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Business Management

Choosing a Dealer Management System

Keeping your powersports business on the cutting edge of efficiency and profitability may mean investing in a dealer management system.

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Keeping your powersports business on the cutting edge of efficiency and profitability may mean investing in a dealer management system (DMS). Utilizing a DMS translates to streamlined daily operations for you and your employees, and even more important, it can have a resounding effect on the experience of the most important people in your store, the customers.

A DMS can drastically improve day-to-day operations and efficiency, and some systems can manage information and operations in all aspects of your business.

Determining what is right for your business can be a difficult decision. In some cases, a full-blown DMS will be the best option, but if you’re a small dealer and just coming off of the paper, pencil and filing cabinet stage, you may want to start small and utilize a sales/desking tool and service-related applications that will eventually integrate with a DMS.

What makes the decision difficult is that every powersports dealer is completely different. All aspects of your business, including your current and future plans, must be carefully considered.

Familiarizing yourself with dealer management systems and related options can also help you to realize what the possibilities are and allow you to build a future plan based around the management offerings of these systems.

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DX1 offers a dealer management platform designed specifically for the powersports industry. It is an entirely cloud-based system that is a combination of a DMS, website, marketing tools and services, all designed to work together requiring only one login.

“By operating in the cloud, our customers have unmatched security, accessibility and the latest technology to achieve maximum profitability,” said Jeff Littlejohn, president of DX1. “We save dealers countless hours spent on back-office functions so they can focus on sharing their passion and building relationships with customers.”

Features of the DX1 platform are:

• Major units: OEM incentives and rebates, automated tax rate updates, snow check, fees and taxes per model, standardized industry model data including descriptions and photos

• Website: responsive web design, automatic postings of OEM promotions, content management tools, SEO-friendly URLs, HTTPS secure website certificates and analytics and reporting

• Lead manager: advanced lead routing, notifications and assignments, daily planner to schedule follow-up tasks, full customer history including leads, parts, sales and service and customer reporting and scheduling

• Parts and accessories: free OEM and aftermarket price file updates, automatic seasonal reordering, real-time parts availability, internal DX1 Fiche, warehouse parts availability and customer reporting and scheduling

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• Service: service scheduling, technician time clock, repair order management, warranty repair orders, standard job templates by model, e-mail repair orders and customer reporting and scheduling

• Digital marketing: responsive newsletter creation, Facebook inventory, Twitter posts, event management, classified listings and custom reporting and scheduling

• Accounting: profit center accounting methodology, track revenue and cost, reconcile financial statements, track accounts receivable, record deposits, customer reporting and scheduling.

CDK Global offers the Lightspeed EVO DMS solution designed specifically for the powersports industry, focusing on productivity, efficiency, growth and profitability enhancement.

Features of the Lightspeed EVO DMS are:

• Sales and F&I operations: identify leads, close deals, streamline credit approval, sales tools, focus on growing revenue potential

• Real-time accounting: instant access and visibility into relevant financial and transactional data, focusing on cutting costs and growing your bottom-line

• Service operations: track your entire service cycle, focus on improving customer service and retention

• Parts operations: access inventory data in real-time across stock, traffic and pricing

• Warehouse and rental operations: streamline rental and reservation processes with focus on availability, customer, individual unit and parts information

• Multi-location management: set controls and consistency markers across multiple locations, single page data reviews to assist with decision making.

OptionSoft Technologies offers a sales/desking solution for the powersports industry, which focuses on the technology to increase unit sales, raise gross and maximize F&I production while being 100-percent compliant. This system can be utilized independently or integrated into a supported DMS.

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“Software, in and of itself, is useless unless the entire dealership buys in and is willing to follow a sales process. That is the OptionSoft differentiator,” said OptionSoft Director of Training John Fuhrman. “Our top management team came out of retail. We build to solve retail problems and use technology to do it, rather than try and change the way a dealer does business to fit a company’s technology.”

Features from OptionSoft Technologies are:

• Desking: designed to increase unit sales, add gross profits and speed up the sales process

• Mobility: take the entire functionality of their menu where you need it most, customer interaction, video demos

• Finance: consistent product presentation, customized menus to fit each customer, quick and profitable F&I turnaround

• Service sales solution: provides product offering options to your service advisor to maximize all customer opportunities

• Certified reporting: view performance of managers, stores and salespeople

• Customer survey: intelligent and interactive customer surveys with instant alert for negative feedback.

Service Manager Pro is a web-based application that offers specific vehicle information to enhance the operation of your DMS. Data compiled from SMP can be exported into a supported DMS.

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Features of SMP are:

• Vehicle specifications

• Labor times

• Service intervals

• Technical bulletins

• Common parts

• Diagnostic trouble codes

• Recall bulletins

• Common service jobs

Determining which DMS is best for you is going to require homework. Familiarizing yourself with the options, contacting different companies and asking questions will help you figure out the best options for your business, guaranteeing a worthwhile, valuable investment for your business’s future.

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