ORIGINAL ARTICLE WRITTEN BY PAUL WHITWORTH, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT OF DEALER MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS AT DEALERTRACK
Today, the automotive industry has more pressure than ever to drive a seamless, technologically enhanced experience for consumers at all points of the car shopping, buying, and owning journey. To meet the needs of consumers, both dealers and technology providers have often found themselves investing in more buttons rather than the right ones. At Dealertrack DMS, we took a step back and asked ourselves: What is the right strategy for us? What is the best way to serve dealers? To answer these critical questions, we started to dig into the purpose of the DMS and how it was being utilized by dealers. After several working sessions, dozens of customer advisory board meetings, and too many data-deep-dives to count, we came to the conclusion that what dealers really want is a DMS that’s open, easy, and flexible to use. With this insight, we ultimately came away with the mission to focus more on the client experience and less on the buttons. Since that time, our dealers have driven every moment, every design, and every decision that we’ve made.
A Look Back at Our Latest Strides:
At NADA 2017, Dealertrack DMS unveiled its Performance Management offering, which provides dealers with an industry expert who, similar to a personal fitness trainer, helps dealers maximize the full potential of their DMS and develop both long and short-term objectives to achieve their business goals.
Additionally, in Fall 2017, the company announced DMS Edge, its first annual user event series that brings on-demand training and DMS best practices right to the dealer. DMS Edge reached 3,500 dealer participants in 2017. We also plan to continue our controllers conference as an annual event, where controllers from across the country can learn more about how Dealertrack DMS can help them run their dealership as well as have more peer-to-peer exchange around best practices.
Now, Dealertrack DMS is continuing to double down on its dealer-centric approach with the introduction of DMS 360. Set to debut at NADA 2018 later this month, DMS 360 is an all-encompassing self-service portal where dealers can get support and interact with one another and with Dealertrack DMS team members. At the core of DMS 360 is its peer-to-peer functionality. We’ve developed a virtual community where dealers can collaborate and engage with each other, such as ask questions and respond to other DMS users’ cases. DMS 360 also enables dealers to track and receive real-time support and better understand their DMS. Through DMS 360, dealers gain instant access to DMS help documentation and can search by topic any knowledge articles that exist in Dealertrack DMS’ Wiki or newly created articles that are added into DMS 360.
But our work to drive a dealer-centric business doesn’t stop at DMS 360. We are heavily invested in helping our clients get more out of their DMS and will be providing dealers with ongoing education through a series of online learning courses that we will be releasing this year. We also have a big project underway to share all best practices and processes we’ve learned over the years with dealers in what we are calling Books of Knowledge.
By focusing less on the buttons and more on the client experience, we’ve made it our mission to meet the needs of our clients and build a system that’s easy and flexible for our clients to use every day.
To learn more about DMS 360 and our dealer-centric approach visit us at Booth #2737C at NADA 2018, March 23-25.
Paul Whitworth, Senior Vice President of Dealer Management Systems at Dealertrack, has been at the forefront of automotive retail technology advancements his whole career. Paul graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has held positions with J.D Power & Associates, Accenture, Hyundai Motor America, and Cox Automotive as well as leading several start-up companies.