Your DMS and give your dealership a new VUE

A DMS is the hub of your business. Think of it as your dealership’s brain, as well as its eyes and ears. The glue that holds your operation together. The reality is, the DMS is all that and more.

That is why the idea of replacing a DMS has historically been a daunting one for dealers. After all, switching to a new system can feel like giving your dealership a heart transplant. But there is a better way. With cloud-native technology, you can now get a modern solution without the heartburn.

A GPS recalculates your position whenever you are going in the wrong direction. Why not take time to reconsider your current DMS, especially if it is keeping you from reaching your goals? Hopefully, the information in this post can help point you down the right path.

We highlight reasons why you should reconsider your current DMS and look at a more modern option available today.

A DMS is used to manage inventory and customers, structure deals, manage websites, schedule service, pull credit reports, track reconditioning and flooring expenses, and so on. Whether it is inside a dealership or web-based, a DMS should have your back. Simply put, it is where you go to find answers or plan your next course of action.

However, DMS technology itself has been going through a paradigm shift in recent years. This includes the move from in-house servers to cloud-native solutions.

Implementing a new DMS should not be taken lightly, but it is crucial to avoid the mindset of:

My DMS might be old and site-based and doesn’t include modern features I need, but my staff already knows how to use it. Besides, I can’t afford to risk going through a bad installation and losing valuable time or data.

If you are already planning a migration to a new DMS, remember to ask your current provider questions – many of which are included in this guide.

Getting the right information will help ensure that you get the best solution for your dealership.

Key Takeaways

Depending on your answers, it may be time to reconsider your current DMS solution.

Is my DMS available 24/7/365 or does a maintenance window limit access?

What is my provider’s guaranteed uptime and do they publish an SLA?

How fast are security updates?

How easy is it to learn and train others to use?

Does my current system support mobile accessibility?

How satisfied am I with their customer support?

Am I locked into a long-term contract?

How much do I actually pay for my DMS monthly?

Which OEM and third-party integrations do they offer and am I paying extra for those?

Is my DMS compliant with my OEM, state, and federal requirements?

Dealers and Their Current DMS

These results are based on the 2021 Dealer DMS Sentiment Survey.

Reasons why dealers selected their current DMS

40% security, 36% features, 29% support quality

Reasons why dealers are unhappy with current DMS

26% ease-of-use, 24% price, 19% support quality

Top 3 reasons dealers would switch their DMS

45% features, 30% price, 25% security.

Reconsider Customer Support

Dealers cite quality of support (29%) as a reason they selected their current DMS provider. Yet quality of support is often an attribute that dealers describe as one of their current vendor’s greatest limitations.

When dealers choose a DMS, they should expect more than just a software. The level of client service should be inherent in the provider’s partnership with the dealership – from the point of installation to continuous support.

Questions To Ask Your Current DMS Provider

  • Where is your DMS service and support team based?
  • What are their hours of operations?
  • How knowledgeable are they about the system?
  • How experienced are they with the auto retail business and its challenges?
  • How well do you support my dealership both at the time of installation and from that point forward?

Reasons to Consider VUE DMS

  • US-based support staff that operate during your business hours
  • Dedicated Customer Advocate, one for every 30 dealers
  • Customer Advocates are proactive and keep in regular contact with you
  • 1 week of web-based training
  • 2 weeks of onsite training
  • On-demand web-based and computer-based training
  • In-house automotive and data experts
  • Decades of experience serving franchise dealerships
“The support from VUE DMS has been awesome. Everyone who came out to help us, even after they left the dealership, was super helpful. They didn’t even bat an eye whenever we needed something.”

Reconsider Your DMS Uptime

Security is the number one reason why dealers picked their current DMS solution. It is no wonder since experts expect cyberattacks to increase every year. The good news is that active monitoring should avoid 93% of breaches if those software solutions are continuously updated. Yet, over 70% of dealerships are not up-to-date on their antivirus software (source: Total Dealer Compliance).

Moving a DMS from a premise-based solution to the cloud, aka the internet, makes sense. It provides greater uptime and can protect a dealership’s assets from being hacked or ransomed. That’s because a cloud-native DMS is resilient and enables a dealership to recover quickly from a disaster. Data stored on the cloud is encrypted and always up to date.

Questions To Ask Your Current DMS Provider

  • What are the steps you take to keep data safe?
  • What level of encryption do you offer?
  • What level of uptime guarantee do you support (i.e., how many 9s)?
  • What is your uptime availability over a month and over a year?
  • How fast are your security updates?
  • How quickly can you guarantee that I can be up and running after a disaster or an outage?
  • What features can I access with the internet alone versus needing a VPN?

Reasons to Consider VUE DMS

  • The only cloud-native DMS built on Microsoft Azure
  • Scalable and includes “autoscale” capability
  • Delivers 99.99% service uptime YTD
“Securing our dealership’s data continues to be a top priority for us. VUE DMS provides us with the mobility and peace of mind our dealership needs to run efficiently while ensuring our data is protected.”
David Jerry York
Co-owner of York’s of Houlton Toyota

Reconsider Ease Of Use

Dealers cite ease of use (26%) as a reason for dissatisfaction with their current DMS – and with good reason. Automotive retail must constantly deal with employee turnover. If the solution is too difficult to master, training and onboarding costs will be higher. It is no surprise that “ease of use” is a critical benchmark for productivity. Even time spent doing simple tasks takes longer if the DMS is hard to use.

For example, DMS products often require using multiple screens just to write a RO. It would be more efficient to stay on one screen, make changes to the database and have those changes updated immediately throughout the DMS. Best of all, an intuitive user interface means teams can get trained and ready to go quickly.

Questions To Ask Your Current DMS Provider

  • How many steps are required for common tasks; RO, Parts Invoice, A/P Check and forms printing?
  • Will the DMS allow me to quickly and easily share digital quotes with customers?
  • Will the DMS charge me to integrate with third parties?
  • How long will it take to build new integration feeds?
  • How much data can I view or access from a single screen?
  • Does the DMS integrate with my other existing technology providers?
  • What are the common third-party integration issues that could arise?
  • How much will it cost me to connect it with third-party software?

Reasons to Consider VUE DMS

  • Intuitive Microsoft-based user interface
  • Point-and-click functionality with hyperlinks and unlimited sessions
  • Multi-user working access to a single transaction
  • Easy to learn and navigate with minimal training
  • Web-based, computer-based and on-site training always available
“VUE DMS is easy to use. I don’t have to spend days teaching it to our employees. It’s point-and-click and self-explanatory. It’s pretty easy onboarding someone onto the system.”

Reconsider Invoices

The second top reason dealers are unhappy with their current DMS is price (26%), just after ease of use.

Dealers do not want to hear that they are suddenly out of licenses for new users or need to upgrade because they bought another store. Likewise, they fear getting trapped in auto-renewing or extending contracts. They certainly do not want to feel as if they are paying for the same software over and over again. Their original DMS contract might have 3-4 items compared to their current invoice that has now grown to 3-4 pages.

So, what do dealers want? They want simplified, transparent invoicing and a clear way to understand the total cost of ownership. Above all, they do not want to be nickeled and dimed along the way.

Questions To Ask Your Current DMS Provider

  • What is the process for questioning an invoice item or charge?
  • How much data can I view or access from a single screen?
  • Do I need to pay to print?
  • What additional costs can I expect if I grow my business?
  • Can I cancel an add-on application mid-contract term?
  • Can I get out of my remaining contract term if I sell my business?

Reasons to Consider VUE DMS

  • Simple, transparent pricing
  • No hidden fees or charges
  • Unlimited add on users

Reconsider Third-Party Data Fees

Price is also the second most important reason a dealer would switch their DMS (30%). Those numbers are not surprising when considering how often hidden data fees are tacked onto an invoice. A common practice by certain major DMS providers. Data integration fees are extra costs to the core DMS expense and can quickly add up, blindsiding the dealer.

Dealers should review their DMS invoices carefully to understand how much they are paying for third-party data integration fees.

Questions To Ask Your Current DMS Provider

  • Does the DMS integrate with my other existing technology providers?
  • What are the common third-party integration issues that could arise?
  • How much will it cost me to connect the DMS with third-party software?
  • What is the process to terminate a third-party integration?
  • Are all integrations real-time, or are some batch or delayed?
  • Is the level of integration between a third party and a similar solution owned by the DMS provider the same or limited?

Reasons to Consider VUE DMS

  • No extra charges for third-party integrations
  • Real-Time API integration
  • Secure integration protocol
  • Open to all third parties
  • Your data belongs to you
“Dealership operations have different departments that must all work together to achieve efficiency. VUE DMS allows us to streamline our business processes and improve productivity by making it easier for team members to collaborate in a fast-moving retail environment. We’ve also reduced redundancies with a simpler integration, resulting in higher cost savings and better communications.”

Reconsider Utilization

The DMS is the most complex software for a dealership. It is no surprise then that legacy systems often become bloated over time with numerous features and functionalities, many of which are no longer relevant yet add to lag time, slow performance and rising costs.

Dealers should evaluate their existing processes and the most used features in their current DMS. Identify processes that are no longer effective and hone in on a DMS that can help facilitate the most efficient way to conduct today’s business.

Questions To Ask Your Current DMS Provider

  • How will I receive notices and training on new features?
  • Will someone visit my dealership regularly to train new employees?
  • If I do not need a feature, can it be turned off/hidden?
  • How quickly can you train new teams if I buy another dealership?

Reasons to Consider VUE DMS

  • Single screen for transactions
  • Data synchronized across modules in real time
  • No fees for computer and web-based training
  • Software updates every two weeks with feature options
  • Easily collaborate across departments
  • Intuitive interface that reflects modern web navigation experience
  • Dedicated Customer Advocate for on-site consulting
“VUE DMS increased my ability to perform to my full capacity by offering more options that I could not do with the old system.”

Reconsider Contract Terms

Mostly loved by lawyers, contracts are the cost of doing business. But fair warning: contracts are much easier to get into than get out of. So be careful when signing on the dotted line.

Dealers should get comfortable with the DMS provider’s contract terms before committing. Some DMS providers post their Terms and Conditions online and can change them at will, without notification, during the contract term. Look for auto-renew clauses, early-out penalties, reassignment clauses or any extra expenses that might not have been considered. Be sure to ask these questions before signing.

Questions To Ask Your Current DMS Provider

  • Does my contract auto-renew?
  • Am I able to choose my contract terms?
  • When does your standard DMS contract begin and end?
  • What are my contract options?
  • What is my cancelation window?
  • Does your contract include automatic renewing?
  • What is the shortest term contract you offer?
  • Does your contract include automatic yearly increases?
  • Am I allowed to cancel some maintenance to reduce monthly costs?
  • Are all of my fees fixed, or are some transaction or variable based?

Reasons to Consider VUE DMS

  • No upfront hardware purchase
  • Simple, easy-to-understand contracts
  • No hidden fees
  • Contract length options
  • Single page invoice
  • 60-day cancelation notice
  • No transaction/variable pricing
  • No hidden fees or charges
  • Unlimited add on users

Is Your DMS Up For The Challenge?

DMS technology is in transition, moving away from premise-based solutions to the more secure web-based environment that is easily accessible on any device. Gone are the days of a down server creating company-wide chaos, and impacting all of the third-party solutions that need its data. By transitioning their DMS to the internet, dealers are in better control of their own destiny. As a result, they enjoy greater data security, uptimes, accessibility and timeliness.

Your DMS is the hub of your dealership, and when it is down, your business stops dead in its tracks. Nothing can go out and nothing can come in. Does your staff even remember how to calculate a deal or write a RO by hand?

Isn’t it time to take a closer look at your current DMS and decide if it can take your business where it needs to be in the 21st century?

Schedule A Demo To See How Your DMS Compares