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Independent Dealer looking at Dealersockets blackbird CRM and IDMS

Feb 21, 2017
7
2
First Name
Danny
I have worked/ran a franchised dealership for almost 20 years and just decided to make the jump on my own into the independent world. I would like to know of anyone that is using dealersocket"s new independent dealer product IDMS? As well as there new CRM platform Blackbird? How well does IDMS integrate with Quickbooks? Or am I better off going with DMS that integrates your inventory, accounting and payroll like AutoMate? At the dealership I worked at we used Auto Soft but then again we were a full service dealership offering sales, service, parts, and bodyshop. I am currently looking at inventory/pricing tools as well, we were with Vauto but I am currently at least looking at alternatives that may be cheaper. I am definitely a Vauto fan tho. Any thoughts would be appreciated!
 

Tallcool1

Boss
Mar 17, 2014
446
284
Awards
1
First Name
Clint
Danny

One of the biggest challenges that exists when moving from the Franchise side to the Independent side is Tools and Software. I made the move about 6 years ago (after almost 20 years on the franchise side).

The first thing I would encourage you to do is focus on the things that are REALLY important to the the sales process. Remember that you no longer have all of these profit centers to gather data from. You no longer have the customer flow that you are used to. You no longer have someone sitting in a BDC or the like.

Cost is really important. There are a lot of good DMS providers that focus on the Independent Dealerships.

Frazer and DeskManager are two that you can pull off for well under $100/month and have Quickbooks Integration. Make no mistake, these are serious software packages.

Coming from Franchise, I would probably recommend DeskManager because it is a little more like what you are used to....depending on the version of AutoSoft that you were on.

CRM, stand alone would be the direction I would go. Again, you don't have dedicated call center people that you have to keep busy. You won't have the sheer volume of contact data that you are used to. I would focus on solid contact management features and not bells and whistles...or you will be spending $800+ per month.
 
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Jlewis74

Rust & Dust
Mar 21, 2013
218
59
First Name
Jeremy
I know IDMS does integrate with Quickbooks and the dealers seem to like it. BlackBird is a great CRM. Also DealerSocket has Inventory Plus and they have independent dealer packages so it all ties in together. Not sure how many independent dealers are on this forum but I am sure if you ask your DS rep they can get some great references. I know Carite is using BB and INV
 
Feb 21, 2017
7
2
First Name
Danny
I have been in touch with Vincue as well as Dealersocket regarding Inventory Plus
Danny

One of the biggest challenges that exists when moving from the Franchise side to the Independent side is Tools and Software. I made the move about 6 years ago (after almost 20 years on the franchise side).

The first thing I would encourage you to do is focus on the things that are REALLY important to the the sales process. Remember that you no longer have all of these profit centers to gather data from. You no longer have the customer flow that you are used to. You no longer have someone sitting in a BDC or the like.

Cost is really important. There are a lot of good DMS providers that focus on the Independent Dealerships.

Frazer and DeskManager are two that you can pull off for well under $100/month and have Quickbooks Integration. Make no mistake, these are serious software packages.

Coming from Franchise, I would probably recommend DeskManager because it is a little more like what you are used to....depending on the version of AutoSoft that you were on.

CRM, stand alone would be the direction I would go. Again, you don't have dedicated call center people that you have to keep busy. You won't have the sheer volume of contact data that you are used to. I would focus on solid contact management features and not bells and whistles...or you will be spending $800+ per month.

I did do a demo with frazer but just thought that for a few hundred dollars more I can get something that will integrate well with most vendors, can push/pull info back and forth, and just has a few more frills and bells and whistles but you are right I am definitely monitoring cost. I am more concerned with my CRM than the DMS just because a good CRM and its processes can definitely add to the bottom line right away. I feel like Dealersocket/blackbird is very reasonble for what you get especially comparing it to other CRM platforms I have used. Thanks for your help
 

bnbautos

Boss
Apr 4, 2017
1
1
Awards
1
First Name
Dirk
I have worked/ran a franchised dealership for almost 20 years and just decided to make the jump on my own into the independent world. I would like to know of anyone that is using dealersocket"s new independent dealer product IDMS? As well as there new CRM platform Blackbird? How well does IDMS integrate with Quickbooks? Or am I better off going with DMS that integrates your inventory, accounting and payroll like AutoMate? At the dealership I worked at we used Auto Soft but then again we were a full service dealership offering sales, service, parts, and bodyshop. I am currently looking at inventory/pricing tools as well, we were with Vauto but I am currently at least looking at alternatives that may be cheaper. I am definitely a Vauto fan tho. Any thoughts would be appreciated!
I would not use Blackbird , I am an independent and currently on it and it is very cumbersome and hard to use. Maybe for big franchise it works great but not for smaller dealerships. Be careful with Dealersocket they will tell you one thing and then when you sign the contract it will be another and 2 year contract. Not a dealer friendly business just greedy in my opinion.
 
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Reactions: djenurm
Jan 17, 2012
13
4
First Name
Ed
I have worked/ran a franchised dealership for almost 20 years and just decided to make the jump on my own into the independent world. I would like to know of anyone that is using dealersocket"s new independent dealer product IDMS? As well as there new CRM platform Blackbird? How well does IDMS integrate with Quickbooks? Or am I better off going with DMS that integrates your inventory, accounting and payroll like AutoMate? At the dealership I worked at we used Auto Soft but then again we were a full service dealership offering sales, service, parts, and bodyshop. I am currently looking at inventory/pricing tools as well, we were with Vauto but I am currently at least looking at alternatives that may be cheaper. I am definitely a Vauto fan tho. Any thoughts would be appreciated!
I would not use Blackbird , I am an independent and currently on it and it is very cumbersome and hard to use. Maybe for big franchise it works great but not for smaller dealerships. Be careful with Dealersocket they will tell you one thing and then when you sign the contract it will be another and 2 year contract. Not a dealer friendly business just greedy in my opinion.
I am a franchised dealer and we launched the DS Blackbird CRM in early July. We are still having a multitude of issues with this product and the desking tools at over 2 months into the conversion.
 
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Reactions: craigh
Jan 17, 2012
13
4
First Name
Ed
In case you are still having issues, we tried the new and improved Dealer Socket and had so many issues we moved away as soon as we could. I only sign minimum length contracts now with CRM's because they change so fast. DS was a complete waste of about 9 months. Lost time, revenue, customers and sales people because they could not see what they needed to see to keep track of people.
 

Jeff Kershner

Founder
May 1, 2005
4,038
1,506
Awards
2
First Name
Jeff
In case you are still having issues, we tried the new and improved Dealer Socket and had so many issues we moved away as soon as we could. I only sign minimum length contracts now with CRM's because they change so fast. DS was a complete waste of about 9 months. Lost time, revenue, customers and sales people because they could not see what they needed to see to keep track of people.

Thanks for the update @LRED Sorry to hear you had such a bad experience. Are you working with another/new CRM provider now, or have plans to?
 
Jan 17, 2012
13
4
First Name
Ed
We moved to CRM Suites that is now being sold as Dominion Vision. Very simple for sales people. It has a lot of great features to keep everything about a customer including service and parts, and it records all inbound and outbound calls in the profile if you use the direct connect feature for phone calling. Every system has bugs but at least you know where you are in this one. Very customizable.
 
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