Nissan is overhauling its US dealer communication system

Article by Anita Panait, on March 19, 2012

Nissan North America Inc. is implementing a complete overhaul of its dealer communication system to allow the improved connection between the company’s dealers and its US plants. The overhaul also involves increasing the number of the dealer management systems (DMS) this April to allow dealers to automatically communicate with the factory, said Walter Mullen, Nissan North America senior manager of dealer systems.

Dealers welcomed the development, saying that the increased competition should allow dealers to negotiate better deals for DMS software. According to Bob Benoit, dealer principal of the Anchor Auto Group in North Smithfield, R.I., the overhaul will allow dealers to save a lot of money.

Benoit’s DMS vendor, Auto/Mate Dealership Systems is one of the eight DMS that Nissan is employing. Benoit remarked that Auto/Mate charges his Anchor Nissan dealership less than half what the large DMS providers typically charge dealers.

According to Mullen, Nissan and Infiniti dealers have been "begging" for years for a more vigorous communication system that would provide them with more options for DMS vendors, says Autonews.

Now with eight DMS providers to choose from, Nissan and Infiniti dealers could now communicate with factories at lower costs. The DMS is the computer control centre of a dealership, which stores and calculates everything for a dealer including payroll, inventory and customer transaction data.

The new communication system will allow Nissan’s plants to track current sales and repair activity at dealerships, Mullen said. The system will allow Nissan to fix quality problems quickly or increase factory production when a certain model becomes popular.

The overhaul is Nissan’s latest attempt to replace its 25-year-old dealer communication system. The company will roll out the sales and back office piece of the system to its 1,063 U.S. dealers this year, while the parts and service piece will begin in 2013.

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