WardsAuto: Is it a hard sell?

Lamb: It is if someone is comparing it to a standard DMS (dealership management system) that’s essentially an accounting and billing tool. If they pull the bill for a standard DMS and compare it with the cost of the full Retail Management System, it is a hard sell. If someone looks at it like that, we probably won’t be a good partner.

But the Retail  Management System has about 20 functions throughout the entire dealership. You have to look at total cost. You have to look at, say, the cost of paying two people to scan documents fulltime.

WardsAuto: Do you see that piecemeal mentality a lot?

Lamb: The tide is turning in that we are seeing more dealers who get it.

And we’ve changed some things to solve implementation problems. A few years ago we had to reengineer our implementation process. Different installation teams installed it in pieces and parts. A dealer called me and said, “Don’t these people talk to each other?”

It was my fault, because we were thinking about this new concept and then developing it and then selling it, but we weren’t thinking enough about the implementation side. So we fundamentally reengineered that.

We still need different experts and people to come in. But we need to be complementary, not duplicative. We got that figured out.

WardsAuto: Older people can retrofit their thinking and be receptive to new IT products, but one might suppose young people coming into the business – people who grew up in the world of connectivity – would be an easier sell.

Lamb: We see it as easier to that group. I’ve been doing this 25 years. For my first 15 years, we were typically trying to sell to dealers who did not turn on a computer. The guy that writes the check to us often would say, “I don’t use the computer. You sell to my people. They’ll tell you what they want. I just want a good price.”

Now, with mobile phones and tablets and slates, all dealers have experience with computers.

The analogy I use is the Apple phone. I say, “You understand why you want this device to make phone calls, do texting and emails, do your maps and tell you where a good restaurant is. Do you want that or 11 different devices doing those things?”

Today, there is a generation of “Amazon” dealers, people in their 30s. They want to push a button and make it happen. They understand the consumer doesn’t want to spend five hours in their dealership buying a car. For us, it is a relatively easy conversation with those folks who understand what’s going on.

You still have inertia with some other people who don’t quite understand that. It’s a different conversation with them.