“The DMS as we know it is dead.” This is the surprising view of Simon Verona, MD of leading DMS supplier Navigator. “The DMS nowadays has to incorporate every aspect of the business, has to bring the customer in, handle their every need and then keep the relationship going long after they have bought from the dealership.
“So the DMS as we used to know it – a kind of stand-alone, accounts-focussed management system – is obsolete. It has to now incorporate social media, has to facilitate a strong flow of communication, has to actually manage the entire customer relationship – including attracting them to the business in the first place.”
Navigator is changing with the dealerships’ shifting needs. The coming few months will see a huge expansion of capabilities within the Navigator suite. Social media will lead the way, followed by a more robust marketing offer and a series of customer-facing booking systems.
“Within the white heat of the dealership, the management systems such as the DMS have to be totally pivotal to the day-to-day, hour-by-hour success. It’s like Charlie Watts in the Rolling Stones – you don’t notice he’s there until he’s not. But all the time Charlie, like a great DMS, has been the absolute heartbeat of the entire operation. Without him – and without a totally integrated DMS – the whole thing falls apart.”