You know your Dealer DMS is out of touch when…

Wow. I just had an interesting call with a DMS that’s mission is to offer a fully integrated, state-of-the-art computer system for auto dealers, with total access to their entire dealership picture, and to be their ‘sole source’ solution. I know one of their customers is looking for another DMS because of the lack of integrations and open connections to other products- and I told them so.

This DMS has an accounting module, but no integrated payment solution. They tell customers to use whatever they have. Is that a ‘single source’ solution? Unless a customer calls and asks for it, they’re not going even consider integrating anything, and even then, it may never happen. They don’t even want to talk about it. I know people are busy, but that did not seem to be the case here.

Wake up! Customers change DMS vendors without calling you to tell you why. How does yours DMS compare to the marketplace? Cheaper is not better.  Have you asked different departments what their needs are? Have you been to a major dealer show lately? Dealers are moving on to mobile payments, and you haven’t even integrated a basic retail solution? Innovate now or attrition may put you out of business.

Sure this person could have been giving me the brush off. She doesn’t have to believe a word about how dealer after dealer is adding our innovative technology to improve EBITDA. In fact, we’ve grown like wildfire without any DMS integrations at all. Why even have a conversation then? Because that’s about to change and small businesses are good for our economy so I don’t want them to be left out. DMS providers will need us to keep up or attrition will kill them.

The wise DMS asks probing questions about why dealers want our SaaS payment technology. The wise DMS wants to know where we’re headed. The wise DMS asks for more information because they want to keep up with innovative tools their dealers are using- whether they’re integrated or not.

If your DMS tells you to use third party software, ask them what their thoughts are for integrating that product for the future. Ask them what trade shows they’ll be attending or exhibiting at in the future. What is missing from your DMS? What is their plan to address that? What innovations have they rolled out in the last 12 months? What is their roadmap for future innovations? Are you two aligned?

Want to know what we’ve done in the last 12 months? Or what’s coming down the pipe? We regularly launch substantial improvements. For example, we recently launched:

  • Roles-based permissions for using the platform. Create unlimited roles and assign all users to that role. When new features are added, update an entire group of user permissions with one click.
  • Level 3 data for retail and card not present.  This feature saves merchants .70 to .85% on certain MasterCard corporate cards, and varying amounts for other brands.
  • Flat rate e-invoice. Parts departments can send unlimited invoices via text or email for instant payment, with buyers simply picking up on arrival. Service advisors invoice collect electronic payments for customers who need to pick up after hours.
  • Customer portal for e-invoices. Especially convenient for commercial accounts, customers can store both ACH and credit card info, update payment methods, pay invoices, and download past invoices on demand.

When dealers ask for something new, if it makes sense for other dealers too, we’re fast to respond. After 4 years of listening and updates, it’s pretty darn good!

To learn more about what we can offer dealers today, and what’s coming down the pipe, call Christine.

 

Largest US Fiat Dealer Rick Case chooses CenPOS Payment Processing Technology

Lighthouse Pt., FL October 20, 2011 – 3D Merchant Services, a payment processing solutions consultancy, today announced Rick Case FIAT in Davie, FL, the nations largest Fiat Dealer, chose CenPOS for their credit card processing gateway. CenPOS is an intelligent payment-processing network that streamlines the payment experience for businesses and consumers by using state-of-the-art technology to replace inefficient, outdated payment systems.
“A significant advantage is the ability to drive pin debit, which reduces risks and costs, “ said Christine Speedy, CEO of 3D Merchant Services and CenPOS reseller. “Reconciliation is simplified, and merchants get all the other benefits of CenPOS, including remote access to real time data, real time alerts, remote user management, and least cost routing,” continued Christine.

In a post Durbin Amendment era, CenPOS supports all new legislative and card association initiatives, including offering discounts for certain card types. Because it’s remotely hosted, merchants do not need to download terminal updates as rules and laws change. Additionally, CenPOS dynamically routes transactions on the fly with its proprietary switching technology.

The CenPOS automotive industry solution includes a retail point of sale virtual terminal, ecommerce API, mobile payment app, web pay page, Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment, and electronic invoicing. Seven years of transaction data, with signed customer receipts, is dynamically searchable to maximize business insights and minimize disruption during internal changes. Furthermore, it does not require the user to change their financial services providers. Integrated check and ACH services are also available.

About 3D Merchant Services
3D Merchant Services is engaged in growing CenPOS business relationships with banks, technology companies and merchants. www.3Dmerchant.com. Sales AT 3dmerchant.com

logo cenpos
About CenPOS
http://www.cenpos.com/
“Creating efficiencies through payment innovation”
CenPOS is an intelligent payment-processing network that streamlines the payment experience for businesses and consumers by using state-of-the-art technology to replace inefficient, outdated payment systems. CenPOS provides solutions to a range of organizations including but not limited to retail, card not present merchants, automotive dealers, professional services and academic institutions; special programs are also available for non-profits. CenPOS reseller Sales Contact: Christine Speedy Call (954) 942-0483.
About the Rick Case Automotive Group:
The Rick Case Automotive Group, founded in 1962 will be celebrating its 50th anniversary next year. Located in South Florida since 1986, it is owned and operated by the wife and husband team of Rita and Rick Case, recent winners of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Award. With 15 dealerships in Florida, Georgia and Ohio, The Rick Case Automotive Group offers Acura, Audi, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, Mitsubishi, FIAT and Honda Cars & Cycles to customers, including the World’s Largest Honda and Hyundai dealerships in Broward County, Florida. With locations on I-75 at Griffin Road and on 441 at Sunrise Blvd., Rick Case Automotive Group’s corporate offices are located at 875 North State Road 7 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. For more information, please call (954) 377-7410 or visit www.rickcase.com.

Study: NADA Tackles Factory Image Programs with First-Ever Cost Analysis

McLEAN, Va. (Aug. 29, 2011) – The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) has commissioned an independent study to take an in-depth look at the cost effectiveness of factory image programs that require new-car dealers to invest billions of dollars each year.

NADA Chairman Stephen Wade, who’s traveled across the country over the past several months, speaking to dealers says one resounding concern he’s hearing over and over, regardless of dealership size or brand, is the frustration dealers have with their manufacturer’s facility image programs.

“These investments have a significant impact on dealer balance sheets, in many cases severely straining them and in some cases even persuading a dealer to leave the business rather than commit to such a large investment,” said Wade, a multi-franchise dealer in Utah and California.

NADA has undertaken this fact-based, objective study to uncover both the both positive and negative factors that drive return on investment so that dealers are in a better position to make informed, rational and fact-driven decisions on facility investments.

“The perception today is that the decisions made by dealers on facility investments are often based on opinions, pressure and personalities, which is no way to guide significant spending,” Wade said. “We want to find out the truth so these important decisions can be based on facts, not perceptions.”

Surprisingly, little evidence on return on investments to either manufacturers or dealers exists. Factory programs are typically justified on qualitative grounds such as, “the store image must support the brand” or “customers expect all our stores to offer a similar look and feel,” he said. Solid economic arguments such as, “updated stores sell X more cars for every $1 million invested” or “CSI scores soar when a facility is upgraded,” are generally absent.

“By moving the facilities debate away from opinion and assertion and more towards facts and data, we expect the findings of the study to be extremely valuable to dealers and manufacturers alike,” Wade added.

The study, conducted by industry consultant Glenn Mercer, is expected to be completed by late November with a detailed White Paper to follow by the end of the year. Mercer is a former partner with McKinsey & Company’s automotive practice.

About NADA

NADA, founded in 1917, represents nearly 16,000 new-car and -truck dealerships operating about 32,500 franchises, both domestic and international. For more information, visit www.nada.org.

Report from NADA 2010 on Dealer Management Services

Report from NADA 2010 on Dealer Management Services. Christine’s observations and personal opinions after attending my first NADA show.

The Big Two, Reynolds and Reynolds and ADP had large booths and they pushed a broad array of dealer services. As far as differentiation, I was unable to get a good idea because their booths were so busy with customers and prospects. The buzz about each was very different. Do you use?Love them! Never!were dealer responses to my questions about who their DMS is currently. Certainly, dealers are very opinionated about their partners.

Reynolds and Reynolds customers I’ve met in the last year have told me it’s difficult or impossible (at least on their time schedule) to get ports open or access for third party companies. A quick search on this subject today revealed information about the growth of their third party access program, including claiming they have the largest program for access of any dealership services in the industry. See Reynolds and Reynolds third party integration press release.

I met with George Kassis, President of DOCVision, a Reynolds and Reynolds ERA certified partner exhibiting at NADA 2010. I also spent time in his booth listening to customers. Like many smaller exhibitors that could be overwhelmed by larger displays, DOCVision sometimes had difficulty drawing in prospects, however, once they were in, the company lived up to its motto “see what you are missing”. Dealers were amazed at the daily reports available from their Reynolds and Reynolds data. The reports provide transparency for financials and inventory, such as knowing what inventory has sales pending against it. Everyone I saw get a demo specifically asked for a follow up after the show. DOCVision also provides custom forms programming and anticipates integrating with ADP in Q2 2010.

ADP was so busy the entire show that I wasn’t able to spend any time in their booth. It would have been nice to learn more about the products my dealer customers use, but since I was attending as an exhibitor, not a prospective customer, I was happy to let them tend to their customers and prospects. There were two exhibitors with ADP 3rd party integration products of interest. DealerSafeGuardSolutionS and CenPOS. DealerSafeGuardSolutionS attacks identity theft issues with a simple, inexpensive solution. I really like the user interface. The solution secures documents, restricts access, and easily lets the right people access the documents at the right time. I recommend dealers attend a Webex demo. It’s worth your time, because even if you don’t think you need it, you’ll learn something valuable. CenPOS, (3D Merchant Services is an authorized reseller) mitigates risk, improves efficiencies and improves payment processing cost management. CenPOS also expects to integrate with DealerTrack and Reynolds and Reynolds later this year.

It was my impression that DealerTrack was competing head to head with ADP and Reynolds and Reynolds for their DMS business, though I understand that wasn’t always the case. I really liked DealerTrack’s booth graphics as a draw. One showed the percentage of customer attrition and satisfaction vs. their competitors. The competition was down 85% in 2009.  DealerTrack, up double digits. Their main graphic is switch your DMS and save 50%. I haven’t talked to a lot of dealers that are so in love with their DMS that they’d never consider changing in this economy where looking at numbers is more important than ever. No one wants to sacrifice value for dollars, but the impression I’m getting is that DealerTrack has built solutions from the ground up, delivering what dealers want.

Additionally, they encourage 3rd party integrators to expand meeting dealer needs with their OpenTrack solution. OpenTrack is an interface into the DealerTrack DMS. It gives third-party solution providers real-time bi-directional access to a dealership’s data.

In conclusion, it looks like there is a big battle for DMS market share and dealers can expect increased third party integration options as well as price competition in 2010.

Disclaimer: The article represents my personal observations opinions as a first time NADA attendee, as well as customer experiences prior to the show.

Reynolds and Reynolds opens 3rd party access for dealers

Reynolds Announces Continued Growth of its Third Party Access Program, serving Dealerships and Third Parties with Safe, Secure, and Verified Access to the DMS.
DAYTON, OHIO – FEBRUARY 13, 2010 – Reynolds and Reynolds announced today that its industry-leading third party access program continued to grow during 2009, increasing the number of independent third party providers who now access dealership data in a safe, secure, and verified manner. In its third party access program, Reynolds typically works directly with third parties of the dealer’s choosing to enable secured and verifiable access to data in a Reynolds dealership management system (DMS).

“For several years now, we have taken the lead on addressing data access and security as a DMS provider,” said Trey Hiers, vice president of Corporate Marketing at Reynolds and Reynolds. “We don’t want our customers or our systems vulnerable to uncontrolled – or unknown – access by unauthorized third parties, and we don’t want third-party access to compromise DMS performance for our customers. We take seriously our responsibility to continuously advance our DMS to meet the needs of dealers, including protecting the integrity of the dealership’s data and helping dealers operate in compliance with regulations around protecting consumer data.”

As automobile dealers continue to become more sophisticated in applying new technologies to improve their business performance, they typically are collecting and storing increasing amounts of customer data in the DMS. At the same time, dealers are frequently turning to the expertise of third parties to assist them in different parts of their business. These relationships often require access to customer data stored on the DMS; too often, the access involves unmonitored information exchanges between parties. In the wrong hands, access to this data can violate privacy regulations and pose a threat to a dealership’s business integrity.

Hiers concluded: “Ultimately, dealers want to know that their data is safe and secure; that it is accessible by third parties, with appropriate safeguards and verification; and, that it will stay that way. That’s the peace of mind we offer with safe, secure, and verified access.”

The Reynolds third party access program provides a number of methods for dealerships to work with the vendor of their choice in a safe, secure, and verified manner when handling dealership data.

About Third Party Access Reynolds and Reynolds provides the largest program for third party access of any dealership services provider in the industry. Dealerships that use a Reynolds and Reynolds DMS to run their business can choose from more than 100 third parties who can provide safe, secure, and verified handling of a dealership’s data.

About Reynolds
Reynolds and Reynolds is the automotive industry’s leading provider of automobile dealership software, services, and forms to help dealerships improve business results. The company is headquartered in Dayton, Ohio, with major operations in Houston and College Station, Texas, and Celina, Ohio. (www.reyrey.com)