Is Your DMS System Deleting Valuable Data?

August 2006, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

by Sandi Jerome - Also by this author

A lot of effort goes into record retention each year: sorting out hard copies, purging car deals and boxing old invoices. Do we do the same thing with our DMS system? Each month, valuable data is being deleted by your DMS system and you need to create regular monthly reports that will be downloaded to a PC and saved for future analysis. It’s difficult to provide a blanket list of what information you should keep, but the following key data should assist you in creating a valuable record retention procedure that will provide you with the information that your company will need in the future to make decisions that could save you money or prevent costly ordering mistakes.

Car Deals

A report that provides the customer name, address, vehicle year, make, model, color, stock number, days in stock, gross profit, salesperson name, bank, buy rate, sell rate, extended warranty company, extended warranty sale and cost amount, trade-in, date sold and advertising source.

Service History

A report that has each repair order number, customer information, vehicle description, service advisor, labor sale and cost amount, parts sale and cost amount, other sale and cost amounts, sale type, date, date sold and selling dealer number (or stock#.)

Parts History

A listing of all parts tickets with customer information, counterperson name, sale and cost amount, sale type and date. A copy of the parts management report should also be downloaded.


These items should either be downloaded or entered into a spreadsheet: the trial balance, detail general ledger and factory customer service scores.

What Can You Do With This Information?

I can quickly think of 30 or 40 valuable reports that you could create with this information, for example – you could trend the parts inventory turns for the year (using the parts management report and trial balance) or trend the days supply of used vehicles. You could do an analysis of which vehicles sell better in the winter months and which colors are more popular (compare gross profit, days in stock, and color.) You could answer some questions that you just had a feeling about – does one bank only purchase deals with a low gross profit or do certain salespeople never have extended warranties in their deals? Do new vehicle deals with a trade-in have a lower gross profit? The possibilities are endless. We will address how to create some of these reports in future issues – the key is to start saving now what’s valuable to you!

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