Andrew Grimes, dealer principal at Ford dealership RGR Garages, in Cranfield, has just installed his third DMS (dealer management system) so he is perfectly placed to advise other dealerships considering the switch.
RGR’s first DMS was a rather rudimentary affair already in place when Andrew joined twelve or so years ago. He then helped install a replacement some years later.
At last, in 2018, Andrew says that he finally found a DMS designed for the individual needs of his business which lets him and his team run the dealership exactly as they want to. That DMS is Navigator.
As with many dealerships, Andrew’s business is highly individual. As well as new and used Ford cars, RGR has a petrol forecourt and shop, after sales and service and car hire. RGR also runs a highly successful van preparation department which fits-out fleets for major national clients.
Each of these departments is now run from the Navigator DMS.
As with many dealerships looking to switch their DMS, RGR had some very specific requirements, as Andrew Grimes explains: “We needed a DMS that felt comfortable handling the numbers of vehicles going through each month. We now have a much better handle on daily operating figures.“
A common criticism of DMS providers is their insistence in charging for every piece of development, bumping up the cost. Navigator does no such thing. As Andrew Grimes says: “For example, Ford regularly introduces new interfaces. Our past DMS charged for each extra interface, but Navigator say that the fee you agree is the fee you pay. Extra interfaces are added to our DMS within our fixed fee. The budget agreed is fixed for life.”
“When researching the market for our new DMS we knew it had to be fully tailorable to give the output of information that suits our needs, enabling us to make the right financial decisions. With Navigator we have tailored each branch and all management reports in the way we want, to see exactly where the profit is.
“So we have integrated accounts across every department, including a live rental package, so staff can track payments through service, sales, everywhere. All in real time.
“The biggest revolution for the sales department has been to complete the entire sales process themselves in the showroom, from order to invoice to final deal profit.
“And in the service department, the engine room of the business, we have upgraded control. There is a huge difference in the response speed between Navigator and the previous DMS.”