2021 Dealer DMS Sentiment Survey

Choosing a DMS is one of the most important decisions you will make for your dealership. The right solution is your first step to breaking free from outdated processes and take back control of your business.

In this post, we will highlight the three most essential requirements of today’s DMS, based on an independent study of dealer sentiments: Security, Flexibility and Features. We hope these findings provide you with a roadmap for making your next DMS decision, one that can ensure business continuity even during turbulent or unexpected times.

Study At A Glance

To conduct this study various dealers from an independent panel across the United States were surveyed. The scope of this survey included:

Surveyed 220 DMS Decision Makers from various car dealerships

Discussed pain points, top limitations and considerations made when evaluating current DMS and future purchases

Research objective: to understand what dealers expect from a DMS

Dealership Size – Mix of sizes and structures (including large, single-point dealers as well as dealer groups, etc.)

Survey participants included Dealers, Chief Financial Officer, General Manager, Controller and Fixed Operations Manager

Examined dealership attitudes toward DMS

Why Dealers Selected Current DMS

Security and Features are the top reasons customers selected their current DMS solution, followed by Quality of Support. Quality of Support is often an attribute that customers describe as one of their DMS’ greatest limitations.

Reasons Dealers Are Unhappy With Current DMS

Primary motivators behind switching often come down to DMS Features’ type and the solution’s price and security.

Top Reasons For Unhappiness

Top Reasons For Switching Their DMS

Agreement On Core Features

A Core Feature is one that must be included in a DMS

Bolded features, such as Integrated MPI, Vehicle Barcoding, and HR/Employee Portal were considered Select Features that a large portion of respondents didn’t expect to be part of a Core Package.

Legend:

Core Feature – Wouldn’t consider a solution without this feature

Select Feature – Inclusion of this feature would influence my choice

Premium Feature – I would expect to pay extra for this

Dashboards Are Most Important

This is considered a feature that must be included in a DMS

The 9 features in the table were considered Core Features regardless of dealership size.

In addition, dealerships with employee counts of less than 100, Parts Wholesaling and Mobile Service Drive were the top features that would persuade a dealer to switch their DMS.

For dealerships with employee counts of more than 100, Parts Wholesaling and Repair Estimates were the top features that would persuade a dealer to switch their DMS.

Legend:

Core Feature – Wouldn’t consider a solution without this feature

Select Feature – Inclusion of this feature would influence my choice

Premium Feature – I would expect to pay extra for this

infographics-dashboards-10.svg

Smaller Dealerships Expect More

Dealers are split on whether Payroll Applications, HR Suite, and Remote DMS Access/Work From Home (WFH) features were Core or Select Features, regardless of company size.

This graph also identifies Premium features, which are expected to cost more.

Legend:

Core Feature – Wouldn’t consider a solution without this feature

Select Feature – Inclusion of this feature would influence my choice

Premium Feature – I would expect to pay extra for this

infographics-smaller-dealerships-11.svg

Microsoft Is The Industry's First Choice

When DMS users were asked to rank their top 3 software providers for the automotive industry, they chose Microsoft as their first choice (83%).

Microsoft – 83%

Google – 13%

Apple – 4%

A Deeper Look At Dealer DMS Expectations

What To Look For If Your Dealership Has 100+ Employees

Based on the study, the largest dealerships identified nearly half of the listed features as Core Features, with Mobile Service Drive (64%) listed as their top Core Feature.

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Mobile Service Drive
feature-type-chart-100-employees.webp

Integrated MPI Is An Essential Feature

Most dealerships, regardless of size, considered Integrated MPI and Centralized Accounting as part of their top three Select Features.

All Respondents

Vehicle Barcoding ranked higher due to a larger percentage of top DMS customers (49%) categorizing it as a Select Feature whereas the group as a whole, selected HR/Payroll Employee Portal at similar rates (46%).

Top 3 Competitors

Security Is The Top Reason For Moving To The Cloud

Moving to the cloud is more than a trend. It provides greater security, mobility, and availability with minimal maintenance. Mainly for security and efficiency reasons, cloud solutions are preferred over on-premise solutions. It helps them take back control of their data and minimize threats from cyberattacks.

89% of larger dealerships seek a DMS vendor who offers cloud solutions

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Seek DMS vendor offering cloud solutions

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