Operating equipment dealerships require many moving parts: procurement, customer service, finance, sales and marketing, warehouse, technical staff, etc. Managing inventory, customers, and finances can become challenging as a dealership expands.
A Dealership Management System can act as a saving grace to streamline business operations and growth while supporting staff in their day-to-day tasks.
What is a Dealership Management System?
A Dealer Management System (DMS) is software dealerships use to manage its operation. It can streamline various departments and systems in a dealership, such as finance, marketing and sales, customer service, parts management, etc. What makes a DMS so vital to a dealership is the ability to combine all the functions needed for the day-to-day operations in a single system.
Key Features of a Dealership Management System
The features of a DMS might vary depending on the one your dealership chooses to employ. There are generic, one-size-fits-all systems, but there are also options for customized and tailored systems that can meet the unique needs of your dealership. Regardless of the option, you should expect some of these features across the board, such as:
- Parts/Inventory Management
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
- Rental/Retail Management
- Service Order Management
- Document Management
- Reporting and Analytics
Why Do Equipment Dealerships Need a Dealership Management System?
We already mention the ease of day-to-day operations a dealership management system can provide for your dealership. Still, you’re probably wondering why your dealership needs a DMS, especially now.
A DMS allows you to forecast your dealership’s needs, saving you money in the long run. Especially with inventory management systems, you will be better able to plan and stock parts in high demand and even predict when and where they are available at the lowest cost.
Prevents human error
Unfortunately, many dealerships are still using manual, pen-and-paper methods of logging information across various departments. This slows productivity and allows opportunities for errors to happen. Why not employ a system that can take the load off your employees for basic and repetitive tasks and grant them more time to focus on the core functions of the dealership? With this, there will be more accurate sharing of data across your teams.
Improved reporting and analytics
It gives you access to seamless reporting by removing the manual counting and analytics your team would have to do daily, weekly, or monthly. This will allow you to make quicker and more data-driven decisions to see growth for your dealership.
We’ve answered the most pressing question we think you’d have about DMS: does your business need one? If it wasn’t already clear, 1000% yes!
But what exactly should you look for in a dealership management system, and how will you know if you’ve chosen the right one? Here are some tips that can help you.
How to Choose the Right Dealership Management System
Identify Your Dealership’s Needs
Spend time deciding what features are most important to your dealership. You can determine this by assessing your current operations. What works? Are there areas for improvement? Consider the repetitive and crucial tasks, the size of your dealership, the number of employees who will use the system, and your budget.
Weigh Your Options
Once you’ve identified your needs, review different dealership management system providers, read reviews, and compare features and pricing. Take advantage of free demos or trials to get hands-on system experience. Get the heads of your departments involved, too; after all, they will use the system.
Your dealership management system should operate in collaboration. It’s meant to make your daily operations run more efficiently, so it should be able to smoothly integrate with other systems like your accounting and marketing automation software. Avoid systems that limit integration or make processes longer or more tedious.
Choose a User-Friendly Platform
Your DMS should be intuitive, easy to navigate, and require minimal staff training. A user-friendly platform will increase staff adoption and reduce the risk of costly mistakes caused by errors in data entry or missed tasks.
A Dealer Management System (DMS) is essential for any equipment dealership looking to streamline operations, increase efficiency and accuracy, and ultimately drive growth.
At Softbase, we offer a comprehensive dealership management system that can meet the unique needs of your dealership. We have done the research and have created a solution that is easy to use, integrates all departments of your dealership operations, and plays a significant role in your dealership’s success. Book a free demo with us today to assess our system and take the first step toward achieving your business goals.