Six Guiding Principles for Change

Choosing a new Dealership Management System is a big decision. Your dealership may have outgrown its older technology, or it may simply be time to let go. Whatever the reason, finding consensus from key stakeholders will ensure a smooth transition.

Every dealership is unique. However, the formula for building stakeholder consensus is straightforward. Here are the Six guiding principles for bringing change into your dealership.

Start Early

Experts agree that dealers begin the process of making a DMS switch at least 18 months in advance. It may feel like a long time, but there can sometimes be years and years of legacy data to dust off. “All too often, however, fear of change can hold you back from sorting through your outdated technology, cleaning up data or taking that first step toward a DMS switch,” says Susan Moll, Senior Director of Installations for Dealertrack DMS. Don’t wait and put your team in a rush.

Let Go of Old Habits

It’s tempting to continue working with your current provider because “this is the way we’ve always done it.” Keep in mind that the temporary discomfort of change pays off in the long-run.

Empower Leaders

No single piece of technology impacts every department within your dealership like your DMS. So, be sure to involve as many department leaders as needed to ensure its success. “The more you empower people to help, the more they’re going to own the new DMS,” according to Jennica Kresbach from Van Horn Auto Group.


This should go without saying—but that’s the golden rule—nothing goes without saying! Share updates, status reports, meetings, timelines and more with your staff. Keep that “open door policy” going and engage with anyone who may be rattled by change.


Teamwork makes your DMS switch work. Don’t isolate decision-making to just a few high-level people, or else some key stakeholders will feel left out. Especially for multi-store groups, collaborate on decisions.

Remember Why You Started

Don’t forget to keep your North Star insight when you hit a speedbump or encounter a rough patch. Reward your team for the progress they make and remember that success is shared across the organization.

Get your whole dealership onboard with a DMS switch. Get your copy of the The Road to Consensus here.

Subscribe To Our Blog

Sign up today to receive updates on the latest news.

Please enter a valid email address.

Subscription Successful!