Switching dealership management system providers should be done as seldom as possible, auto retailers usually advise.
Not only is the process complicated and laborious, but a rocky transition can hurt business performance.
A.J. Hiers, president of Boniface Hiers Automotive Group in Merritt Island, Fla., said switching from Reynolds and Reynolds' system to CDK Global's early last year was a "nightmare."
"We had a long-term office manager, and that was the beginning of her demise because it was so stressful," he said.
CDK, Hiers said, appeared to have "sent in their JV team" to install the system. The switch was expected to take a few weeks but lasted for months.
"It's still not ironed out," he said. "We still have issues with CDK."
But CDK, which has the largest market share among DMS software providers in the U.S., said it is working to remedy such concerns.
At the National Automobile Dealers Association Show late last month in San Francisco, the company insisted that complicated billing and what some dealers see as a blase approach to customer service are things of the past.
CDK has launched a Customer Success initiative that will include "customer success advocates" and a "performance management team" in addition to service representatives. The company said it will hire 100 people by June to support the effort, and already has about 30 such staffers.