Switching DMS Providers

Stephen Brown
Starting next month, we will be switching from ADP to Reynolds and Reynolds. While I am happy to see ADP go away (its archaic), everyone at the dealership seems so laissez-faire about the whole thing. In my (almost) year here I've implemented 2 softwares (WebControl and vAuto), and these pale in comparison of the DMS's scope. People come to me for things as trivial as ink in a printer, I can only imagine the tidal wave of requests for help that this will cause. Looking back on all the effort I had to expend getting 2 smaller softwares implemented leaves me with an impending sense of doom about the DMS switch. Has anyone else gone through a similar transition? How smooth or rocky was it?
Nicki Allen
Stephen- switching DMS systems is a HUGE undertaking. 3 years ago I had the bright idea to not only switch my DMS but my CRM as well all at the same time and it was pure insanity. My best advice to you would be to make sure that everyone is as trained as humanly possible before the install even begins and have a back up plan for as many situations as possible. F&I and service are the big ones focus on during the transition. I worked with my finance department to make sure as many deals were calculated as possible prior to customers coming in and created checklists for them to use on every car deal to make sure they double checked everything before printing paperwork for a customer. I also created cheat sheets for them to keep under their keyboards reminding them how to do things in the new system. For service we kept hand logs and written calendars for appointments on stand by just in case we couldn't close something out in the system or the scheduler had an issue. Another suggestion would be to have your F&I dept and sales managers train your sales floor. People learn more from teaching and the interaction helps everyone stay focused. Hope some of that helps!
Joey Abna
You are in for an adventure. Nicki gave you some very good tips. I would add that as your departments conduct new business on Reynolds you take several of the transactions all the way through accounting as soon as you can. You don't want to find out that you have data from your repair orders going to the wrong accounts or that your finance contracts are not calculating properly among other things. One of the great things about Reynolds is whole dealership integration but when its not set up right it can be a huge train wreck. So before you get a couple of weeks worth of repair orders, parts sales and car deals in the basket make sure they can be worked and closed properly through accounting. If you are losing access to ADP soon make sure you also have hard copies of the chart of accounts, sales docs, department set up specs ect. Good luck.
JoE Drosen
I'm surprised that you would move from ADP to Rey Rey... they seem to be both over priced. We moved to DealerTrack DMS (or as we call it, "ARKONA") for the HUGE savings and the intuitiveness of it. Painless, this transaction was not. Attitude is everything. You could train for months, but if you have any managers who dig in their heals, forget about it. If everyone is on the same page of... "we need to make this change cause this will save money and increase productivity"... and "this IS a good thing", that will help better than any training or prep. Beware of the people who have been using a certain DMS for years and aren't interested in change. You WILL hear over and over... I could do this in ADP, or ADP was easier to use. The fact of the matter, all of the big three DMS providers do what you need them to... they just do it differently. If you're not interested in changing, you are a dinosaur... People go to museums to see dinosaurs, not to car dealerships!
Nicki Allen
Great comment Joe!
Stephen Brown
I think they are all great comments, thank you all for confirming my worst fears haha. I didn't have too much say in the switch, and I will be most concerned with sales. We don't currently have a CRM with WebControl trying to fill the void on the sales side. It doesn't work very well, with only 45% of all customers sold logged last month. Internet customers are as close to 100% as possible, but I know that with a CRM that data is only as good as what the users input into the system. I will have to change the culture to one of logging everything, but I expect pushback from some of the old school sales people. They already have problems with a 24 year old telling them how to work internet leads haha. What is the best way to get old school salespeople to buy in?

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