Microsoft-executive-turned-dealer creates Web-based dealer management system

admin

A former Microsoft executive who has operated a couple of dealerships plans to launch a Web-based dealer management system (DMS) at Dealer Expo, Feb. 12-15, in Indianapolis. He created MomementumDMS, he says, after being disappointed in what the software market had to offer.

According to a news release, Curtis Conner worked at Microsoft for more than a decade before retiring and buying two multiline powersports dealerships in the Sacramento, Calif., area.

“I wanted to spend every day with fellow enthusiasts and the toys that I love,” he states. “What better way than to buy a dealership?”

Conner says he discovered that dealership management systems weren’t up to Microsoft’s standards.

“The market-leading DMS in the industry was stuck in the early ‘90s,” he says. “It was as though the Internet had never been invented. It didn’t do the things I knew could be done from all my years at Microsoft that could really help my dealership. The focus was on accounting and printing invoices rather than meeting customer needs. Staff in different departments couldn’t effectively work together to solve customer problems. There was lots of data, but it was impossible to get a clear picture of what was happening in my business. I knew I could do better.”

Conner’s new company is Ziios Inc. in El Dorado Hills, Calif. MomentumDMS, he claims, is the first Web-based software-as-a-service DMS built specifically for the powersports industry. The system, he says, helps dealers increase revenue, decrease costs and improve customer service.

MomentumDMS is delivered on a subscription basis for a monthly fee. There are no large upfront expenses for software licenses or servers (though the press release is unclear whether there are any up-front fees, or, for that matter, whether Conner still owns dealerships — check back for updates).

"Before MomentumDMS, running a multi-store powersports business meant an enormous amount of wasted staff time performing unnecessary tasks and chasing paperwork," Conner says. "For example, every other DMS on the market forces the dealership to manually enter all kinds of basic product data for every manufacturer. Your staff has to key in the specs, the color, the options, and so forth hundreds of times. Not only is it a waste of time, but there’s also no consistency in the way data is entered, so it’s next to impossible to get decent reports. I was amazed to see how many different ways different people would refer to the same major unit model, which creates a reporting nightmare. That’s why MomentumDMS comes automatically populated with all basic manufacturer data. This one feature saves an enormous amount of employee time, and there is only one way to describe a particular major unit, which makes reporting a breeze."

Another MomentumDMS feature relates to OEM/dealer communications. "One of the most annoying things about the DMS system I had was its inability to manage factory incentive payments,” Conner says. “If you don't get the right paperwork in at the right time, you lose out on that incentive payment from the OEM. It's free money. We eliminate that hassle with MomentumDMS by managing the process for you. It's done automatically, so you don't have to pay an employee to deal with it, and you know that paperwork submissions won't fall through the cracks."

MomentumDMS also helps the dealership manage incoming manufacturer incentive information. “It seemed," Conner says, "like we were constantly getting long, complex faxes from one of our manufacturers which detailed the latest promotions, factory incentives, sales, rebates, policy changes and so forth. It was so complicated that we had to waste time on a daily meeting just to make sure everyone was on the same page. If we didn’t, someone would forget something and we would either lose incentive income on a deal or lose a customer because we didn’t quote the right price. With MomentumDMS, all that goes away because all the latest incentive information is automatically available in our system. There is no more hoping that your sales staff remembers all this stuff. Every quote or deal a salesperson creates always includes available incentives, which means they can give customers the best deal possible and close more business.

"Basically, everything that frustrated me about the so-called ‘industry-leading’ DMS packages,” Conner continues, “has been addressed with MomentumDMS. As a dealer, my job is to make sales and generate revenue. Most powersports dealers will tell you, 'I'm not an IT person or computer guy.' But with every other DMS on the market, a dealership has to invest in an in-house server, backups, upgrades and an IT person to maintain it all. There is none of that with MomentumDMS. No more uploading new price tapes, no more servers going down, no more IT hassles. Ziios does the heavy lifting at our end so the dealer can focus on selling and serving customers."

For more information, visit www.ziios.com, or call 877-ZIIOS-NOW.

Posted by Arlo Redwine