Dealers now favour “single-source workshop management systems”, according to Neil Packham, ADP Dealer Services UK vice-president and managing director.
“The cost savings, resource efficiencies and reduction in multiple training needs generated by ‘all-in-one’ systems pay off over the medium-to-long term,” he said.
Richard Kerr, Pentana Solutions’ director of sales Europe, said: “We think DMS integration is fundamental, whether it’s with our systems, or with those of a third party, and it takes processes such as eVHC to a whole new level.”
Its DealerPro DMS integrates with social media, enabling postings by customers to be recorded. Italian multi-franchise dealer group Autotorino experienced a 10% increase in service customer retention within three months of integrating social media with DealerPRO.
Its integrated online service booking system acts more like a customer portal, allowing vehicle servicing to be booked directly into the workshop. “In Asia Pacific, where in some markets we hold up to 70% of the DMS market, we have seen online service booking grow by 35%,” said Kerr.
Automotive software developers Razoom’s CustomerVue is a modular aftersales product providing computerised visibility of a car’s journey through the workshop. Other features include an electronic T-card system, technician clocking, customer two-way digital communications and parts control.
“It provides the control in the business which the DMS is lacking,” said Razoom business development director Hilton Austin.
Installation and one-to-one training takes an average of three to four days. For an initial investment of £3,000 and an average £225 monthly licence fee, Razoom predicts improved customer retention, parts and labour sales and efficiencies.
One large BMW dealership, part of an AM100 group, increased parts and labour sales and customer retention by 8% and general efficiencies by 5% translating to an extra margin opportunity of just over £1m during the three-year licence term.
A prestige sports car dealer in Essex increased customer retention by 13%; parts sales by 12%; labour sales by 10%; and general efficiencies by 5%; equating to £2.625m over three years, said Razoom.