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John  Grace

John Grace AVP of Fixed Ops and DMS

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Three Surefire Ways to Ensure a Smooth DMS Switch

As an industry veteran in the DMS space, I’ve worked closely with many a dealership as they go through the process of switching DMS systems. Whether the dealerships were big or small, each had something interesting to say about their experience. Here are three of the most common opinions I discovered while helping our new dealer partners make the switch this past year.

1. Buy-In from the Entire Dealership

One thing I hear most often when helping dealerships transition from their existing DMS is that it takes buy-in from every single person involved. That’s because switching to a new DMS can be challenging. It affects every employee’s job, and sometimes old habits die hard. And yet, the transition to a modern DMS, while it may have some growing pains, eventually makes work life easier and more efficient at every level of the dealership. Ultimately, it is the people that make the dealership, and your technology should be there to ensure that everyone can do their jobs seamlessly and effectively.  

Realizing the many benefits of making a DMS switch, and understanding that the process would be easier with buy-in from every employee, one of our newest dealer partners went as far as to create a video series detailing the reasons for making the switch. The videos were shown to management and employees at each of the dealership’s store locations, and included specific details about how work life would improve with a new DMS system in place. The videos were received extremely well, and with all employees on board, made for an even smoother transition process.

2. Take Advantage of Training

Many of our new dealership partners this year expressed gratitude for training resources. In fact, when asked what type of advice they would offer other dealerships during a DMS switch, they almost always recommended taking advantage of training as early as possible. While one benefit of updating your DMS, along with other dealership technology, is that it attracts millennial employees, it is also important to educate your existing employees to ensure they are moving forward with the dealership.

As a resource to dealerships, technology providers often offer online video training and guides to help those new to the product learn the ins and outs of the system, so that each business can get the most out of its investment. Many providers will also offer on-site training focused and tailored to each dealership’s specific needs or circumstances, helping to streamline the switchover process and minimize disruptions. It is important to take advantage of these training opportunities to guarantee that you and your employees are getting the most out of the new system.

3. Identify a Trusted Partner

When making a DMS switch, it’s important to find a provider that will be with you for the long haul. You should be able to view them as a partner who is dedicated to making the transition process as smooth as possible and willing to provide custom data conversion to fit your needs. Their job doesn’t end once the transition is complete, however. Make sure to find a provider that offers ongoing training and support before, during, and after a switch.

Making a technology change can be nerve-wracking. Will my data transfer? Will my employees be open to the change? How will this impact the culture at the dealership? However, as long as it’s a collaborative process between your technology department, provider, and employees, making the switch to a new and modern DMS can greatly enhance efficiency and satisfaction at your dealership, and as a result, drive profit.

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