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Our Dealership Management System (DMS) and Automotive Software Approach.

At Gillrie Institute, we ensure that a dealer’s pain points related to their dealer management systems (DMS) are effectively addressed. Our comprehensive approach consists of several key stages: scoping, screening, analysis, closing, implementation, and policing. Our goal is to provide tailored solutions that meet our dealer’s specific needs with their dealership management software.

Gillrie Institute DMS and Automotive Software Approach


In the scoping stage, Gillrie closely collaborates with our dealers to understand their goals, requirements, and expectations. We also assess the current state of our dealer’s DMS and dealership management software to identify pain points and areas for improvement. This stage is vital, as it establishes a clear understanding of our dealer’s issues and sets the foundation for subsequent stages.

In the scoping stage, Gillrie will:

  • Define the project goals, decision-makers, and communication paths.
  • Establish the current state by analyzing the current bills and contracts.
  • Set a timeline for project completion.
  • Determine the right vendor mix based on the dealer's preferences.


The Screening Stage covers the initial interaction with the selected vendors. In this stage, we advise dealers on which dealer management systems work and which don’t, based on actual experience.

Our advice is based on real-world feedback from our 5,000+ customers in their experiences with DMS providers. Our screening process involves:

  • Putting the buyers in contact with the right vendor representatives.
  • Preparing the buyer for demos by providing them with guidelines and questions.
  • Requesting proposals in a format that makes vendors disclose all the details necessary to prepare an accurate analysis of the total cost of ownership.


The Analysis stage is among the most critical phases in the selection process. The key to success is understanding the functionality, contracts, and total cost of ownership for each dealer management system option. This is the only way to compare apples-to-apples between different vendors.

The analysis stage involves:

  • Explaining each vendor’s discount practices and typical negotiation processes.
  • Reviewing the system configuration and confirming the needed set of applications.
  • Generating a side-by-side comparison between different dealer management systems to highlight the points of parity and differences.
  • Analyzing system upfront costs for hardware, software implementation, training, and other professional services.
  • Critically assessing recurring monthly charges associated with the dealer management system and equipment.


In the Negotiation state, Gillrie supports dealers in negotiating the final price and terms. Dealers can have us coach them on proven strategies or have us negotiate directly with vendors. In both cases, dealers will always maintain control over the decision since we never commit to any contracts on their behalf.

The Closing stage involves:

  • Formulating and implementing a proven negotiating plan that includes preparing the dealer’s team for each vendor meeting.
  • Assisting in structuring the contract with special terms and considerations that will offer long-term protection from vendor abuse.
  • Creating unique contract addenda to provide additional benefits to the buyer.
  • Reviewing the final contracts and documents to ensure they include all the agreed-upon items and addenda.


Once our dealers have concluded their negotiations, we will help them prepare for the system’s launch. During the Implementation Stage, we will primarily assist with our experience during the installation, data conversion, and training. We can also be involved as a de-escalation path in case of vendor implementation problems.

The Implementation stage involves:

  • Set a timeline for each step of the installation.
  • Ensure that you have access to all of your data.
  • Confirm that all training has been completed.


The final Policing Stage is no less important than the previous steps in the process. This stage is about monitoring and guarding your contracts with DMS providers to ensure what was negotiated is being implemented.

The Policing Stage involves:

  • Providing periodic analyses of vendors’ monthly billing to ensure compliance with the negotiated terms.
  • Advising the buyer on cost-reduction techniques that may be employed over the full term of the agreement.
  • Assisting with system add-ons and enhancements to ensure competitive discounting and enforcement of contract terms.
  • Navigating the complexity of other issues related to the existing dealership management software contract.
Overpaying for DMS?
Overpaying for DMS?

We know what DMS problems dealers are facing. Learn more about how we can reduce your DMS bill and improve your terms and configuration with various DMS providers.

Getting the most out of your resources?
Getting the most out of your resources?

Let us help you ensure you get the most out of your investments. We can help you ensure things are functioning at peak performance.

Buying new Software?

Talk to us if you want to move your dealership software to the next level. Let us help you navigate this confusing landscape and ensure you’re not overspending.

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Call us today

Get answers about how we can help you succeed with your next dealership technology project. Talk with one of our consultants.