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Vehicle Dealership Management System: A Marketer's Tool

Vehicle Dealership Management System: A Marketer's Tool

The automotive industry takes in a lot of information with each transaction. Organizing and storing this data is critical for any car dealership. Dealers rely on the vehicle dealership management system (DMS) to best serve and market to their customers. 

A DMS is a single, cloud-based, platform that dealers use for inventory management, car sales, customer information, credit reports, and printing paperwork. Dealer management software solutions allow dealers to manage their entire business in real time from a single login platform.

A DMS is the control center for the whole dealership. These systems walk the customer’s information from lead generation through the sales process and then on to the service department.

The core applications of a DMS are accounting, payroll, accounts payable, parts inventory and invoicing, service merchandising and invoicing, vehicle management, and F&I. These come standard with most systems.

Vehicle Dealership Management System Overview

What information do dealers extract from the Dealer Management System (DMS)?

The data found in a DMS reveals every time a client visited the dealership to spend money. You can filter clients by the type of service work they ordered, parts they bought, vehicles they purchased, and many other areas. For example, if you wanted to look at repair orders for everybody who spent over a thousand dollars in customer-pay labor, you could extract this data from the DMS.

How can a dealership get the most out of its DMS?

To maximize your DMS capabilities once you have all the necessary tools and add-ons, you must be sure to enter information consistently and accurately. Input is critical to a successful DMS, as you can only get out of the system what you put into it.

Like duplicate customer entries, oversights can cause dealers to market to the same customer multiple times. The service advisor will have difficulty determining past repairs if there are data-entry mistakes.

It helps to search the system by customer name, telephone number, and VIN. However, telephone numbers change occasionally, and customers often arrive with a new or different vehicle than the one they previously had serviced. Cross-checking data before inputting a new customer will prevent duplicate entries.

Ensuring Accurate Data Entry

On the service drive, systems today scan the VIN. It is one of the most foolproof methods for the service department, but you still need to review all the other information with the customer to be sure they don’t have two separate accounts in your system.

A dealer’s leadership needs training and accountability to ensure the entire team handles customer input similarly. It should be set up in writing as a step-by-step process to follow. Getting everybody into the CRM system and then getting your salespeople to adhere to your follow-up schedule are also important uses of the DMS.

Dealers also use a DMS to track inventory by the number of days a car has been on the lot. Marketers should make decisions specifically accounting for these factors. 

DMS Use in the Parts Department

The parts department is probably the most cut-and-dry regarding DMS use. The parts department uses the computer more than any other department in the dealership. You may have 250,000 part numbers. Manual processing of parts inventory would be a massive task. A DMS tracks the monthly parts in stock. Using an automated parts system helps determine lost sales within the department.

Learn more on how TVI MarketPro3 extracts and uses valuable DMS data.

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