For auto dealers, switching dealer management system software is like a heart transplant.
So Rachel Bachrodt, operating manager of Lou Bachrodt Chevrolet in Rockford, Ill., faced an excruciating decision in late October. That's when the dealership's longtime DMS vendor, Reynolds and Reynolds, gave her an ultimatum: sign a long-term contract or lose service in 60 days.
DMS software handles all the crucial operations of a dealership, from accounting and reporting to finance, inventory and service.
Outraged by the deadline, she decided to switch vendors and hire ADP Dealer Services for the Chevrolet store and a sister Buick-GMC store nearby on the same Reynolds contract.
Her decision launched intense software training, lots of staff overtime and relentless deadlines to get the new software installed and operating.
But thanks to extra help from ADP -- and a classy assist from Reynolds -- she accomplished what she calls "mission impossible." The dealership switched in less than 45 days, going live with ADP software on Dec. 17, just in time for the year end sales and reporting crunch.
Now, Bachrodt is relieved that the ordeal, which underlined why dealers switch dealer management systems so infrequently, is over. The Bach-rodt family sells about 60 new vehicles a month at the Chevrolet store and 35 a month at the Buick-GMC store.
"It's not been easy. But it wasn't nearly as scary as I thought it would be," she said.