The best dealership management systems (DMS) enable car dealers to converge business tools into a single login platform, improving productivity and making more sales. However, there are some features that every dealer should consider before committing to any provider.
These essentials include customer relationship management, parts management, inventory management, service merchandising and invoicing, and more.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
A CRM system in a dealer management system helps to improve customer engagement and experience. This helps to increase the number of customers who visit a dealership and ultimately increases sales. The dealer system allows a business to track all customer interactions, from pre-sales communication and standard interaction to post-purchase service and support.
Another essential feature to look for in a dealership management system is the ability to quickly process credit applications and connect customers to various lending and financing institutions. This can significantly boost a dealership’s profitability and allow it to compete more effectively with other auto dealers.
A car dealership management system should also have a parts management functionality that allows employees to order and track inventory easily. This can help reduce costs by allowing dealers to avoid ordering duplicate parts and reducing the time wasted searching for a part or service order. It also provides excellent flexibility for local staff, allowing them to efficiently manage service bays and stock. It can also help to identify issues and potential problems in the supply chain.
Many vendors promise many features in their DMS solutions, but the trick is to stick with what you need. Otherwise, you might end up with a system that either doesn’t fit your operations or creates more problems than it solves. To avoid this, assess your daily business operations and consult with your team to identify specific constraints.
A high-quality DMS should provide tools that positively impact each dealership department. For example, the system should allow salespeople to pull up high-res photos and product details on location and prepare quotes and invoices from a tablet or smartphone. It should also help technicians stay productive by providing up-to-date parts and customer information.
Additionally, your DMS should allow for tracking inventory and purchasing activities based on forecasts and VED (variant economic demand). This lets you order items quickly, avoiding overstocking and reducing dead stock. Other essential features include customization that shapes the solution to your operational needs, mobile app accessibility, data analytics, and cost-effectiveness.
Many dealerships rely on multiple software systems to perform their daily business. These include programs for tracking inventory, customer information, managing leads, accounting, credit reporting, window stickers, and buyer’s guides.
A dealer management system that integrates all these features in a single platform streamlines operational processes and saves money daily. It also provides valuable insights that cut unnecessary expenses while boosting profits.
Using the data populating in the background, dealers can easily export beneficial management reports at the click of a button that identifies performance in specific areas like sales, commissions, and advertising. This enables dealerships to make decisions quickly and act on opportunities in the market.
Choosing a dealer management system provider that prioritizes customization is also essential. This allows companies to mold the software to their unique operations and management practices, ultimately enhancing productivity. Moreover, a DMS with a mobile app is essential for businesses to work on the go. It increases efficiency, improves communication, and ensures team members can access crucial information no matter where they are. This enables them to deliver exceptional customer service while keeping them productive.
Dealerships not including service management in their DMS are missing a key component to maximizing profits. A sound system will let you track service jobs from their beginnings to the final repair, with customizable reporting and easy access to relevant contracts or forms, including DMV documents.
Additionally, dealerships can capture detailed information about each car – from mileage clocked to maintenance records – to help predict future failures for better service bay management and inventory forecasting. They can also monitor supply chain issues to ensure quality materials and reliable components of parts for more efficient time and cost control in service departments.
An integrated DMS allows you to connect all your business systems seamlessly, ensuring data is accessible across platforms and applications without any roadblocks. It will liberate you from the limitations of isolated systems and empower you to adopt new technologies and solutions as they emerge quickly. For instance, an integrated DMS can provide local flexibility by allowing each dealership or franchise to choose its preferred vendors for services and parts.
A sound dealer management system should provide an efficient way for your business to handle its daily transactions. This is achieved by allowing departments to interact with each other and share information. This makes it easier for the dealership to work together and creates a more friendly and cooperative environment for employees.
In addition, auto dealer management software should allow dealers to process credit applications and connect customers to various lending institutions seamlessly. It also supports inventory management, vehicle tracking, and service cycle support. The system should be able to report where vehicles are in the workflow, saving time and money by eliminating the manual processing of paper-based reports.
If you’re searching for a dealer management solution, it’s essential to understand your industry-specific needs and requirements. A generic platform created to handle all kinds of businesses may not be the best fit for you if you’re a farm equipment dealer, construction equipment dealer, or lift truck dealer. It’s essential to find a DMS offering an industry-specific platform with native accounting features built into it from scratch.