2 DMS newcomers fight the odds for customers

Two relative newcomers to dealer management system software are trying to get traction in an industry dominated by well-established giants CDK Global and Reynolds and Reynolds.

Both Advent Resources and Dominion Dealer Solutions have launched a DMS within the past 30 months aimed at taking on the big boys on price and technology.

Advent Resources, a longtime dealer software provider in desking, sales and finance and insurance tools, today has 15 customers for its DMS, said CEO Tim Gill.

Dominion won’t say how many customers it has for its DMS, known as DMX, because the software is still in startup, said John Reed, vice president of product strategy. He formerly worked with Microsoft when the giant toyed with entering the DMS market.

A DMS is the essential operating software of a dealership that includes payroll, accounting, parts, service and inventory management.

Advent Resources was scheduled to hold a press conference Friday, Jan. 23, at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention in San Francisco to announce its DMS. Most of the nation’s DMS vendors attend the NADA exhibition and events around the show.

Gill said Advent Resources embarked on the product knowing it would be a long process. He said customers, including stores in the company’s home state of California, asked Advent Resources for cloud-based technology to compete with Reynolds and CDK. CDK is the new name for ADP Dealer Services.

Advent Resources’ DMS, which has 7 million lines of code, costs $125 per user per month, or $6,250 for a store with 50 users, Gill said. That does not include a one-time $12,500 setup and access charge. The monthly fees, which are the retail cost, are similar to those of CDK and Reynolds.

Advent Resources is willing to take on the barriers to entry, which include three- to five-year DMS contracts that put just a fraction of the market up for grabs annually and the disruption to store operations of changing vendors, he said.

Dominion, likewise, has been in dealership software a long time, offering products from websites and customer relationship tools to equity-mining and digital marketing platforms. Dominion also is in for the long haul, Reed said.

The incumbents are formidable. Combined, CDK Global and Reynolds control nearly 80 percent of the U.S. DMS market, with Dealertrack Technologies a distant third.

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