CDK Global Shows Enhancements:
CDK, formerly known as ADP Dealer Services, introduced over 100 enhancements and options to the CDK Drive DMS suite at this year’s NADA. The most popular items from our perspective were the CDK New Car IQ service, which is created to help dealers move not just Used but especially New car inventory faster, and the CDK See What You Sign service helping dealers capturing digital signatures from mobile devices and enhancing the CDK Digital Contracting functionality with virtual deal jackets.
R&R Presents Strong Add-ons:
Reynolds and Reynolds (R&R) continues to strive as one of the technology leaders in the market for DMS solutions. The company from Dayton presented updates to the ERA Ignite system as R&R Dynamic Reporting, and introduced new unique solutions to the market. One of the most popular items was the R&R AOA service for accessories. Dealers will be able to re-think accessories sales by presenting add-ons to customers in a new technology-driven and yet playful way. This R&R AOA service and solutions like the new R&R Advanced Service Sales Kit (ASSK) or the DocuPad may provide dealers with a much-needed lift if utilized to its potential.
Dealertrack Grows and Expands:
Dealertrack Technologies is growing and aggressively filling technology gaps by primarily acquiring successful niche brands as Dealer.com for CRM, websites, and other digital marketing solutions, or ASR Pro (ServicePro) for mobile service applications. The key for future success will be to remain a competitive price point in comparison to CDK Global (ADP Dealer Services) and Reynolds and Reynolds (R&R) while integrating all available modules and creating a cohesive user experience for dealers – not just from an user interface and workflow perspective, but also from a support angle by consolidating sales force for DMS, CRM and digital marketing solutions, other Sales and F&I applications, and inventory solutions. Unfortunately all Canadian dealers won’t be able to embrace a partnership with Dealertrack Technologies as the company is pulling out of Canada and helping dealers to switch to Serti. There are certainly other options. Ask us for advice.
Dominion DMX Ready For Take-Off:
Dominion is concluding the alpha and beta testing stage for Dominion DMX and will start the first dealer installation soon. The Dominion DMX system is uniquely positioned in the market for Dealership Management Systems as it is written on the very successful Microsoft Dynamics platform – one of the leading ERP systems. The question remains of how this will translate into a unique value proposition in comparison of first tier DSP like CDK Global (ADP) and Reynolds and Reynolds (R&R) to increase dealer’s efficiency and drive revenue.
AutoMate Improves Payroll:
Automate presented its new and improved payroll management update, which is lined up for a Q2 2015 release. The company from Albany, NY also worked on updating the parts user interface and moving it to a Java environment.
Autosoft Enhances Core DMS:
Autosoft has received the “Highest Rated” Dealership Management System Award from the DrivingSales Dealer Satisfaction Awards. In addition, the company is one step closer to a fully hosted delivery model and to provide dealers with the options to either go cloud or run on-premise servers. Autosoft also introduced FLEX Mobile. This free mobile app for iOS and Android phones is built for users of Autosoft’s FLEX F&I. The philosophy behind Autosoft’s Flex DMS is to support dealers with a low-cost and yet robust backbone DMS that can then be upgraded by adding more functionality in all departments through bolt-ons from other industry leaders (third parties). This requires advanced and cost-effective data integration, which is a continuous effort from Autosoft.
ADVENT RESOURCES Introduces DMS:
Not many dealers know about it, but Advent – provider of CRM, Sales and F&I solutions – officially introduced its own Advent DMS platform. The company from California concluded testing last year and has dealers already running on the system. For now, the SaaS web-based system is primarily targeted towards smaller and medium-sized organizations. All available modules are programmed internally to avoid data integration issues and breaks in the workflow. Advent will grow its bi-directional interface program with strategic partners and continue to add more OEM certifications. With around 120 employees and 5 install teams, the company drives for sustainable growth. We will keep an eye on them for our dealers.
Autotrader.com Acquires Xtime:
The Autotrader.com family continues to grow. The company from Atlanta acquired xTime, one of the leading service providers for Service Appointments / Scheduling and Service CRM. Especially all VinSolutions dealers will benefit from this acquisition as they can work in both systems through single login and improved integration. This impact on workflow will amplify if dealers use VAuto for new and used inventory management as well. In addition, VinSolutions improved their mobile capabilities. There is no need for Sales Managers to hide behind desks anymore. All deal-relevant information can be accessed and processed through mobile devices. They can even record calls.
DealerSocket Buys DealerFire:
DealerSocket had a change of heart. The claim: “we are CRM” needs to be rewritten as the company acquires DealerFire and adds website and other digital marketing solutions to their service offerings. This business transaction will help Dealersocket to position itself more aggressively against strong competition from other integrated one-stop shop Front End Solutions as VinSolutions (Autotrader.com) and Dealer.com (Dealertrack Technologies). Are we experiencing another wave of CRM consolidation?