CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. – Auto/Mate Dealership Systems (http://www.automate.com) announced today the results of an auto dealership technology survey it conducted in September. The 159 survey respondents included 55% owners and general managers, and 45% a mix of management positions including controllers and CIOs, dealer principals, service and parts managers, and sales managers.
“We are getting more requests from our dealer clients for technology solutions to be integrated into their dealership management systems (DMS),” said Mike Esposito, President and CEO of Auto/Mate. “The overall trend seems to be that dealers are eliminating unnecessary third-party vendors if they can accomplish the same functions within their DMS, as it’s more cost effective.”
Auto/Mate routinely develops new features and functions for its Automotive Management Productivity Suite (AMPS) DMS based on client feedback. To aid Auto/Mate in staying ahead of the technology curve, the survey was conducted in order to find the best methods to engage and interact with auto dealers, as well as to determine which technologies are the most important to auto dealers. The results reveal that social media and mobile apps are the two areas receiving the most interest by dealers and therefore offer the most potential to vendors to meet their client needs.
Social Media Use in the Dealership
When asked which social media sites they maintain a personal profile on, 81% of respondents said they maintain a Facebook page, 44% are on Linked In, and 17% have a Twitter profile. As a means of interacting with their dealership vendor’s, the majority— 62% of respondents, do not use social media to interact with vendors at all. However, there is still some significant interaction in this area: 29% of Facebook users said they use Facebook to interact with their dealership vendors, 10% use Linked In and 9% use Twitter to interact with their vendors.
When it comes to their dealerships’ social media programs, a significant majority at 70% maintain their social media and reputation management programs in-house, while 9% outsource to a vendor, and a surprising 21% of dealers still don’t have social media and reputation management programs.
Mobile Apps On The Rise
Based on survey results, it appears that dealership management is most interested in using mobile apps in their sales departments. 46% of respondents said they are currently using mobile apps in the sales department, with another 35% saying they plan to implement mobile apps within the next year.
Mobile apps for the CRM are the second most popular choice; with 31% saying they are currently using mobile apps with their CRM and another 17% saying they plan to implement a CRM mobile app in the next year.
Use of mobile apps in the service department next year shows promise; while 23% of dealers currently use mobile apps in the service department this year, another 32% indicate they will implement service related mobile apps in the next year.
Parts departments seem to have the least use for mobile apps, with just 14% of respondents currently using mobile apps and another 13% saying they plan to implement mobile apps in the parts department within the next year.
In summary, the results of the survey show that use of social media by vendors to connect with auto dealerships shows promise for the future, but is currently limited by the majority of respondents who don’t interact with vendors using their personal social media profiles. However, the majority of respondents use or plan to use mobile apps in their dealerships, indicating opportunities for technology vendors to better reach and service their auto dealer clients by developing mobile apps.
Auto/Mate Dealership Systems is a leading provider of dealership management system (DMS) software to retail automotive dealerships. Its Automotive Management Productivity Suite (AMPS) is a user-friendly, feature-rich dealership management software in use by more than 700 auto dealers nationwide. Originally developed by Wang Laboratories in the 1970s, Auto/Mate’s DMS solution has years of experience and reliability built in. Auto/Mate offers the best customer service in the industry, with live people answering the phone and minimal hold times for technical support. The company received top satisfaction rankings in NADA’s most recent dealership management system survey. Auto/Mate’s employees have more than 300 years of combined experience working in auto dealerships – the foundation of its “designed by car people, for car people” slogan. For more information, visit www.automate.com and follow us on www.twitter.com/AutoMateDMS