5 Things to consider when choosing a management system for your dealership

Dealer management plugin

If you’ve made the decision to switch to a new dealership management system, you’ve likely given it a lot of time and consideration. Choosing a new DMS is a big undertaking and often comes with much resistance from team members and stakeholders. However, when dealerships face challenge and after challenge that significantly impacts their bottom line, adopting a new DMS may be the only way to keep the business running.

As a company that has created a DMS service plugin, we know all too well the constraints that many dealerships face when it comes to workflow, efficiency, and communication. We’ve worked with many dealerships that have adopted our plugin to solve their operational issues and so, we have a lot of knowledge on this topic. Here are five important things that dealerships need to consider when choosing a new management system.

Ignore the bells and whistles

There are many DMS vendors that promise a lot of bells and whistles. It’s important to stick to your guns about the features that you absolutely need and find a solution that makes sense for your processes. While a certain system may look compelling and impressive, you may end up with one that you don’t even use or worse yet – cause more problems for you in the long run. This takes us to the next point…


2. Identify the problems and constraints you need to solve

Assess your daily business operations and consult with your team about the constraints that they face every day.

  • What specific problems are you trying to solve?

  • Is it a communication issue?

  • Do you need a better reporting tool?

  • Where is the bottleneck happening?

  • Which area is costing the dealership the most money?

  • Where are you losing sales opportunities?

  • Where are you losing employee hours because of inefficiencies?

  • How is your current DMS causing your team to lose productivity?
  • The more specific you can get with these answers, the better. The right DMS will stand out to you because the vendor will speak to your constraints.

    3. The system should support your business growth

    Every manager wants to grow their business and keep it thriving. The management system you choose should be able to grow with you. Rather than having to go through another costly and time-consuming software change in the future, the DMS you have gives you room for growth. One of the biggest mistakes dealership managers make is choosing a DMS based on the price alone, which takes us to our next point….

    4. Don’t cut costs

    Budget is an important factor, of course, and when looking at a new DMS, it’s tempting to go for the most inexpensive one. But it’s important to consider your total cost of ownership, which refers to all of the costs of a product over its lifespan. While a dealership management system may be offered a lower price, you could be facing extra charges and fees for:

  • Upgrades

  • Customer support

  • Software enhancements

  • New features
  • Without the above, you may be looking at lost sales opportunities, software malfunctions, and more inefficiencies. Be sure to ask the vendor about their fees for upgrades and what they do to keep up with technology changes and trends. Investing in a more expensive DMS may be a financial hit initially, but the ROI could prove to be worth it as your business becomes more profitable with higher efficiencies.

    5. Get your team involved

    Last but certainly not least, always involve your team in any big changes. One of the challenges that managers face with switching software over or adopting new technologies is team members who are opposed to the change. Usually, the reason team members are hesitant with any change is because they feel like they have no control or say in the transition. Walk your team through what the new DMS has to offer and communicate how it can help ease their constraints.

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