DETROIT -- Asbury Automotive Group Inc. has finished converting all of its stores to ADP Dealer Services' dealer management system, a change that Asbury CEO Craig Monaghan says will help the dealership group save money and run more efficiently.
The switch from DMS provider DealerTrack Holdings Inc., which took just over 12 months, was completed on Jan. 16, Monaghan said in an interview.
A dealer management system is a store's operating software, organizing information such as payroll, accounting, inventory and transaction data.
"By having all of our stores on a common platform for the first time, we really get tremendous visibility into what is happening in all the stores," Monaghan said. "We all speak a common language. We're all on the same kind of accounts. We can compare and contrast where we're doing well, where we have opportunities."
Asbury, of suburban Atlanta, ranks No. 6 on the Automotive News list of the top 125 dealership groups in the United States with retail sales of 67,232 new vehicles in 2010. Asbury has 79 dealerships in 18 U.S. markets.
Asbury had used DealerTrack systems for three years. Before DealerTrack, Asbury stores mainly used accounting software provided by Reynolds and Reynolds Co., Monaghan said.
But Monaghan has said Asbury trailed its competitors by not having a common DMS at all of its stores. Now it can run its stores more efficiently.
"It gives us the ability to start to drive common processes, find the best processes and unify them throughout the stores. It allows us to start to promote our scale," Monaghan said. "By having everyone on the same platform we can start to leverage our purchasing, for example, and get to the point where we have single contracts where we go buy oil, insurance or any of the major things in the store."
Asbury also expects to save money by having one platform.
"One of the reasons we were losing money when the recession hit was because Asbury couldn't afford all the overhead that came with all these different resources: making different marketing decisions, different IT decisions," Monaghan said. "We weren't taking advantage of the fact that we're a $4-to-$4.5 billion company." He added: "You've got to play team ball and we realized that and that's what we're working toward."