A DMS with a difference

Quorum Information Technologies focuses on revenue generation for dealers

Mark Allen

Continuous improvement is the name of the game for Quorum Information Technologies. The Dealer Management System (DMS) software specialists say they work hard to give their XSellerator DMS solution a distinctive edge over competitive offerings.

The result is a dealership and customer management system with a genuine difference, says Mark Allen, Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Experiences. “The typical role for a DMS is to take care of the transactions. It works as a recording system for everything that a dealership does,” says Allen, who is based in the company’s Michigan office, with a role that covers all of North America.

Quorum has “flipped that equation upside down” in developing XSellerator, he says. “We’ve taken a bit of a unique focus on the role that a DMS can play within the dealership.”

Instead of concentrating only on transactions, Quorum puts the spotlight squarely on revenue generation. In addition to automating, integrating and streamlining processes in all departments, XSellerator includes tools that can maximize revenue opportunities in areas such as Customer Relationship Management and service inspection and quoting processes, says Allen.

“We started an initiative several years ago, called Make More Money,” says Allen. “It has evolved a lot. We’ve added lots of components within the software to augment the system to actually help dealers generate revenue for themselves through serving their customers better and increasing their customer satisfaction.”

There are now 10 Make More Money toolkits, including a system called VIP, which stands for Vehicle Inspection Process. It started, according to Allen, as a tool for merely doing some inspection.

“It’s grown since that time to an entire service line system that encompasses everything from appointment setting and shopping scheduling, all the way down to how inspections are conducted within the service drive-through, with tablets and tools like that,” says Allen. “It’s really become an entire indexing process for service. We built that within our DMS.”

Dealerships can monitor things like how many tech inspections are being conducted, how many quotes are being created, how many dollars per hour are being sold.

There are now 175 dealerships actively using VIP, with impressive results according to Allen.

Another component that has “really got legs,” according to Allen, is one called Communicator. It helps dealers communicate better with customers, and internally.

“The entire system is Communicator-enabled,” says Allen. “At any point, with any transaction — whether it’s in the sales process of a new vehicle, or whether it’s in the service — the person conducting the transaction can communicate, right from within the transaction code.”

System triggers, called plug-ins, are effective, says Allen.

“Lots of dealerships set them up so the minute the customer makes an appointment, it sends them a reminder, then maybe sends a reminder again the next day. Like the other things I mentioned, we track these things. We find that when the dealer turns on the reminder for the day before the appointment, the show rate goes up — which of course is money, right?” says Allen.

While much of the communication that happens is customer-facing, a set of plug-ins also help to keep track of things internally.

A good example is a tech who identifies the need for a part when repairing a vehicle, says Allen. The tech sends a request for the part. The parts department notifies the tech when it’s ready to be picked up.

“It saves all that time on the technician walking over to the parts department and waiting at the counter for someone to help out, search for the part and give it to them. This is much more efficient,” says Allen.

And because it’s all within a single, seamless system, the dealer doesn’t have to buy any third party tools, says Allen.

It saves all that time on the technician walking over to the parts department and waiting at the counter for someone to help out, search for the part and give it to them

Quorum has found that by implementing tools within the DMS, dealers have “increased their customer pay for dollars per repair hour significantly.”

According to Allen, Q3 incremental Customer Pay Service and Parts Revenue (average per dealership) totalled $33,157,671. That represents a year-over-year increase of 21 per cent.

While there will be no slowing down of the company’s continuous improvement efforts for XSellerator, Quorum has a number of additional irons in the fire.

Last year, Quorum partnered with a third party company called Autovance which offered a vesting tool for the vehicle sales and promotion process, and began selling it to customers directly. “Everybody liked it so much that we bought the company,” says Allen.

In November, Quorum acquired DealerMine, a CRM company based in Saint John, New Brunswick, with a speciality in service CRM and call centres.

The company is also aiming for growth in the U.S., by developing the sales piece of the system to meet some specific U.S. market needs.

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