Starting an Independent Dealership, anyone using IDMS or blackbird from Dealersocket?

Danny K

I would like to shout a big hello to the Driving Sales Community, I have lurked for over 5 years!  This community has some of the most intelligent people in our industry and i have learned a ton so Thank You! I have worked/ran a franchised dealership for almost 20 years and just decided to make the jump on my own into the independent world. my thoughts are to be a high end independent dealer that offers a different value package propostion thank any dealer in our area.  Is there anyone out there using dealersockets new independent dealer product IDMS? As well as there new CRM platform Blackbird? What are your thoughts on it? How well does IDMS integrate with Quickbooks? Or am I better off going with DMS that integrates your inventory, accounting and payroll like AutoMate? At the dealership I worked at we used Auto Soft but then again we were a full service dealership offering sales, service, parts, and bodyshop. I am currently looking at inventory/pricing tools as well, we were with Vauto but I am currently at least looking at alternatives that may be cheaper. I am definitely a Vauto fan tho. Any thoughts would be appreciated! Thank you All!

Todd Jacob

DO NOT use iDMS. We were using dealersocket so thought it would be a good idea to try out iDMS. They claim their system integrates with QB but it does not. We were on the phone every other day with their lead tech support people trying to figure it out and they eventually just gave up. It's also a very quirky system that does things that don't make sense such as deleting an entire customers payment/down payment history whenever you have to re-sign them. It's great because it's browser based but you just give up on too many important and basic functions and it's simply not worth it.  We have experimented with many different DMS platforms out there and are currently using AutoSoftNet which is different from the AutoSoft that you mentioned. For the price, AutoSoftNet is the best "All-In-One" platform out there to use. They're not perfect but then again no DMS is. Their accounting system is dummy proof and allows you to track every dime which is important. Other independents have had success with DealerTracks Arkona. I have not tried AutoMate but have heard good things. I will say that having your accounting built in is the single most important piece to be looking for and the rest is all secondary. Vauto is nice but is severely overpriced. Inventory + (The old ecarlist) has come a long way over the last couple of years but is also expensive. There are many alternatives that you should look into but be sure to do numerous demos, ask lots of questions and don't commit to any long term contracts. Make sure you're set up on a month to month basis so you can test it out for what you'll be using it for. AutoRevo provides you with a website, doc printing, titling services, inventory management, photos and they have a built-in pricing tool also. Hope this helps!

Danny K

Todd thank you for your response! AutosoftNet intrigues me.  When you say "All-In-One" they can handle ALL of the accounting aspect as well as payroll?

Todd Jacob

Yup, the entire accounting side is built in and makes it dummy proof so you can't make any mistakes anywhere. Payroll as well. You can set up an AP to a vendor and print the check right from the system. You can also run credit cars right in the system so you don't need a separate machine. 

Chris K Leslie

I've heard about AutosoftNet and its abilities. All were good things. 

Danny K

Gentleman thanks for your feedback I just sent out my info to receive a demo on Autosoftnet.

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