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DMS search

Aug 6, 2013
12
1
First Name
Roger
Our store is considering switching DMS providers. We are looking at DealerTrack, R&R and ADP. We are currently on Quorum and just are not happy with its overall performance. Everybody here seemed to like DT from the demo but I am worried that they are still having trouble keeping up with all their new customers technical support-wise. R&R and ADP are proven products but are they worth the extra cost and long-term contracts? Would really like to hear from some people and their opinions - good and bad. It doesn't look to me like any DMS is totally bullet proof.
 
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Viracocha

Boss
Jan 6, 2010
98
35
Awards
1
First Name
Cooper
Hey Roger , welcome to the forum! Over time I have evaluated a ton of DMS's and you are right, there is no bullet proof solution. In my experience, demo's are a very tough way to evaluate a DMS; there is a ton of information to try to digest in a short period of time. Also, do not doubt the ability of a skilled demo person to navigate around "known" issues. In reality, in order to choose your next DMS, the most time spent should be talking with peers, particularly peers that are all on your short list of DMS's. Ask what they like/don't like, how long is the support queue, what kind of turn around do they experience, how much above their base monthly do they pay, how responsive are they to critical issues. How well do they support third parties? Ask all department heads, some systems are "geared" towards different departments, so depending on who you talk to you may find some variance in satisfaction. I usually ask what new features have been implemented in the DMS over the past 12 months; what features are planned to be implemented in the NEXT 12 months. There are some vendors out there that are in Profit mode, which means that they are light on features and support, and heavy on integration fees. ((Integration fees are quite important as they will always be passed along to you)). Personally I prefer DT for these reasons, but I am not a customer so I really cannot offer any insight on how well they support you. You could try visiting a few DT customers in your area and asking pointedly about service response times. I also like making DMS Sales guys phone in for support while we are in the board room, nothing is better than watching a sales guy sweat while he explains why in 15 minutes we still haven't heard from a live person. I imagine this shakes things up when he gets back to his office....
 
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Jlewis74

Rust & Dust
Mar 21, 2013
218
59
First Name
Jeremy
Welcome to the site Roger, there are many options in the DMS world today. I work for one of them and don't want you to think I am trying to sell you here but check out our website if you think its something you would be interested in fill out the info and the rep for that area will contact you.

Cooper gave you some great advice, we ask all prospective customers to visit dealers using our product and to call as many as you would like. We like for each dept head to speak with the dept heads for the other stores, we really want a dealer happy and know what they are getting when they go with us. Like Cooper said also ask them to call in for support while you are in the demo, ask them to connect for remote assistance and see how fast that is. Ask if they charge 3rd party vendors to integrate. Ask if they have a contract for more than a 30 day term. The biggest is converting your data from your prior DMS make sure you get it in print what they are going to convert and hold them to it, many claim they will get all your data but I have heard the horror stories.

I have tried to come up with things to ask that will help you no matter who you look at, even if you look at us ask us the same questions.
 
Dec 6, 2012
1
2
First Name
Josh
Roger,

Dealertrack is a great system if you are looking for a lower ongoing cost for your DMS provider, that also has a fairly robust functionality. That being said, DT is not anywhere near the level of sophistication of RR or ADP, because of their relative newness. I am confident that DT platform will improve in the coming years, and is a viable solution for most dealer groups. Just know that you will have to rely on more outside vendor support to supplement what the DT cannot adequately do.

I am not one to recommend this DMS over that DMS, because I think all of them have their place in the market. Different management styles, views on recurring technology costs, the type of the dealership staff, and the existence of IT minded folks at the dealership should ultimately guide your decision.

I know plenty of dealers on Dealertrack who are happy, and understand the value proposition of using that DMS. Similarly with Automate, AutoSoft and Dealerbuilt. I think most ADP and RR dealers also understand what they are 'buying' with increased fee structures, although the downside to a high cost DMS is that they can make you feel that much worse when they let you down. Similarly, any perceived deficiencies with a Dealertrack, Automate, Autosoft etc largely stem from direct comparison with RR and ADP and people need to understand that they are quite different animals.

Good luck on your search!

Josh
 
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Aug 6, 2013
12
1
First Name
Roger
Thanks for your reply and condor Josh. I have been in the car business almost 30 years and talking to DMS reps is just plain tiresome. They all over-promise in my mind. We still haven't decided yet but are getting close.
 
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Jlewis74

Rust & Dust
Mar 21, 2013
218
59
First Name
Jeremy
Thanks for your reply and condor Josh. I have been in the car business almost 30 years and talking to DMS reps is just plain tiresome. They all over-promise in my mind. We still haven't decided yet but are getting close.
Just wondering if you gave Auto/Mate a shot, you are not in my area but I will be happy to answer any questions you might have.
 
Aug 6, 2013
12
1
First Name
Roger
My owner spoke with Auto Mate but for whatever reason did not pursue a demo. I don't think it was because of dislike for AutoMate but rather his belief we need a system that we can be sure can do everything he wants. He narrowed it down to DT, ADP, and R&R.
 

ewalraven

Rust & Dust
Mar 23, 2010
168
32
First Name
Delete
My owner spoke with Auto Mate but for whatever reason did not pursue a demo. I don't think it was because of dislike for AutoMate but rather his belief we need a system that we can be sure can do everything he wants. He narrowed it down to DT, ADP, and R&R.
I'll post a little prediction .. if it's between these three companies. In the end you'll pick DT. If you were living on Quorum before DT will do everything you need to do with it. Here's what will come about ..
Reynolds - You'll here about all the issues that dealers and vendors are having access their data and will just stray away from it.
ADP - You'll weigh the cost and the contract and just realize that it's not for you
DT - They are the last one left and do everything you need. So you sign the pap's.
 
Aug 6, 2013
12
1
First Name
Roger
You may be right. It's almost maddening trying to sort through all the info and feel like you're picking the right DMS.
 

cmjerry4531

Rust & Dust
Apr 1, 2012
144
35
First Name
Cody
You've probably already done this, but I would get the parts manager involved. A DMS switch has a huge impact on the whole parts department, and the wrong DMS can make invoicing parts a nightmare.
 
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