What is a Dealership Management System?

May 06, 2021

Dealership management system or ‘DMS’ is the name of the software used by Automotive, RV, and Powersports dealerships. This program is what dealers use for inventory management, sales management, deal structuring, CRM, and printing legal documents. Most popular DMS solutions today are also cloud-based and come with mobile apps.

In the past, auto dealers logged into many different systems to run their business. On top of a traditional dealer management system platform, a dealer may log into as many as 5 other systems! One system to submit deals to lenders, another to manage their customer relationships, one to manage their website, and yet another for online marketing. On and on it goes! Some dealers are STILL using a patchwork of different DMS solutions to cover all their bases!

With today’s modern technology a DMS can accomplish its actual purpose, to help auto dealerships manage their whole business from a single place. Also, integrations help get data into a centralized hub of tools, resulting in better organization, efficiency, and ultimately more car deals. These new capabilities make all your data available in real-time, from any device.

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Typically, the workflow looks like this: You get a lead from your website and it’s sent to your automotive CRM in real-time. Then the lead is saved to your DMS. The system sends the new lead to one of your team members to work through the sales process. Pulling a credit report, looking through inventory, desking, and printing the contracts will then all be done within the same system.

Main Features of Dealership Management Systems

Features and capabilities can vary from system to system, but the core features should include inventory and customer management, deal structuring, and contract printing. The more sophisticated DMS systems like DealerClick will also include integrated dealership websites and other online marketing tools which enable dealers to use their phone to manage their business on the go. There are also specialized systems for Buy Here Pay Here, Rent to Own, and Leasing which we won’t get into today.

  • Deal management is the most basic function of any DMS. It allows for the structuring of the deal. Many tools are included to make sure that the deal is structured so you make the most profit. Including comparison tools and data collection.

  • Vehicle management tools help keep track of inventory. Managing current inventory and providing tools for auction research are standard features. Mobile apps are also a must for on-the-go inventory management.

  • CRM functions enable dealers to follow up with current customers and leads. Automate emails and invoices are the basics. Planning and delivering text and email campaigns are also standard features for any auto dealer CRM.

Overall, these are the standard features you find in a full-featured dealer management system like DealerClick. Hopefully, I have answered the question: What is a Dealership Management System (DMS)? Thanks for reading, and be sure to check out our links below to learn what DealerClick can do for your dealership.

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Written by Joshua Holland who lives and works in Los Angeles.

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