Software Firms Unveil Enhancements

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Dealers attend Dealer Expo usually to look for new products they can sell. But many come to Indy looking for computer or business solutions. Here are a few updates related to dealer management systems and electronic parts finders.

The folks behind the Counterman Pro system say they've made several enhancements. Among other things, the system:

  • provides an extended area for labor descriptions, with up to 200 characters to describe the labor processes on repair orders,
  • has improved sales history reporting so users can track the products that are selling better,
  • includes category codes so dealers can see items that have been added to inventory because they were special-ordered or price-quoted,
  • allows dealers to import entire purchase orders directly into vendor/supplier Web sites with just a few mouse clicks,
  • enables inventory pricing labels and customer mailing labels to be printed on Avery 5160 laser labels (30 labels per sheet), resulting in faster output and a cost savings over printing on thermal transfer labels,
  • allows dealers to print out previous month-end reports, and
  • lets them see what their inventory is worth at retail and MSRP levels (Counterman previously only showed this value at a cost level).

HLSM offers online microfiche for vehicles sold by United Motors. HLSM has long offered online microfiche to franchised dealers that want to add the feature to their e-commerce Web site. It has parts fiche for all major brands.

Ideal Computer Systems announced the release of the 6.2 Windows version of its DMS. The system has some new and improved features designed to give dealers more control over their daily transactions. For example, Ideal's Point of Sale module has new capabilities that help dealers complete standard sales transactions more thoroughly by providing more flexibility and control over credits, deposits, full and partial payment totals, net price adjusting of line items, outstanding customer balances and credit limits — all from one screen.

Ready 2 Ride Inc. introduced an Internet-based parts search tool called X-ActFit. So far, the company has the Tucker Rocky catalog in its database in a bike-specific format by make, model and year. According to the company, this allows employees with little or no bike or parts knowledge to locate parts easily. Ready 2 Ride said it will be adding other distributors' catalogs soon. The setup fee is $199, and the monthly subscription fee is $29.95. This price includes daily updated information on in-stock or backordered parts, as well as on discontinued parts and new part numbers. Ready 2 Ride claims the tool will help to reduce misordered parts, and save dealers restock fees associated with returned parts. To view a demo, visit www.x-actfit.com.

Shamrock Systems unveiled two new modules for its asyst:Dealer Management software suite. Asyst:Customer Connect is a contact management product that allows dealers to mail and e-mail sales information, thank-you letters, birthday greetings, special offers, service follow-up notices, and more. Asyst:Web Store is an e-commerce tool that works either with Shamrock's Web hosting product or with the dealership's own Web site. In the latter case, the module allows for automatic uploading of the online orders to the dealer management system.

SofTek Software International's DMS can now manage a store's prepaid maintenance program. Service writers are informed immediately when a VIP customer comes in for maintenance or repairs. (Note: ADP LightSpeed had not responded to our questions by press time.) — Arlo Redwine