By Jeff Karg
If you are using GPS or automated collection technology (ACT) devices, it is likely you have already seen the benefits of using GPS to more easily track vehicle for repossession and recovery.
But, after integrating these devices into your business model, you may have found that managing them presents its own challenge. Some device provides are not turning a blind eye to this fact, and have taken steps to make things easier. By working with Dealer Management System (DMS) providers to integrate their software, some providers allow basic functionality for devices to be done directly within the DMS.
Without integration, the process for a dealer looks something like this for a dealer: Inventory is purchased and vehicle information is entered into the DMS. From an ongoing standpoint, the customer makes their scheduled payment which the lender records in the DMS – and then would need to log in to the GPS or ACT system to manage that same customer in regard to the device, i.e. programming warning commands, performing locates, etc.
However, if a lender chooses to use a DMS and device technology provider who has taken the significant time and effort to integrate their software technologies, things can be much simpler. Typically, with a well-constructed integration, the device itself can be entered into the DMS on the inventory level, for a vehicle on the lot, or during the sale process. When a vehicle is sold, the integration automatically populates that customer account in both systems, without the need for double entry.
Throughout the life of the loan, the lender can usually use the integration to perform basic tasks solely from the DMS. For instance, when recording a payment in the DMS, the integration can allow commands to be generated and sent to the device without another step. Additionally, locates can typically be performed through the integration on devices equipped with GPS.
While device providers are clear that integrations cannot provide every feature and function of the device through the DMS, many of the standard day-to-day tasks can be done through a single system. From sales people to operations to collections, a well-built integration between your device provider and your dealer management system can save you time, money, and a lot of hassle.
So, if you are already using GPS of collection technology devices, ask your provider about which DMS partners they are integrated with and be on your way to a more efficient operation.
Jeff Karg, director of corporate communication for , can be reached at [email protected].