Rethinking Dealer Management Solutions for the Future of Automotive Retail

Whether through car-buying apps, at-home test drives, or other innovations, customers drive the automotive retail industry into an entirely new future. For dealerships and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), this means rethinking their dealer management solutions. Car dealers must now prioritize efficiency — in customer-facing services and behind-the-scenes operations.

Inventory Management

Whether you’re a car dealership looking to overhaul the customer experience or an automotive supplier focused on improving sales, you need an inventory management system that can keep up with the fast pace of business.

A robust DMS like the one from Cox Automotive lets you see every aspect of your operations from a single dashboard and automate processes for maximum efficiency. As Q2 approaches, dealers can take a close look at their new car inventory levels and how they align with sales goals for the quarter.

Taking a proactive approach to vehicle inventory management can help optimize sales tactics and increase profits. Effectively allocating orders remains a crucial challenge for automotive suppliers. Incorrect demand planning can result in inadequate inventory to fulfill customer orders, which leads to lost sales.

On the other hand, having less inventory means tying up resources that could be used for other purposes. Businesses are often compelled to eliminate excess inventory by offering discounts or selling it at discount retailers, cutting profit margins. With a flexible sales ordering system, automotive companies can offer customers a self-service experience where they can find all the parts they need for their vehicle in one place.

This can eliminate shopper frustration and increase conversion rates for online car buying. An advanced inventory management system can also track the status of each order so that customers are informed about the status of their delivery and can make appropriate decisions based on availability.

Next-Gen DMS

Technology is critical in dealerships, helping attract and retain talent and deliver an exceptional customer experience. However, older systems often create redundancies and reduce the time professionals can spend with customers. This can deter top talent from joining your team, and it can also drive away potential customers.

A new generation of DMS with chatbot and AI can help you meet these challenges. This will allow your team to provide a seamless, digitized experience throughout the vehicle purchase and ownership. This includes a virtual trade-in appraisal, scanning the customer’s ID upon arrival to quickly prepare documents, insights into socioeconomic data for personalized marketing messaging, and more.

In addition to enhancing your customers’ experiences, Next-Gen DMS can help you improve the efficiency of your dealership’s day-to-day operations. For example, a dealer that uses a cloud-based DMS can reduce the amount of time needed to implement updates and upgrades.

Furthermore, it can offer more granular controls to control your IT budget. The automotive industry is constantly changing, and your dealership needs to adapt to meet customer expectations. Fortunately, new technologies can help you improve the customer journey and boost profitability. With a suitable DMS, you can make a real impact on your business and achieve long-term success.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

As the industry adapts to customer expectations, it must rethink its business models and create a more customer-centric environment. One way to do this is by using CRM software. A CRM is a system that helps businesses acquire, retain, and grow relationships with customers by managing data and effectively communicating with them. 

CRM automotive systems can manage multiple contact channels in a single, easy-to-use interface, ensuring that information is easily accessible to dealership employees. It can also help to track leads and customer activity, providing detailed reports with essential data points. In addition, CRMs can track the source of a lead, whether it’s from social media, references, third parties, or online channels. This will allow dealers to better serve their customers by delivering a personalized experience.

Dealerships/OEMs who establish a well-defined omnichannel management/integration strategy will be able to attract more customers and boost their brand loyalty. This will help them to increase profit margins across both sales and after-sales service. An efficient omnichannel customer management strategy will also ensure that dealerships remain competitive, even in the face of growing competition from third-party online car-buying services. As such, dealers/OEMs and their suppliers must continue to work together to integrate a seamless customer experience from start to finish.


From data-driven pricing to customer churn prediction, analytics is driving dramatic changes in dealership operations and reshaping the automotive industry. By leveraging data-driven strategies, dealers and OEMs can optimize business processes, identify growth opportunities, and deliver an exceptional customer experience.

Auto dealerships have a wealth of first-party data, including service, parts, and vehicle history. By leveraging data analytics, dealerships can identify market trends and understand consumer behavior in real time. This allows them to tailor their marketing and sales efforts accordingly, increasing the likelihood of a sale and gaining customer loyalty. Automotive big data gives dealers a clear view of the entire marketplace and makes it easier to make intelligent, informed decisions.

For example, predictive analytics helps to determine optimal pricing based on competitor and customer behavior data, resulting in better ROI and a competitive advantage. By analyzing service and parts data, automotive analytics solutions can help to improve efficiency and streamline operations – from technician productivity, utilization, and utilization to service job bookings and completion rates.

Predictive modeling tools take the guesswork out of car sales prospecting by identifying the most likely buyers to purchase a specific vehicle at a specific time. By leveraging data, dealerships can develop targeted marketing campaigns and offer personalized finance options that align with customer preferences. As a result, dealerships can increase retention sales by up to 15%.


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