CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. – Auto/Mate Dealership Systems announced that long-time customer Bleecker Automotive Group estimates it has reduced its technology costs up to $200,000 annually. The cost reductions are a result of having switched from a legacy dealership management system (DMS) provider to Auto/Mate’s DMS; along with paring unnecessary third-party vendors and using the modules within Auto/Mate’s DMS for the previously outsourced functions. The annual savings are tabulated from the group’s four General Motors and Chrysler dealerships in North Carolina.
Controller John Riley says he “constantly” reviews the group’s technology vendors to ensure they are achieving maximum value. In 2003 the auto group switched from a legacy DMS provider to Auto/Mate’s DMS, Automotive Management Productivity Suite (AMPS). Riley says the monthly maintenance fees are 80% lower than the previous DMS vendor’s fees. “When doing cost comparisons, you have to be careful,” he says. “Initially, legacy DMS providers may come in with a monthly fee that’s competitive, but in my experience their goal is to raise that monthly fee over time by introducing new product enhancements and charging for every upgrade.”
In addition to flat monthly fees, switching to a non-legacy DMS provider reduced costs in other areas:
Printing: Bleecker Auto Group uses off-the-shelf printers, store bought paper and pays no click charges.
Memory: In the six years they’ve been using Auto/Mate’s DMS, Riley says they’ve never once had to upgrade or add memory to the in-house server. He recalls being in previous positions where the DMS vendors would regularly tell the dealership they needed more memory, then charge quite a lot extra for it.
Outsourcing Some Functions, Bringing Others In-House
Riley has achieved significant savings for Bleecker Automotive Group by evaluating whether it’s more or less expensive to outsource a function than to do it in-house. For instance, Riley sub-contracts all the auto group’s IT work to an outside firm because it’s less expensive than hiring a full-time IT person. Recently, he realized the auto group could save another $1,800 per month by letting its CRM vendor go and using Auto/Mate’s CRM, which requires no additional costs. “I think it’s a great product and has everything we need,” said Riley. “One great feature is the driver’s license scanning mechanism; to capture the customer’s information you just swipe the driver’s license.”
Bleecker Automotive also used to outsource sales and service functions to third-party vendors, but now use the modules within Auto/Mate’s DMS for those same functions. Riley notes that many ideas come from their employees. “We really try to empower our people, and in our monthly meetings we’re always encouraging our team leaders to go back to their people and get ideas on how to save, how to do things more efficiently,” says Riley. “We view change as a good thing here, we really want to keep our employees interested and enjoying their work environment.”
For Bleecker Automotive Group, this vigilance and commitment to controlling costs has paid off. Riley estimates that the auto group saves up to $200,000 annually using Auto/Mate’s DMS (compared with their previous legacy DMS fees), along with reviewing other vendors’ performance on a continual basis. “What I always revert back to is this basic principle: if you can operate your business in an efficient manner for 80% less using one system over another, why wouldn’t you?” says Riley. “Auto/Mate’s DMS functions quite well; it has a great parts system, and great F&I module. If dealers look into it, and see how cost effective it really is, they’d be wanting to sign up.”
Auto/Mate Dealership Systems is a leading provider of dealership management system (DMS) software to retail automotive dealerships. Its Automotive Management Productivity Suite (AMPS) is a user-friendly, feature-rich dealership management software in use by more than 700 auto dealers nationwide. Originally developed by Wang Laboratories in the 1970s, Auto/Mate’s DMS solution has years of experience and reliability built in. Auto/Mate offers the best customer service in the industry, with live people answering the phone and minimal hold times for technical support. The company received top satisfaction rankings in NADA’s most recent dealership management system survey. Auto/Mate’s employees have more than 300 years of combined experience working in auto dealerships – the foundation of its “designed by car people, for car people” slogan. For more information, visit www.automate.com and follow us onwww.twitter.com/AutoMateDMS.