ADP Dealer Services has launched its next generation of Web-based dealer management applications for dealers who don't want to manage their own information technology.
Automotive dealers typically lease dealer-management systems from vendors. Sales, service, parts and business applications typically run on servers located in the dealership. But by offering the same software tools on the Web, dealers essentially can outsource their information technology needs.
Three packages are offered:
1. w.e.b. 1000 for low-volume dealers
2. w.e.b. 2000 for high-volume dealers and dealership groups
3. w.e.b. 3000 for dealers who want to use the latest software and hardware, including wireless communication.
"Not every dealer can afford technology or necessarily need it all, so we decided against a single suite," said Dan McCray, vice president of product marketing at ADP.
Three dealers are piloting the w.e.b. 3000 applications. About 20 dealerships will be using w.e.b. 3000 by the end of June.
Dealers can mix and match the Web-based tools they desire in each of the three suites, McCray said. "That allows dealers to move forward at their own pace," he said.
The three packages are on servers in ADP's data centers in Elk Grove Village, Ill., and Ann Arbor, Mich. Dealers need a standard browser and minimum 56K modem to access the applications. ADP monitors dealership network traffic to determine when a dealership needs to upgrade its Internet connection.
"The OEMs and the dealers said that this is what the market needs," said Mike Martone, president of ADP Dealer Services. By offering three suites with different functions and prices, dealers can move in this direction at their own pace, he said. The company would not discuss prices of the services.
ADP has already had some success with its Web-based applications. So far, 800 dealerships are use its Application Service Provider Managed Services. There are 35,000 users in those dealerships. The average dealership using ADP's Managed Services has 43 connections, and the company is adding user connections at a rate of 1,200 a month.
At last year's NADA convention, ADP's chief rival, Reynolds and Reynolds Co., unveiled Web-based dealer management system applications.
The Reynolds product, called the Reynolds Generations Series, also offers dealers the flexibility to convert completely to a Web-based dealer management system, or to move slowly and just pick individual Web-based modules.