"Everyone in the industry agrees that dealers own their data and should have the right to grant access to any company they choose and that the DMS vendor should not sell, share or trade the dealers' data," said Mike Esposito, President and CEO of Auto/Mate. "However, the problem is that dealers change third-party vendors and may not know who is actually accessing their data nor do they know what type of data a vendor is mining from the dealer database."
Guard/Mate provides dealers with the information they need to regain control of their data. Guard/Mate audits the vendors that have access to Auto/Mate's dealership management system (DMS). On a monthly basis, every dealer receives a list of all the vendors who have access to the dealer's data, as well as when they access it and from which part of the system the data was pulled.
"At Auto/Mate we feel that this issue is of paramount importance to our dealers and want to ensure that all of our dealers have Guard/Mate so for that reason Auto/Mate is not charging its dealers for Guard/Mate," said Esposito.
With a list of previously authorized vendors from Auto/Mate as a starting point, dealers can first notify Auto/Mate if any vendors are pulling data that shouldn't be. Often when dealers cancel an agreement with a third-party vendor, they fail to notify their DMS provider. Without notification, the DMS provider could unwittingly allow continued access to that vendor.
Jim Ziegler, President and CEO of Ziegler SuperSystems, has encountered this in his practice. "A large Chrysler dealer I do business with recently audited their DMS," he said. "We found 87 different vendors extracting data from his DMS. Some of these vendors he wasn't even doing business with anymore."
Upon notification from the dealer of unauthorized access, Auto/Mate will immediately shut off that vendor's access. For the vendors who are allowed to access the dealer's DMS, Auto/Mate recommends that dealers review their contracts and demand the removal of any language that grants the vendors any rights or license to share or re-sell their data in any way.
Guard/Mate will be rolled out to Auto/Mate customers beginning in February. To learn more about Guard/Mate, stop by Booth #320 at NADA 2012 or set an appointment here: www.automate.com/nada.html
Auto/Mate Dealership Systems is a leading provider of dealership management system (DMS) software to retail automotive dealerships. Its Automotive Management Productivity Suite (AMPS) is a user-friendly, feature-rich dealership management software in use by more than 700 auto dealers nationwide. Auto/Mate offers the best customer service in the industry; the company received top satisfaction rankings in NADA's most recent DMS provider survey. Auto/Mate's employees have more than 300 years of combined experience working in auto dealerships - the foundation of its "designed by car people, for car people" slogan. For more information, visit www.automate.com and follow us on www.twitter.com/AutoMateDMS.