Are you a part of the automotive industry looking to streamline your dealership operations and boost productivity with a Dealer Management System (DMS)?
A dealer management system is a comprehensive software solution designed specifically for automotive dealerships to manage various aspects of their business, from sales and inventory to service and finance. But what are the key features that make a DMS truly effective?
In this blog, we will explore six essential features of a dealer management system that you should know about. Keep reading to learn more.
1. Automated Accounting:
Automated accounting can manage books, invoicing, expenses, and payroll. A Dealer Management System (DMS) with automated accounting capabilities offers several benefits:
- With an automated accounting system, all financial data is captured, stored, and organized in one central location. This system streamlines financial reporting, making it easier to create reports, analyze business performance, and identify trends.
- Automating accounting processes also reduces costs associated with manual interventions, such as data entry errors and time spent performing repetitive tasks. This, in turn, lowers accounting expenses and improves financial efficiency.
- As businesses grow, accounting needs also grow. Automated accounting solutions can be customized and scaled to adapt to the growing needs of a business. This scalability is essential, especially in fast-growing organizations.
2. Parts and Inventory Management:
Including parts and inventory management capabilities in a Dealer Management System (DMS) software offers several benefits:
- Businesses can avoid overstocking or understocking situations by accurately tracking stock levels and demand. Overstocking ties up capital in excess inventory, increases storage costs, and could lead to obsolescence.
On the other hand, understocking can result in lost sales opportunities, delays in fulfilling customer orders, and potential damage to customer relationships. By managing inventory effectively, dealerships can reduce costs associated with carrying inventory and improve cash flow.
- With accurate data on inventory levels and demand trends, businesses can make informed decisions about resource allocation, production planning, and supply chain management. This enhanced data improves operational efficiency, reduces waste, and optimizes resource utilization.
- For businesses that rely on managing parts for maintenance and repairs, including parts management within the DMS system is crucial. This ensures that the correct parts are readily available when needed, minimizing downtime and improving equipment maintenance efficiency.
3. Sales and CRM:
A Dealer Management System (DMS) with sales and CRM features should have the following capabilities:
- The DMS should provide functionality to capture and track prospective customers and leads in the sales pipeline. It should allow dealerships to efficiently manage the lead qualification process, track progress, and assign leads to sales representatives.
- The DMS should have a comprehensive customer and contact management module that stores and organizes customer information, including contact details, purchase history, preferences, and service records.
This enables dealerships to build and maintain strong customer relationships and provide personalized service.
- The DMS should facilitate managing and tracking sales opportunities from lead to closure. It should enable dealerships to assign opportunities, track sales activities, monitor sales stages, set reminders, and generate sales reports. This helps sales teams manage their sales pipeline effectively and close deals efficiently.
- A DMS with sales and CRM features should seamlessly integrate with the vehicle inventory management module.
This integration allows sales teams to access real-time information on available inventory, vehicle specifications, pricing, and promotions. It enables them to provide accurate and up-to-date information to customers, improving the sales process.
- The DMS should support deal management functionalities, such as creating and managing sales quotes, proposals, and contracts. It should also facilitate the configuration and pricing of vehicles and optional equipment, enabling sales representatives to generate accurate quotes and finalize deals more efficiently.
- The DMS should provide robust analytics and reporting capabilities to track and measure sales performance.
It should offer key performance indicators like conversion rates, average sale prices, gross profit margins, and salesperson performance metrics. These insights help dealerships identify areas for improvement, make data-driven decisions, and optimize sales strategies.
- A DMS should be able to integrate with manufacturer systems and platforms to streamline processes like vehicle ordering, incentive programs, and warranty registration.
This integration ensures data accuracy, automates workflows and facilitates seamless communication between the dealership and manufacturers.
4. Service and Maintenance:
A Dealer Management System (DMS) with service and maintenance features should have the following capabilities:
- The DMS should enable dealerships to schedule and manage service appointments efficiently. It should allow customers to schedule appointments through multiple channels and provide alerts and reminders to customers and service teams.
- The DMS should provide a workflow to manage repair orders throughout the service process, from vehicle check-in to delivery.
This includes repair order creation, tracking, and status updates throughout the repair process. The system should also allow for updates to estimates, approvals, and additional repair order creation as needed.
- The DMS should facilitate technician management, including automated assignment of repair orders to technicians, tracking of time spent and skills used, and providing technicians with easy access to active repair orders.
The system should enable skills assessment, training records, and performance evaluations to assist with skill development and job progression.
- A DMS equipped with service and maintenance features should effectively manage parts inventory from stock ordering and shipment to return and obsolescence.
This includes the ability to create orders for parts availability, manage parts cataloging, track parts availability, and cycle count to maintain accurate inventory levels.
- The DMS should provide workflow automation to minimize manual steps to complete service tasks efficiently.
This will include automating communication between customers, service advisors, technicians, and suppliers. It should also enable task and activity management and escalation if tasks or activities exceed pre-defined time limits.
- The DMS should have a warranty claim module that will enable dealerships to manage warranty claims efficiently. It should automate the claim submission process, tracking, and settlement while providing insights into claim resolution status.
- The DMS should provide insights through analytics and reporting to help dealerships optimize service performance. It should track service expenses, revenue, profitability, service sold per repair order, length of time the repair order is open, and frequency of repeat visits.
5. Reporting and Analytics:
Dealer Management System (DMS) with reporting and analytics features should have the following capabilities:
- The DMS should provide customizable dashboards to allow users to create summary views of data relevant to their roles and responsibilities. It should offer configurable chart types, including bar graphs, pie charts, and tables, allowing drill-down to see more detailed data.
- The DMS should provide a variety of standard reporting templates for sales, inventory, service, and finances. The reports should be pre-configured for ease of use, be designed to be accurate and provide insightful information.
- The DMS should provide robust data analysis capabilities for sales, inventory, service, and financial insights. It should enable the creation of customized metrics, such as Sales per Day, Service Profit per Agreement, and Lost Sales Opportunity, to identify areas of strength or where to focus efforts to improve business margins.
- The DMS should provide predictive analytics to forecast future trends and insights, such as projected sales, inventory requirements, and service trends. This data could then be used to optimize business decisions and strategies.
- The DMS should provide benchmarking analytics to enable comparisons of business performance against industry benchmarks and market trends.
- The DMS should offer data encryption to prevent unauthorized access and data loss. The system should also comply with data privacy laws like GDPR and CCPA to protect customer data.
6. Employee Training:
Dealer Management System (DMS) software with employee training features should have the following capabilities:
- The DMS should provide a platform to manage and organize training content, including documents, videos, presentations, and interactive modules. It should support uploading, version control, and categorization of training materials for easy access and reference.
- The DMS should enable the creation and management of employee training plans. This includes defining training requirements based on job roles, assigning training modules or courses, and setting deadlines or timelines for completion.
- The DMS should support online training delivery, allowing employees to access training materials anytime. It should offer a user-friendly interface for employees to navigate through training content, complete modules, and track progress.
- The DMS should provide functionality to manage certification programs and exams. It should enable the creation of certification programs for specific job roles or skills, allow employees to register for exams, and track their certification status and history.
- The DMS should track and record employees’ training progress, including modules completed, time spent on training, and assessment scores. It should provide reports and dashboards to monitor individual and overall training progress, identifying any outstanding or incomplete training requirements.
Consult With Gillrie Institute for Your Next DMS System
Getting new dealer management system software can be an overwhelming process. That’s why Gillrie Institute is here to guide you through the process. We’ll help you find the right DMS system for your dealership. Call us at 801.814.2261, or fill out our website form for more information.