This is the first entry in our blog series entitled, "Demand More from your DMS." Each post will discuss the gap between available DMS technologies and the solutions currently being utilized by most dealerships. Sharon Kitzman, VP and General Manager at Dealertrack DMS, addresses the topic of open integration and how it perfectly demonstrates the value that dealerships can gain by proactively seeking new technologies.
In recent years, technology has shifted to favor integration, a great example being Uber. They essentially grouped GPS, social media, and a payment method together into one convenient solution. Today, the best solutions rely on their ability to connect with multiple outlets. Those connections have made technology more useful, more affordable, and more effective. Our dealership clients are enjoying the benefits of an open DMS platform, which include broader vendor selection, reduced expenses, and the opportunity for custom development.
Given the importance of integration in today’s world, dealerships must have the ability to connect with whichever third-party apps they choose. I’ve heard from several dealers how important it is for them to be able to select third-party vendors based on what works best for their businesses, not their DMS platforms. To achieve compatibility with a broad base of vendors, however, car dealerships must be able to share their data. Open platforms allow for modular integration and for the secure transfer of data between systems. These features, which are surprisingly rare among DMS platforms, let dealerships work with the partners they choose, including innovative companies that may not be traditionally thought of as automotive vendors.
DMS platforms that allow for open integration also save dealerships money. Because they don’t restrict cross-platform linking, they also do not charge expensive security or data access fees. By reducing or eliminating those fees, dealerships using open, modular DMS platforms enjoy an immediate reduction of monthly expense. In practice, this means that a dealership could save money while using the same third-party applications, simply by switching from a rigid provider to an open, modular platform.
With a larger list of vendors to choose from, dealerships using open platforms can generally find existing solutions to their challenges. Sometimes, however, unique objectives may require functionality that is not available through an existing vendor. Fortunately, modular DMS platforms allow dealerships to build their own technology apps to fulfill specific needs. Motorcars Honda in Cleveland, Ohio is doing just that, developing apps to help reinvent their service lane operation to improve the customer experience. This is possible because of their open DMS platform. Having uninhibited access to the dealership data they need, allows ambitious dealer groups to explore their potential and move the automotive industry forward in exciting ways.
Open Integration Allows for Dealership Growth and Success
Dealer management systems offering open integration provide a number of unique and valuable benefits, including a broader selection of vendors, lower data access fees, and the opportunity to develop custom solutions. Unfortunately, many dealerships simply accept the current limitations of their rigid, closed DMS platforms. Companies that demand more from their technology providers are more likely to be rewarded with innovation, efficiency, and ease of use. Dealerships should expect their DMS providers to supply an open architecture and provide all the benefits of a modern DMS.
About the Author
Sharon Kitzman is the VP and General Manager at Dealertrack DMS.