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Getting the most out of your Dealer Management System (DMS)

Colin Kroetsch
May 23, 2023 3:48 PM

Have you ever looked at your dealer management system (DMS) invoice at the end of a month and wondered if it's really worth the investment?

A DMS is necessary for most dealerships. Yet, if you use one now, you might sometimes second guess if your team is optimizing your software. Or worse, you may wonder if all the aggravation of using such a platform is worth your time, energy and, most importantly, your hard-earned dollars.

In this article, I'll highlight five suggestions for getting the most out of your DMS. Some of these considerations might surprise you, as they could be missing from your dealership's day-to-day operations (at this very time)!

Proper Training:

Invest the time upfront for online or in-person training, so you don't start bad habits or improperly use the software. Being diligent could save you many hours of "undoing" all the incorrectly performed tasks. If you need additional sessions, ask for them. If you need dedicated sessions for specific team members, ask for them. Nowadays, many providers offer a help page, which includes articles and videos on how to use every aspect of their software. Spend 15 minutes every other week reviewing these items regularly. Finally, asking for a yearly "once over" from your provider is a great way to see all that's changed and examine new features added over that timeframe.

Team Review:

Include your team from the get-go. Incorporate meetings as needed to sit down with members and determine how you can get the most out of the software at your specific operation. In addition, utilize the software functions that serve you best, and drop add-on features if they no longer have a purpose. You may be able to use another 3rd party for a particular item but still use your DMS for other jobs that it does well. All team members will be using the software for their specific daily duties. Learn from these discussions to ensure you're getting the most out of how you've implemented the software at your dealership.

Utilize Integrations:

Your DMS likely offers many integration partners, so use them! These time-saving integrations can eliminate double-entry mistakes. Review with your provider when new or future integrations are to be added, so you can plan to implement them accordingly. Remember to ask your team which integrations are essential (for them) to have in play.

Try "Beta" Features:

Should your DMS routinely roll out "Beta" Trials, be sure to investigate them. Sometimes, a new feature available through early access is the one you've been waiting for! Putting up with the occasional bug is worth accessing a feature that saves you time. Further, because most DMS companies actively seek customer feedback during beta periods, your opinion matters most at these times. Tell them what needs adjusting or further improvement.

Provide Feedback:  

It may seem obvious, but how can your provider improve without your feedback? Beyond completing a year-end survey, provide ongoing feedback to your DMS customer support representatives. Send them a direct email detailing the ineffective items. Call the salesperson who first got you on the DMS and share your experiences (positive and negative). Ask for personal updates when new capabilities arrive, so you can immediately implement them and share your feedback accordingly.

No matter your system provider, these tips can help your operation get the most from your offering. Incorporate these recommendations into a workable timeline, and that next DMS invoice will not be a nuisance but a money-making solution!


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