To build-in or bolt-on – the DMS dilemma

When it comes to a Dealer Management System (DMS) the market is offering tools for every aspect of a dealer’s business making it difficult to decide which bolt-ons to choose and how many to add. Or, do you look at something that has it already built-in, but you have to take what you get?

Pinewood Technologies The DMS dilemma

In a recent statement released to the press, Pinewood Technologies explained the difference by saying that, although bolt-on solutions may integrate to some extent, it adds to the cost and complexity of managing dealer systems. The alternative is to look for an all-in-one DMS where every module is integrated and the essential tools are built into the system, designed to work entirely in sync.

To be successful the DMS company must continually invest to close the potential gaps between the DMS and the most effective business model, making the purchase of more and more bolt-ons almost compulsory.

When common bolt-on features like workshop planning, video and document storage are built-in, it typically sync better, creating a fluid customer journey and a 360-degree view of the business.

According to Neville Briggs, Managing Director at Pinewood Technologies, having a built-in DMS where tools and business areas are synced, it is as if everybody is singing from the same hymn sheet. “Of course there are the manufacturer systems and selected third parties that will need to be integrated, but we hear from so many dealers juggling separate systems and how challenging that can be,” he said in the statement. “Cost is a huge factor, plus the inconvenience of constantly switching systems where staff need training on every system too.”

By reducing the number of bolt-ons, the dealer team no longer need to switch systems or re-key information just to carry out day-to-day tasks. For instance, the dealer principal has a clearer view with just one set of activity information to manage and can focus on creating value, rather than managing dozens of integration points and commercial relationships. More than ever, it’s on dealers to be brave and break away from old habits. If your DMS is technically behind the times and without a path to keep up, it’s impossible for you to stay on top of the game – and the more you compensate with bolt-ons, the more fragmented your processes can become.

If this sounds familiar, it’s because most large dealer groups now maintain over 20 different software systems and many are now realising that decreasing, rather than increasing this complexity, is the path to the digital future. And this means addressing the problem at its source by finding a DMS provider that’s ready for the journey.

(Pinewood Technologies implement, train and support Pinewood DMS)

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