Founded in Middletown, OH in 1989, Dealer Specialties had a simple start. Brothers Mike and Jack Nenni began their mission to help used-car dealers more effectively merchandise their vehicles. Today, more than 20 years later, the Nenni brothers transformed the car industry. The once “window sticker” company evolved into a comprehensive provider leading car dealers into to more efficiently engage customers, manage their business and increase profitability. Essentially, Dealer Specialties inspired the evolution of merchandising vehicles from the lot, to the web, to online marketplaces and social sites.
A legacy of superior performance
Instead of using soap to describe a car’s details on the windshield, the Nenni brothers envisioned equipping used-cars with professional window stickers, just like new cars, as a way of increasing the professionalism of the entire buying process. What started as a simple concept, evolved into a powerful marketing program, now utilized by thousands of dealerships across the country. In essence, the “used car window sticker” revolutionized the way dealers merchandised their vehicles on the lot.
Over time and through conversations with customers, the Nenni brothers realized the importance of collecting data about used-vehicles. Through hard work and dedication, they developed a software program, stored locally on a laptop, to collect and detail used-vehicle data, including make, model, mileage, engine specs, sales price, features and options. Basically, this data became the infrastructure that supported used-vehicle window sticker marketing.
Following the introduction of Internet service providers in the 1980s, and the Internet’s expansion for popular use in the 1990s, the company realized the impact the Internet would have on the car buying process. By the mid 1990s, Dealer Specialties pioneered the industry’s first online inventory management solution. By introducing digital vehicle photos for uploading to various early automotive portals, Dealer Specialties was able to transform online marketing. Around the same time, they also launched their own portal, GetAuto.com, exclusively for customer use.
In 1999, the family-owned and operated company was acquired by Dominion Enterprises. The former two-person window-sticker company had grown into a strong customer-centric organization delivering superior inventory software solutions and services to over 10,000 customers.
“Today, we have more than 800 representatives nationwide. We continue to be committed to delivering unmatched service to its customers. Dealers can rely on our highly trained experts for vehicle data collection, image generation, window labeling services, inventory management and internet distribution needs,” explained Glen Garvin, group general manager, Dominion Dealer Solutions.
Backed by the industry’s largest direct service organization, Dealer Specialties’ empowers dealers to utilize the level of engagement most beneficial to their organization. Whether a dealer desires full service or self service solutions, Dealer Specialties’ services are scalable, customizable and deployable.
Simple, powerful solutions
Dealer Specialties sweet spot is inventory management. The services and skills developed in this area have helped dealers enhance their websites and other forms of internet marketing.
Designed to help dealers quickly upload vehicles, change pricing, add photos, print window stickers, run reports and manage listings, Dealer Specialties’ comprehensive Inventory Management (IVM) solution saves time, boosts efficiency and turns inventory more effectively. The IVM system integrates seamlessly with consumer-facing touch points like dealer web sites, online marketplaces and social media outlets. Offered as a full-service or self-service offering, the inventory management system is scalable to meet each dealer’s business needs.
Backed by a legacy in window stickers, Dealer Specialties recognizes the importance of this service and maintains a strong industry focus as a premier provider. The labels are rigorously weather-tested in the toughest conditions, including intense sunlight and extreme winter. They stay crisp and legible while helping to maintain brand awareness. Often referred to as the non-stop 24-house salesperson, Dealer Specialties’ window labels help on-the-lot shopper quickly assess information about a vehicle. One of the most distinguishing characteristics is the ability of the window stickers to carry full-color branding and logos to maintain the unique marketing message of each dealership.
As imaging technology evolved, so did the Dealer Specialties’ method of collecting images. From standalone images, vehicle video walk rounds to automated pan-and-scan videos, Dealer Specialties adopted tools to help dealers move into 21st century merchandising techniques. Even more compelling, the Dealer Specialties images can be customized with background music, authentic voicing, custom dealer messages as well as dealer intro and closing footage to reinforce dealer brand and inventory availability at every customer touch point.
Additional, enhanced customer trend data is available from our sister company, Cross-Sell Inc. The Cross-Sell Reports provide dealers with comprehensive, customized market reports representing short-term trends and market movements. By utilizing monthly market reports, dealers are able to better understand market trends, track local competition, analyze buying patterns and evaluate tune inventory levels. With partnerships from over twenty-five Department of Motor Vehicles nationwide, Cross-Sell reports effectively showcase historical data to help dealers make better inventory decisions.
Dealer web sites
Provided through a partnership with our sister company Dealerskins, Dealer Specialties offers web site hosting capabilities. Combining industry leading web technologies with real-time inventory updates powered by IVM enables Dealer Specialties to delivering powerful and accurate web solutions to attract customers.
Five years ago, maintaining your dealer web site was vital to the success of your business. Today, consumers are demanding access to information anytime, anywhere. Mobile web sites, SMS texting capabilities and mobile device applications enable not only the consumer, but also dealer representatives to access information 24/7/365. Whether it is staying connected to customers via mobile web sites, updating your IVM system with inventory and pricing changes via a mobile application or sending the latest promotional deal via SMS text, Dealer Specialties can integrate and deliver the right, real-time solution to meet your needs.
The introduction of online marketplaces, social media sites and mobile solutions has empowered some dealers and confused others. Certainly, the ability to reach new customers is unparalleled. Dealer Specialties continues to offer integration software solutions to meet the changing needs of dealers as well as consumers. As an expert in inventory data, Dealer Specialties fights through the clutter to deliver real-time automatic, accurate and seamless inventory updates through its IVM system to a multitude of online marketplaces, including Craigslist and eBay, as well as social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter.
Future for Dealer Specialties
Two timely examples of Dealer Specialties’ integration deals with – pricing analytics and lead management.
One constant struggle for dealers is how to effectively and efficiently buy, price and stock the right mix of cars and trucks for their lots. Pricing analytics tools enable dealers to boost profit and increase inventory turn rates by utilizing market data to make informed inventory decisions.
“When it comes to determining the right inventory, it is all about supply, demand and price,” explains Sean Conley, general manager Cross-Sell. “Designed to improve the stocking and pricing process, our data integrated with the Dealer Specialties inventory management toolset, evaluates market pressures, assesses historical information, compares local competition and presents a recommendation to maximize your profit.”
Another struggle for dealers is the challenge of separately managing their lead and inventory management solutions. By integrating Dealer Specialties’ inventory manager with our sister Dominion Dealer Solutions company AVV’s lead management system, the dealer profits from an integrated solution that eliminates the need to manage two disparate toolsets.
“By combining AVV’s WebControl lead management with our inventory toolset, we deliver synergistic capabilities featuring a single login, centralized dashboard with ability to toggle between internet leads, vehicle details, inventory levels and available pricing,” concludes Garvin.
Dealer Specialties continued innovation enables dealers to drive efficiency, boost performance and increase profitability through a wide range of flexible, scalable and robust software solutions and services. Twenty years of experience, plus an ingrained consultative approach, will ensure that this trend continues. To learn more, visit www. DealerSpecialties.com.
George Nenni, vice president and general manager, Dominion Dealer Solutions
George joined the family business in 1993. Over the years, he has held every job in the company, from photographer to graphic designer. George’s tenacity and dedication ensured that Dealer Specialties would evolve into a national software and services oriented organization. Today, George oversees the inventory and web site divisions of Dominion Dealer Solutions. He continues to integrate and deliver powerful technologies and services for the automotive industry.
Glen Garvin, group general manager, Dominion Dealer Solutions
As a veteran in the automotive industry, Glen is a previous owner and operator of a dealer services company. Since joining Dealer Specialties, Glen has utilized his entrepreneurial expertise to streamline data and integrate inventory capabilities. Today, Glen maintains responsibility for sales, operations, data management and development for all of the Dominion Dealer Solutions’ inventory and data businesses including Dealer Specialties, SelectQu, DataCube and DataOne Software. In addition, Glen is an active social media participant and frequently speaks to national and regional dealer groups on best practices in inventory merchandising.
Sean Conley, general manager, Cross-Sell
Sean has been an integral part of Dealer Specialties since joining the company in 2004. He began his career with Dealer Specialties by researching and identifying potential acquisition opportunities that would complement Dealer Specialties’ unique suite of services. In 2006, Sean led the acquisition of Cross-Sell, Inc. to provide competitive intelligence to Dealer Specialties’ customers. As general manager, Sean has innovated delivery of the reports and integrated data into Dealer Specialties’ data and reporting tools.