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30 Days on Arkona

Jarrett

Boss
Nov 24, 2009
144
5
First Name
Jarrett
Overall Rating: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: 4th thumb waiting for the software to mature.

Thinking of changing DMS providers? If so I want to share with the community our experiences in the first 30 days after going live with Arkona (Dealer Track DMS).

First I will start off by saying it is nice for a change to have a DMS vendor who treats you like a customer and appreciates the opportunity to earn your business.

We have gone from driving an antiquated Cadillac with all the features money could buy in 1991 to an 08 Ford XLT with Carpet delete. I mean to say Arkona's system does not offer butt warmers so to speak.

Sales & Finance Managers: They refer to their desking and sales software as Business Office. It sounds like this may be common for dealers somewhat east of the Mississippi River. The desking screens work and are fairly intuitive. Sometimes it seems you have to back out of a deal and go back in to get things to re-calc. Your limited to 1 pick-up payment (differed down). Contract letter spacing can only be moved in whole points and is sometimes hard to line up perfectly. DMV fees are hand calculated now and require valid information from your Accounting Dept.

In a nutshell we work deals out of Arkona and the rest is done with custom programming / CRM, i.e. Invoice Books, Inventory Analysis, vAuto for booking and used management.

If you are like me go with the green screen software over the GUI they are promoting.

Service Manager: The fixed operations teams had some adjustments to make. You can not close out pay types individually, You can close Customer pay but when you close Warranty it closes Internal as well. You are given a new pay type and that is Service Contracts, kinda nice. There is no way to force a Hat Tag# as a required field instead it can be accidentally bypassed. Tech Time and Tech Clocking / Dispatching if you use dispatching is pretty underdeveloped.

Parts Managers: This department will have a difficult time. Finding the invoices can be a total headache. Furthermore when you order parts and they arrive and you bill them out you get a new invoice#. Transactions can get lost and there are about three screens you need to look in to find them. Creating returns is fabulous and works better than any system I have been on before (Not that I like returns). Once again Green Screen software in this department is a must. Other areas to be aware of is the inability to place 0 quantity of a part on an RO (Usually helpful with parts availability and requisition requests.) Lost Sales once registered on an Invoice can not be converted to sales, they have to be deleted and re added.

Business Office / Accounting Department: Hmm. I will report on the business office in the future cause after 30 days they are still working hard to correct issues outstanding. Fortunately we have a very talented and bright staff and they have made tremendous headway, however Payroll seems to be difficult to fine-tune. Factory Financial Statements and reporting all works well and have not had any issues related to getting the factory their data.

Data Exchange: Works well and even an idiot like me can set up automated FTP uploads. Love It.

OpenTrack: We are a signed OpenTrack vendor for our own internal software. The price was right and the team behind the OpenTrack initiative are awesome. For those that are interested OpenTrack is a SOAP based integration service for data exchange. ODBC is being phased out and to my knowledge is no longer available.


I give DealerTrack DMS 3 Thumbs Up!

Their product has room to grow. Especially for multi-line stores. I would not recommend a multi-accounting / multi-GL setup if you can avoid it. However their employees attitude, willingness to assist, responsiveness on the phone and overall demeanor show that they are a progressive and good group to depend upon.

Jarrett
 
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aksales

Full Sticker
Apr 9, 2010
14
1
First Name
Jason
Jarrett, I was just curious how the DMS has been working for you guys now that you are a little more familiar with the system. We are in the process of coming to a decision on DMS systems and Dealertrack/Arkona is one of the prospects. Thanks.
 
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Lrogers

Lot Lizard
Sep 27, 2010
9
0
First Name
Lisa
I am glad you have been enjoying your Arkona DMS. The dealership I work for has had quite the opposite experience. In fact the only reason we still use it is because it is so cheap you put up with the problems. In fact the customer service you rave about doesn't seem to exist for us. Our tickets will sit in there for weeks and no one will get back to us. The biggest problem we run into is the communication between our CRM, which 85% of the time is not our CRM's fault.
I don't want to discount anything you are saying in fact I am really happy that it is working for your company. I just want to give a different view.
 

Jarrett

Boss
Nov 24, 2009
144
5
First Name
Jarrett
I understand everything you are dealing with.

We do not call the "Help Desk" for support, we call our Account Rep, the Salesperson that sold it to us, and he makes the magic happen.

Also, instead of relying on Arkona Support for complicated business logic, we (Dealer Tech Support Staff) have created our own work-arounds with use of the OpenTrack API or ODBC (Database queries).

If you need any custom reports I can share our experiences with you. We are a certified OpenTrack vendor, allowing our custom software interoperability with your DMS instance.
 

mattwatson81

Getting Refreshed
Apr 10, 2009
334
10
First Name
Matt
I am glad you have been enjoying your Arkona DMS. The dealership I work for has had quite the opposite experience. In fact the only reason we still use it is because it is so cheap you put up with the problems. In fact the customer service you rave about doesn't seem to exist for us. Our tickets will sit in there for weeks and no one will get back to us. The biggest problem we run into is the communication between our CRM, which 85% of the time is not our CRM's fault.
I don't want to discount anything you are saying in fact I am really happy that it is working for your company. I just want to give a different view.
What CRM do you have that has the communication problems? Are they desking problems?
 
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Lrogers

Lot Lizard
Sep 27, 2010
9
0
First Name
Lisa
We are using dealersocket currently who we have been working really well for us.
 
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