Running a successful powersports dealership requires dealers to embrace the technology that allows them to adapt to the changing retail expectations of their customers.
Dealership management started with pen and paper, evolved to server-based systems and has now shifted to cloud-based technology platforms. Dealership management platforms are now more essential than ever before, as our industry becomes reliant on technology and data security is imperative. Dealers who have steadfastly relied on pen and paper not only face the risk of losing the ability to run an efficient, profitable dealership, but also jeopardize sensitive customer information.
Powersports manufacturers understand the importance of utilizing a dealership management system. Many OEMs have, for some time, been requesting and recommending that their pen and paper dealerships make the switch. In some cases, these requests are turning into requirements.
Key OEM contributors along with Motive Retail, a well known provider of systems integration solutions, led to the formation of Powersports Data Standards (PDS) and the 2016 rollout of the first data standards. Some OEMs are now expanding their DMS requirements to include PDS certification.
PDS (Powersports Data Standards) is the result of a need for standardized powersports data and integration. Although this need was recognized years ago, in 2012, Dominion Enterprises was successful in bringing together a consortium of powersports OEMs to kick off the discussion to create and define these standards. Response from OEMs was enthusiastic, with technical and business representatives from BRP, Polaris, Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Arctic Cat all attending the summit.
Since its inception, PDS has issued data standards with many more on the horizon. As new data standards are created, dealers and manufacturers will see improved efficiencies as a result of data integration and real-time data availability.
If a dealership is considering its first dealership management system or evaluating alternative DMS options, it helps to understand the benefits of Powersports Data Standards and PDS certification.
The establishment of PDS has made it possible for the development of integrated dealership management systems which provide increased efficiencies, resulting in an improved customer experience for the dealerships that adopt this technology. Dealers receive the benefits of automated tools and processes that lead to simplified ordering, greater parts availability and increased support for their service technicians.
To remain relevant and competitive in an age where technology aids the purchasing decisions and influences the experience of buyers, dealers must be willing to adopt change. This may mean moving away from the comfort zone of legacy processes and systems to a dealership management technology that facilitates growth and provides a competitive advantage in an ever-changing market. Powersports Data Standards represents growth and an exciting transformation for the powersports industry.