than converting to a new system. But that may not always be the right choice. Many dealers have switched and are happy with the decision.
To help dealers begin their selection process, we are doing something different with our March and April IT columns. Instead of providing a specific column, we sent our technology columnist, Wayne Fortier, to interview the senior management of the top five dealership-management system vendors to learn what is new in the world of dealership IT.
In this months' package, you will hear from Steve Anenen, ADP's Dealer Services Group president; Charlie Prophet, chief operating officer for AutoSoft International; and Finbarr O'Neill, president and CEO for the Reynolds and Reynolds Co.
In April, the package will feature Richard Holland, president of ARKONA Inc. and Dan Agan, executive vice president with Universal Computer Systems.
There is plenty that is new. New products to help dealers increase profits and new strategies regarding third-party integration and data extraction (some good and some questionable) along with better and simpler billing processes are some of the highlights.
Fortier also talks to one dealership customer for each provider and asks for at least one area of strength and one area needing improvement.
Meanwhile, we provide our own take on what the Word on the Street is regarding each vendor.
Fortier, a CPA and IT consultant with the Dealer Services Group of Dixon-Hughes PLLC, has created comprehensive versions of his conversations with DMS providers in a book entitled, DMS Vendors: Choosing the Best One for Your Dealership. It can be obtained by contacting Kristen Ange at 1-877-357-2727, or by e-mail at [email protected].