Automobile Dealership Management Software in 2018
Running a successful car dealership involves countless moving parts, and within all these revolving pieces, productivity shortfalls are inevitable. Successful dealerships know it’s due to human error– because constant communication between individuals eventually leads to confusion and potential misinformation. So while most dealerships acknowledge these shortcomings and use management software such as ADP or Reynolds & Reynolds and other DMS software, these systems can leave gaps in efficiency when maintaining sales, inventory, and F&I information.
Despite our limitations as individuals and the shortcomings of the automotive management software above, we’re fortunate enough to live in an era where we have several software solutions to fully digitize inventory acquisition, marketing, and even inventory management– filling the gaps along the way.
To help reduce your time researching possible software solutions, we have compiled a top-5 list of management tools every dealership should consider adding.
Sales & Marketing
HubSpot offers various marketing, sales, and customer relationship management software to fit whatever business needs you may have– and while the individual options are powerful, they’re even better when used together.
Obtaining prospects and making sales on new or used vehicles relies on you meeting a customer’s needs and working with their budget.
In today’s world, almost every single car purchase begins with an “internet search.” These searches could yield potential new customers if your dealership provides the “right answers.” This inbound marketing, where you draw in customers through social media, branding, and search engine optimization, revolves around creating and publishing content which attracts visitors and converts them into leads as they travel the sales funnel from awareness to consideration.
HubSpot assists in creating and publishing lead generation content– allowing you to track, measure and target your leads.
Reconditioning & Supply Chain Management
ReconMonitor software helps dealerships monitor and manage the process of reconditioning pre-owned inventory and auction purchases from Acquisition to Front Line Ready. It can track each individual vehicle, the progress made during all reconditioning phases, help get vehicles ready in a quick and efficient manner, and save dealerships both time and money.
ReconMonitor is web-based dealership supply chain management software that picks up where your DMS leaves off, and gives any dealership stakeholder access to all in-process vehicles, the current repair stages, and deadlines from any device, at any time.
It establishes an early warning system in order to keep repair momentum from the initial acquisition to frontline readiness– tracking each vendor, employee, and repair phase to manage performance while identifying bottlenecks in the reconditioning process.
For dealership marketing teams, the primary goal is to advertise the business in the best and most efficient channels– and social media is the largest avenue to get the word out. Sprout Social allows you to track likes, shares, conversations, new contacts, and more with an incredibly clean and easy design.
Data is the driving force when it comes to marketing and understanding which posts drive the most engagement, and Sprout Social offers various monthly subscriptions to monitor your social media marketing campaign.
Sprout Social’s management screen has tabs for messages, tasks, feeds, publishing, and reports. Messages allow you to read and respond to comments left on various social media platforms all in one inbox. While publishing and feeds allow you to analyze the most viewed content and make postings on a timed schedule.
Reports are manageable both on a macro and micro scale– meaning you can view the analytics for all social media in one location or view them all individually.
If your dealership has a team using social media for customer communication, Sprout Social allows you to track tasks and measure post-performance.
Sprout Social offers in-depth data analysis for all your social media marketing on a simple and sleek platform ready to improve your business’ content.
Dealership Accounting & Sales
NetSuite ERP sells itself as a tool to assist any size business to expand. Its Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software provides planning and management tools to help automate and simplify business processes in real time.
Netsuite lets individuals at the dealership automate various tasks, enabling data collection, viewing, and sharing without interrupting other functions.
Since NetSuite is cloud-based (meaning all information is saved online in a cloud server), updates, maintenance, support, and customization are all available and automatic across all devices using the software. To elaborate on customization, the package offers the ability to fully edit processes to work as efficiently as possible for your dealership.
NetSuite provides financial reporting, financial planning, revenue recognition (for compliance with accounting standards), global accounting and consolidation (for transparency), billing (to improve accuracy and remove errors), and real-time financial monitoring to drive success.
For Smaller Dealerships: Dealer DMS alternative
Everlogic is a Gold Certified Partner for Quickbooks with a complete management system designed with small dealerships and businesses in mind. Everlogic has several integrated modules which show sales, F&I, parts, services, and administration departments all under one roof. It’s known for its excellence in customer service, and much like the other options above, it’s easy to use, understand, and update all current business processes.
If recent reports are correct, the two or three-year new car sales tidal wave has begun to slow down. Dealerships will scramble in order to find solutions to boost sales and bolster profitability. The competent and savvy dealer will stay one step ahead, see the trends, and use the best and latest software available. These are our top picks for 2018, and we hope they assist your dealership to increase productivity and profitability this year and beyond.