The IT solutions company has recently signed up Summit Auto Group and has contracts with five other retail groups, including sister company Hartwell.
It says these agreements equate to more than 2,000 users which it is looking to double within the next year. Mid-sized groups are the main target. EDVantage was launched late in 2005 after a long development period. Ebbon-Dacs says its relationship with Microsoft, which supplies the accountancy package, is its big selling point.
“It is strategically important for us as they are right at the cutting edge of technology,” said Ebbon-Dacs managing director Rob Pilkington. “They are making huge investments in research and development because they want to increase their penetration. We will use more of their systems in the future, such as inventory on parts.
“We want to be where Kerridge is today in the UK and that’s where Microsoft wants us to be as well.”
Pilkington believes EDVantage is ahead of its rivals because it is web-delivered via a hosted system with pricing based on a per-user per-month model, although he concedes similarities with Pinewood. However, Pilkington claims that rivals like Kerridge owner ADP and Kalamazoo parent UCS/Reynolds and Reynolds will be forced to invest in similar web-based technology or “their business will erode away”.
He adds: “Our software architecture means the DMS will follow the business process of the customer – it doesn’t dictate the way the dealer does business.
“It’s been written with the latest technology which means we can effect changes with immediacy.”