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Dealer Management System Shopping Guide

Selecting the right Dealer Management System can be a daunting task, especially if you’re more tuned into tuning forks than fine-tuning systems and software. With the help of top DMS providers, we’ve created this list of questions for you to ask yourself as you review your current DMS provider and compare it to other vendors in the marketplace.

Many dealers see selecting a Dealer Management System vendor as a one-time “set it and forget it” investment, but with ever-improving technology, the system you selected a decade ago to streamline your business operations may actually be costing you time and money.

Selecting the right Dealer Management System can be a daunting task, especially if you’re more tuned into tuning forks than fine-tuning systems and software. With the help of top DMS providers, we’ve created this list of questions for you to ask yourself as you review your current DMS provider and compare it to other vendors in the marketplace.

Visit our online Buyer’s Guide find a full list of Dealer Management Systems providers.

  1. Does the system offer 24 hours a day, seven days a week access to your data from any device on any operating system, or can you only access your data from the computer at the office?
  2. Does the DMS provider back up your system and your data on a daily basis, or do you need to do it yourself and be involved in managing technology?
  3. Does the DMS provider perform the system updates for you, or is it something you need to learn and do for yourself?
  4. Are you required to sign a long-term contract that locks you in with a specific provider for a specific amount of time, or can you pay month-to-month and pay for only the specific number of users on the system in any given month?
  5. Does the DMS system require a significant upfront investment and include monthly or annual software support to maintain the system?
  6. Does the DMS system require you to purchase specific hardware (computers) with specific operating systems, or can the DMS run any device using any operating system?
  7. Does the DMS system have an integrated accounting program combined with a payroll and credit card module so you are getting a complete business system rather than just a POS and Inventory control program?
  8. Does the DMS system include modules such as eCommerce integration, consignment, rental, finance & insurance, (CRM) customer relationship management, accounting, warranty/rebates, invoicing, etc., or are you required to purchase each module separately?
  9. Is the system easy to use?
  10. What type of training is offered to assist the dealer in learning the system? Print, online videos, online training, on-site training? 
  11. Does the DMS system offer you the ability to email or text message your customers?
  12. What kind of reporting does the system offer? Can you customize reports?
  13. Does the DMS provider manage your price files for you?
  14. Is the DMS system able to integrate with all the different parts look-up programs and/or does the system offer any direct integration with a parts look-up vendor?
  15. What kind of technical support does the DMS provider provide?
  16. Is the DMS system designed to grow as your company grows, and can the system manage multi-store operations?
  17. Does the DMS provider offer software demonstrations and/or give you access to their system so you can “test drive” the software and do a complete and thorough evaluation of the features and benefits prior to making a decision?
  18. Will the DMS provider offer you a long list of satisfied customers so you have an opportunity to speak with and ask questions of actual end users?

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