Talk to any automotive technology company, and they’ll tell you that NADA is one of their most important events of the year. For most, it’s an opportunity to showcase their products and to promote their companies. At Dealertrack, we also love NADA and we look forward to it all year, but we love it for a different reason. NADA is the best opportunity we have to hear from dealers. As a dealer-centric organization, we love to meet with current dealerships, speak to prospective clients, and hear from dealers about their challenges and opportunities. Here are few takeaways from the many great customer conversations we had.
1. Dealerships are hungry for open solutions.
It takes a client-centric culture to admit that dealerships don’t want to buy all of their technology solutions from us. And that’s exactly what we heard at NADA—dealers want to work with a broad range of solution providers to build the best technology ecosystems for their own unique business strategies. Ironically, what many people love about our DMS is that it allows them to use other companies’ products! We left Las Vegas with a continued commitment to our open architecture, easy integration, and low data access fees.
2. Dealerships need easy-to-use technology products.
It’s common for technology companies get caught up in the sheer technical power of their products. What we heard from many dealerships at NADA, however, is that it doesn’t matter what a technology can do if nobody can figure out how to use it. Robust solutions must be paired with simple, intuitive, easy-to-use interfaces. Dealerships are tired of being hamstrung by their DMS platforms, having to hire candidates or retain employees based on nothing more than their experience with a particular DMS. The industry already recognizes Dealertrack as the easiest to use DMS and we promise to continue providing a system that’s simple to learn, train, and operate.
3. Dealers are excited about peer-to-peer interactions.
We were so pleased with the overwhelmingly positive reaction to our DMS 360 platform, an online community where dealerships can interact with each other to get the answers they need. The easily searchable online portal allows dealers to open a support case or to access DMS documentation all within a peer-to-peer environment. Dealers and industry publications alike expressed great interest in this important initiative, which we believe satisfies a growing urge for peer-to-peer dealership interaction.
4. Dealerships want a partner, not just a product.
At NADA 2018, we talked about a lot of things, but we have to admit that our favorite conversations were the ones we saw happening between our current clients and our prospective customers. We strive for true partnership with our clients and many of those partners shared their experiences about how easy it is to do business with Dealertrack. After all, our most important takeaway from NADA was something we already knew—dealerships want a partner, not just a product. Our focus on the client makes us different and the industry is beginning to recognize it. We will continue to offer simple, upfront pricing with no long-term contracts and to place the dealer at the center of our business.
I want to thank the many dealerships that took the time to have enlightening conversations with us at NADA. If you didn’t get that chance to come talk with us, please reach out to set up a conversation.