Imagine for a second going to the bank and depositing your dealership’s daily cash balance. The next day you return to make a withdrawal to pay a bill.
You: “I’d like to make a withdrawal.”
Bank Teller: “You can’t have it.”
You: “Why not?”
Bank Teller: “You’ll have to speak with the bank manager.”
When you approach the bank manager, she is smiling and recognizes you by name; then she asks for your account number. Fair enough – you should feel good that they just don’t pull your account information without the p
However, when you ask for your money;
Bank Manager: “You can’t have it.”
You: “Why not?”
Bank Manager: “We’re safeguarding it for your own protection. Make a written request and we’ll explore when we can have that for you.”
Now let’s translate this scenario to your dealership business.
You’ve spent years using a legacy DMS and now it’s time for you to take a new direction and move to another DMS vendor. Through the years you have accumulated hundreds-of- thousands of records; attached to several thousands of transactions.
When you ask your legacy DMS provider that you want to have access to your data so it can be loaded in your new DMS;
Legacy DMS provider: “You can’t have it. We’re safeguarding it for your own protection.”
You naturally interpret this to mean that you can’t ever change providers (in the guise of data protection).
All of the records that you’ve accumulated throughout the years are the lifeblood of your dealership. These records should be protected at all costs. However, it’s YOUR data. You should be able to do with it what you want at any time. You own it; not any vendor (in any capacity) who uses it to help run your business.
You wouldn’t let a bank keep you from withdrawing your money, so why would you let a software vendor keep you from having complete access and control of your data?
Don’t let any DMS vendor hold your records and transactions hostage using the ‘data protection’ ploy. It’s one thing to keep it safe (which should be done); it’s another to not let your dealership have it when you want it.
By all means, your dealership should have proper safeguards and processes in place so no one can get to your data without specific levels of permission; granted by you, the dealer. However, when it comes to the actual data that you have accumulated throughout the years, your dealership should have access to it whenever you want and not be locked in to a DMS provider for any reason whatsoever.
After all: It’s YOUR Data – You Own it!