Learn the 4 Steps Dealers Need to Know Before You Roll Out a New Dealer Management System
Your dealership relies on technology to drive innovation and meet changing buyer expectations. Finding a right-sized Dealer Management System (DMS) is a big step. But, the transition to your new DMS is a big step on its own. Now that you’ve made the decision to move to your new DMS, make sure you’re ready to launch and hit the ground running with your brand new technology by following these four steps from our Performance Management team.
There’s More to a DMS Transition than New Technology…
Dealertrack DMS Performance Manager Michael Panozzo began his career in retail automotive twenty years ago. He’s experienced the ups and downs of a DMS transition from various roles in the dealership and tells his dealership partners, “Yes, you’re changing technologies, but it’s about more than that.” There are countless fears that hold business leaders back from adopting a new DMS. Eventually, though, when it’s time to switch to a DMS that fits your goals, your budget, and your dealership’s needs, taking the next step can be done well if you follow a few best-practices.
Step One: Be Prepared for Change
It sounds simple, but according to Panozzo, it’s the little things your team wasn’t expecting that become a big deal later. “Understand how the DMS and other departmental tools are used and integrate together, then develop a plan for adoption,” Panozzo explains. “A DMS change is a change to how people do their everyday tasks. Staying prepared and ahead of this is essential!” Being mentally ready for change can help everyone succeed.
Step Two: Operational Efficiency Starts with People
So, you’ve decided to change your DMS. You’re pretty excited and looking forward to the new functionality of the new system that touches every corner of your dealership. But, keep in mind, “you’re changing your technology, but it’s about a whole lot more than that,” Panozzo states. You can’t roll out a shiny new system and expect everyone to embrace it simply because it works better, or because it’s easier to learn. Your organization runs well because of deep-rooted operational efficiencies that rely on people. Make sure you include them in the transition at every step. And, speaking of including your people…
Step Three: Communicate Again and Again
According to Panozzo, Dealer Principals and Managers cannot over-communicate when it comes to preparing the dealership for a new DMS. If you’ve just signed on for a transition, you likely have time to prepare the team. “Don’t waste it! Communicate often and encourage good performance. Find out what motivates your team and go from there.”
Step Four: Master the Mindset
In his experience, Panozzo knows that to be truly successful with your upcoming DMS implementation, your dealership’s leaders must learn to master a bit of psychology. “Something like seventy-five percent of learning a new DMS is all psychology,” he states. “It’s a total mindset shift.” Helping your team adapt to change begins there, so “begin early and help shift the way your team operates before launch, not after.”
Dealertrack DMS has mastered the art of installing your new technology at the dealership. Our team is with you every step of the way to ensure a successful launch. Prepare your dealership staff for change with steps in our guide, The Road to Consensus.