05 Aug

Today I want to discuss 5 things the software you use to operate your Buy Here – Pay Here dealership must do. Now, I could take the easy road and tell you it needs to list your vehicles, keep customer information, process sales, print paperwork and collect payments but you already know that. Instead, I want to talk about 5 things some DMS software programs will do that can make your life as an owner or manager much simpler.

First, you must be able to post detailed expenses to individual vehicles in your inventory. This seems almost as basic as the ones above but I am surprised that there still are DMS systems on the market today that do not allow you to post expenses, enter notes or categorize the vehicles in your inventory.

Second, you should be able to process a prospective customer’s application totally from within your software system. If you have an online credit application, you should be able to load that information into your DMS without having to retype it. You should be able to pull and view that prospect’s credit report without having to change software programs. You should be able to complete compliance screening for OFAC and Red Flags quickly and easily from within your software. You wouldn’t believe the amount of time some dealers waste bouncing from one software to another in order to complete these tasks.

Third, you must be able to create flexible payment terms that meet your customer’s needs. Creating loans (or leases) with repayment plans that work for your customer will reduce your delinquency and increase your payments collected. And this flexibility needs to go beyond just being able to set up payments to be made weekly, biweekly, semimonthly or monthly. You need to be able to program multiple payment streams. Often, a customer will not have the amount of down payment available that you desire. Collecting a few larger payments at the beginning of the loan will help you get the Amount Riding down more quickly. You can also use multiple payment streams to collect a single larger payment at tax time or to schedule payments for customers whose income varies by season.

Fourth, your dealership software must be able to process all payments seamlessly from within the program. Although many BHPH dealers still prefer to have their customers pay in person in cash, many others have adopted the idea that the easier they make it for their customers to pay, the more will pay on time. Accepting credit & debit card payments, ACH payments direct from a customer’s bank account or even allowing customers the flexibility to make their payment online from the comfort of their home is now a normal part of many Buy Here – Pay Here operations. If you choose to do this, you should be able to process all of these various types of payments from within your DMS software. You should not have to go to separate, outside programs to process the payment and then have to re-enter it in your software to keep your Accounts Receivable accurate.

Fifth, your software must keep an accurate audit trail for every account. You should be able to pull an account history or ledger card for any account that shows the original contract terms, any rewrites or refinancing, payment history, and all notes pertaining to this account. This may prove vital if you ever go to court about an account.

These are just a few of the features your dealership management system should have. For a complete 13-page BHPH | LHPH Software Buying Guide and Checklist, CLICK HERE.