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Operating margins for dealers continue to be razor thin with requirements for set rate financing and automobile sales and service pricing transparency driving these trends. Taking control of certain operational functions is simple and logical for dealers to eliminate unnecessary expenses and the trickle down of layered costs incurred through business partners.
We see the direction that the DMS companies are moving for adding access fees through the guise of certification and security measures. The incremental costs being added are exorbitant (200, 300 and up to 500% increases in DMS access fees) to dealer partners, and end up coming back to the dealer in the form of higher monthly service fees for all applications using the dealer’s data (i.e. – advertising/marketing services, service retention applications, connected car features, equity calculators, inventory & reputation management tools, lead generation & vehicle history information, etc.).
Since these are all necessary and innovative services which help the dealer sell and retain customers, this flow of data, along with development of retail management tools will continue to flourish. Access to the DMS data for powering these tools is a dealer controlled function that can be managed by dealers to keep the costs of access to DMS data low, and allow for new technology to flourish.
It’s up to dealers to make the first move for implementing available tools that lessen their dependence on DMS companies for distributing DMS data. The DMS data belongs to the dealer and can be fully controlled, with higher safety standards than offered by DMS companies, while eliminating unnecessary fees and costs to the dealer and partners. Begin by researching distribution options through 3rd party software (i.e. – DealerVault) or through your DMS’s current report export tools.
Together, let’s strive for continued innovation by way of new applications and data access to dealer partners who need the DMS transaction data for building new revenue and profit generating technology, while putting the transparency and control for distributing the data back in the hands of the dealers.