If you run a dealership, your teams can spend ample time transferring data between systems, sometimes entering the same data multiple times. In general, dealership management systems (DMS) are designed as a point of origin, meaning they are primarily constructed to push data out and not take data in. They were designed this way for a good reason. Protecting access to the DMS secures the sensitive financial information stored within.
However, this architecture also means that dealership employees may spend significant amounts of time entering the same data into more than one system. From the time a vehicle is acquired until it is sold and booked, multiple employees log in and out of the customer relationship management (CRM) system, inventory tool, and DMS, often for overlapping purposes. A manual data entry process adds time to the sales process and increases error risks each step of the way. A single mistake, such as transposed VIN digits incorrectly entered into a DMS, can lead to multiple errors in other systems. Simply correcting the error in the DMS often doesn’t resolve the errors in the other systems, and that’s if a dealer even realizes where the initial inaccuracy occurred. This can lead to valuable time spent on the phone with customer support to identify the error source and the required fix in each system.
Dealers can address these inefficiencies with a unified platform from DealerSocket that integrates and connects your dealership’s DMS, inventory tool, and CRM in near real-time. These integrations enable an instant data exchange from system to system, rather than pushing data in large batches from one system to another.
Read on for several key examples of how your teams can streamline processes with these enhanced integration capabilities.
#1: Enter vehicle data almost instantly
When dealers purchase vehicles at auction, information for every vehicle has to be entered into the DMS. Because dealers typically use their inventory tool to acquire vehicles at auction, the information already in the inventory tool needs to be transferred into the DMS. Some DMS systems cannot accept this information from an outside source like an inventory tool, so all the material must be manually entered into the DMS. Other DMS systems can obtain this information from an inventory tool overnight. So, dealers have to wait overnight or manually enter it into their DMS if their time is limited. If a list has 20 vehicles, manually entering this information can take hours. Plus, time is not the only issue. Entering data into two systems increases the risk of manual errors.
Fortunately, DealerSocket Inventory+ is integrated with IDMS and Auto/Mate DMS. When dealers go to auction, they can scan the VIN into their Inventory+ mobile app or select it from the auction’s run list on the app to appraise and purchase a vehicle. After purchase, they can then immediately add that vehicle into their inventory. That vehicle’s basic info is automatically pushed into the DMS, so multiple entries are not required.
#2: Effectively manage trade-in appraisals
Customer trade-ins are typically appraised in the inventory tool. But trade-ins most often initially appear as part of sales lead opportunities in the CRM. This means both systems need a trade-in vehicle’s info, which requires duplicating information into both systems. Using the DealerSocket integrated systems, you can quickly manage trade-ins without entering data multiple times. Here’s how:
- Add the trade-in vehicle into the CRM (either manually or via the CRM mobile app’s VIN scanner).
- From there, push the vehicle into Inventory+, where the trade can be evaluated and appraised.
- Inventory+ then sends the valuation info back into the sales lead opportunity in the CRM, so you can work a deal and acquire the trade.
#3: Desk deals effectively
A standard sales deal begins with an opportunity in the CRM. The inventory tool and DMS provide vital support so that your dealership can complete these deals successfully. When you start working on a sale by entering the customer’s personal and trade-in vehicle information into the CRM to desk the deal, this same information will need to be available to the DMS and inventory tool as well. This can lead to excess time spent reentering the same information into three different systems to complete one deal.
Unlike other systems, where double or triple entry is inevitable, you can utilize integrations within DealerSocket to push necessary data between systems in near real-time. The trade vehicle can be added to the CRM sales opportunity and moved into Inventory+ for evaluation. Then the figures are pushed back into the CRM, so you can review those figures to desk the deal.
After you complete the desking process, you can then submit the credit application in the CRM and send it out to finance vendors for bank approval. Finally, the whole deal can be pushed from the CRM into the DMS, along with the customer’s personal, credit, and trade-in vehicle information. With this information sent via the integration, which eliminates the need to enter it manually, contracting and booking the deal in the DMS is expedited, and the opportunities for data entry errors are diminished.
With an integrated CRM, DMS, and inventory tool, you can enter information in one system and view it almost immediately in all three.
#4: Account for price changes
Something as simple as changing the price of a vehicle can cause problems without enhanced integration capabilities. Some inventory tool integrations cannot push price changes into their DMS at all, meaning pricing done in the inventory tool will not be reflected in the DMS without manual entry. Dealers who wish to enter pricing in only one place must enter it into their DMS and wait for the DMS to push those changes into their inventory tool, which can take several hours or even an entire day. Other inventory tool integrations can update price changes into the DMS, but not in near real-time, which means pricing in the inventory tool may not be reflected in the DMS until the next day. Dealers who do not wish to wait have to change the price on both devices manually.
Fortunately, you can automatically view price changes in near real-time with integration capabilities from DealerSocket. Whether a dealer inputs the price into Inventory+ or the DealerSocket DMS, the price is immediately available to send out to third parties.
Find lasting success with DealerSocket
Connecting your systems is a win for your teams, customers, and business objectives. With integration capabilities, you can:
- Eliminate double entry
- Reduce data entry errors
- Input a faster, smoother sales process
- Save time correcting inaccuracies
- Improve employee productivity
- Increase customer satisfaction
Save your dealership ample time, ensure accuracy, and reduce manual errors when integrating your DMS, inventory tool, and CRM with DealerSocket Inventory+. Visit dealersocket.com or give us a call at 888-993-1237 to get started today!