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.

DealerTrack Provides Update on Its Successful OpenTrack Program

DealerTrack Provides Update on Its Successful OpenTrack Program.

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., Feb 12, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) — DealerTrack Systems, Inc., a subsidiary of DealerTrack Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: TRAK), a leading provider of on-demand software and data solutions for the U.S. automotive retail industry, today provided an update on the success of its OpenTrack program, which gives dealerships and participating third-party solution providers real-time and bi-directional access to data within the DealerTrack Dealer Management System (DMS).

Since its launch last year, the OpenTrack initiative has been received with significant enthusiasm by many of the industry’s most prominent technology vendors – over 130 vendors have expressed interest in participating in the program. As a result, solution options featuring seamless, secure integration with the DealerTrack DMS are now available across virtually every segment of dealership operations. To mention just a few, DealerTrack has executed OpenTrack agreements with the following providers:

* CRM – DealerSocket, VinSolutions, eLEAD, iMagiclab, The Higher Gear Group
* Desking – Advent Resources, ProMax
* Menu – MenuVantage, Ristken Software, MaximTrak
* Multi-channel marketing – DME, @utoRevenue, DealerMine, Intelligent Automotive Advertising (IAA)
* Service appointments – Xtime, AutoEforms, TimeHighway

Of course, the DealerTrack AAX inventory management platform and other DealerTrack solutions are also integrated.

“We are very excited about the momentum of our OpenTrack program,” said Raj Sundaram, senior vice president, solutions and services group at DealerTrack. “Our dealers have expressed great support of our OpenTrack strategy and we are working as fast as possible to get all partners connected. The partners share and support our commitment to creating an effective, easy and affordable integration platform for our mutual dealer customers. OpenTrack clearly substantiates our vision of an open platform approach designed to give dealers the maximum flexibility to use the solutions that best meet their needs.”

“The OpenTrack program has enabled us to take our enhanced CRM functionality to a whole new level,” said Doug Kinney, CEO of VinSolutions. “Our customers with the DealerTrack DMS can now take advantage of real-time, bi-directional integration made possible by OpenTrack, allowing them to make critical decisions based on the most timely and accurate information available. In addition, the OpenTrack platform has been very easy to work with, and completely reliable from a systems standpoint.”

Additionally, some of the nation’s leading dealer groups have selected OpenTrack as the integration portal for their proprietary application development. For example, the Rydell Group, which operates 64 dealerships, is using OpenTrack to increase their operational efficiency and profitability. The increased flexibility dealerships get with the OpenTrack solution allows them to use a wide variety of software vendors that meet their specific needs.

About DealerTrack (www.dealertrack.com)

DealerTrack’s intuitive and high-value software solutions enhance efficiency and profitability for all major segments of the automotive retail industry, including dealers, lenders, OEMs, agents and aftermarket providers. Our solution set for dealers is the industry’s most comprehensive. DealerTrack operates the industry’s largest online credit application network, connecting approximately 17,000 dealers with over 800 financing sources. Our Dealer Management System (DMS) provides dealers with easy-to-use tools with real-time data access that will streamline any automotive business. With DealerTrack AAX, dealers get the inventory management tools and services needed to accelerate turns and increase profit. Our Sales and F&I solution enables dealers to streamline the entire sales process, quickly structuring all types of deals from a single integrated platform. DealerTrack’s Compliance solution helps dealers meet legal and regulatory requirements and protect their hard-earned assets. DealerTrack’s family of companies also includes data and consulting services providers, ALG (Automotive Lease Guide) and Chrome Systems.

Safe Harbor for Forward-Looking and Cautionary Statements

Statements in this press release regarding the implementation and adaptation of OpenTrack and all other statements in this release other than the recitation of historical facts are forward-looking statements (as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995). These statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results, performance or achievements of DealerTrack to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements.

Factors that might cause such a difference include economic trends affecting the automotive retail industry and other risks listed in our reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2008. These filings can be found on DealerTrack’s website at www.dealertrack.com and the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. Forward-looking statements included herein speak only as of the date hereof and DealerTrack disclaims any obligation to revise or update such statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events or circumstances.