Reynolds and Reynolds Co. is winning the battle over third-party access to dealership data, but a group promoting an alternative approach refuses to give up.
So far, 114 vendors that extract data from dealership systems — out of an estimated 400 such vendors nationwide — have completed Reynolds' rigorous certification program. An additional 19 are in the final stage of certification.
The latest batch of certified vendors are AutoBase Inc., devVenture LLC, e-autobusiness LLC and Graco Inc. They join a list that includes heavyweights such as J.D. Power and Associates.
Dealers typically hire these vendors to extract data from their Reynolds ERA dealership management system. The data are then compiled into reports for dealership use.
These third-party companies access the Reynolds system mainly to extract customer data, says Robert Schaefer, Reynolds' director of data services.
Beyond that, they mostly want inventory, service and accounting data.
The vendor benefits by obtaining data seamlessly and quickly through the proper interface, while the dealer gets "a holistic look at his entire environment," Schaefer says.