CDK's purchase of Auto/Mate may create a major disruption in the dealer management system (DMS) industry. Here is our take. DOWNLOAD
ALBANY, N.Y. – January 13th, 2014 – Auto/Mate Dealership Systems (http://www.automate.com) announced today that Mangold Ford, a Ford's President Award recipient for 10 years running, has greatly increased efficiencies in its accounting office while reducing overall dealership costs by switching to Auto/Mate's dealership management system (DMS). Since switching in late 2009, Mangold Ford has saved more than $72,000 per year and the accounting department has achieved such significant time savings that the next time an employee leaves, there will be no need to hire a replacement.
Based in Eureka, IL, Mangold Ford is a growing dealership that sells upwards of 80 units per month and has 65 full- and part-time employees. After the economic downturn in 2008, dealer Mike Mangold decided to switch DMS vendors as a way to reduce expenses. Mangold involved his department managers, including Office Manager Joni Allen, in the selection process. The team chose Auto/Mate because of the potential cost savings and because they trusted the sales team that had given the presentation. "Auto/Mate had a wonderful team who came in here and worked with every manager to prepare them for the changes," said Allen.
Allen quickly came to appreciate Auto/Mate's customer support while she was becoming familiar with the new system. When she calls with a question, 90 percent of the time she is immediately connected with a person and her issue is resolved immediately. On the rare occasion that she has to leave a message, she is called back within an hour.
Mangold Ford made the switch to Auto/Mate in October 2009. The switch reduced the dealership's monthly DMS bill from $6,700 to $995, adding more than $68,000 per year to the bottom line. In addition, the dealership saves another $300 per month by printing everything on plain paper instead of the costly forms required by the previous DMS vendor.
It wasn't long before Allen began to realize significant efficiencies in her department. "The main thing is that we can do several different tasks at a time, which we couldn't do with our previous system," she said.
Auto/Mate's DMS enables users to have multiple tabs open on their screen at a time. If Allen is posting daily receipts and a customer calls wanting to know how much they owe on their last RO, she can simply click on the service merchandising tab, type in the customer name or RO number, answer the customer's question, then click back to the tab where she was entering daily receipts. With the previous DMS system, in order to answer the customer's question she had to quit out of the accounting system and open up the service merchandising system. Then in order to resume what she was doing, she would have to quit out of the service merchandising system and re-open the accounting system.
"The ability to instantly click back and forth between tasks saves us an incredible amount of time, compared with having to quit and re-open different parts of the system," says Allen. On a daily basis, she and her co-workers have vehicle merchandising tabs open so they can see what's in stock, service merchandising open so they can access ROs, F&I screens open to access deal information, as well as their accounting screens.
Even more time-savings have been achieved with Auto/Mate because of its intuitive interface. Tasks and functions are represented with pull-down menus, buttons and text that allow users to simply choose what they want to do. "Our previous system required a 4-digit code in order to initiate a procedure," said Allen. "Not having to look up codes for everything saves a lot of time and certainly makes training easier."
Another procedure that Auto/Mate's DMS has helped to streamline is the printing of W-2 forms. With their previous DMS, it took Allen two days to print W-2 forms for all of the dealership employees. This was due to the requirement by the vendor to use pre-printed W-2 forms. "It took me an hour to make sure I had all the forms lined up correctly before printing," said Allen. With Auto/Mate she just clicks one button and all the forms are printed on plain paper. "The first time I did it I said 'that's it?' Now, when people want their W-2 forms early because they want to do taxes, it's no problem. I can do them all the first week of January even with closing because it takes no time at all."
Allen currently oversees four full-time and two part-time employees. The time savings the department has realized with Auto/Mate's DMS is so substantial that Allen says the next time one of her full-time employees leaves, she will not have to hire anyone new to replace them, reducing dealership costs even further.
"Switching to Auto/Mate is the best thing we've done to reduce costs and increase efficiencies since I've been here in 13 years," said Allen. She adds that Auto/Mate's DMS is more than capable of handling the dealership's anticipated growth. "One of the misconceptions was that the system would be too small for us due to the volume of sales and service that we do. But we could triple in size and Auto/Mate would still work for us."
For more information call Auto/Mate at 877-340-2677 or schedule an appointment to see a demo at Booth # 3253 at NADA: http://www.automate.com/NADA.php
Auto/Mate Dealership Systems is a leading provider of dealership management system (DMS) software to retail automotive dealerships. Its Automotive Management Productivity Suite (AMPS) is a user-friendly, feature-rich DMS in use by more than 1,000 auto dealers nationwide. Auto/Mate received the 2012 “Highest Rated” DMS award in the fourth annual Driving Sales Dealer Satisfaction Awards.
Auto/Mate’s employees have more than 850 years of combined experience working in auto dealerships – the foundation of its “Designed By Car People For Car PeopleTM” slogan. For more information visit our website, follow us on Twitter @AutoMateDMS and subscribe to our blog at http://blog.automate.com