The point of dealership management software is simple: Make your job, and all other jobs at your dealership, easier and more efficient. Starting out, using the "cheap option" of a spreadsheet on Google, Apple or Microsoft is certainly not the worst thing you can do for your dealership. Money might be tight and your transactions are probably low enough to keep good track of your progress without getting overwhelmed.

However, as your customer base grows, you will acquire more inventory. You open a service department to fix sold units or upgrade your new inventory. You might also sell parts to meet the needs of your service department. Soon enough, keeping up with all this data on a spreadsheet becomes nearly impossible.

That's why you may need dealership management software to give you a wide-angle view of all the activity happening at your growing business. 

RELATED: Dealership management system or software? DMS lingo you should know

Spreadsheets do work... for a time

There is no shame in using spreadsheets to operate your business from the beginning. You might be strapped for cash, preventing you from investing in software to manage the happenings at your dealership. Also, without the large inventory and parts of a well-established dealership, you don't need the services of dealership software like EverLogic. Rather, you are probably just as well off doing all your work on spreadsheets and then putting those transactions into accounting software like QuickBooks.

We've talked to a number of small dealerships where we agreed it is a great short-term solution to a short-term problem. And in fact, you can find numerous articles with a simple Google search that can help you organize your spreadsheets into a process that works. At least as you're still building your dealership from the ground up.

But if your business grows, these solutions will become inefficient. With more inventory and expansion into parts and services, you'll find you are spending too much time working on a spreadsheet in order to prevent discrepancies between your spreadsheet and accounting software. 

RELATED: When is the right time for you to get dealership management software?

This is the time you need a dealership management system.

Dealership management software may be the solution to your problems

Once you navigated the difficult first few months or first year of your dealership and survival is ensured, you can focus on growth. You can expand the services you provide, grow the inventory you have on hand, and most importantly, increase the number of transactions with customers. All this activity requires additional dedication and investment. 

First, you will likely invest in more employees to handle the increased load. As you add employees, keeping up with your spreadsheet is going to become more difficult, especially if you have a particular way you like it organized or written. Mistakes will happen, but they are more likely to happen on a spreadsheet. Believe it or not, seemingly small mistakes on spreadsheets can derail your dealership's growth, especially if that spreadsheet is what you use to run your entire business. 

RELATED: EverLogic's QuickBooks integration supports your dealership's success

In addition to inevitable mistakes, keeping up with the spreadsheet can be confusing for multiple people at one time, especially if multiple people are working inside it at one time. It will add to your frustration as well as the frustration of your newly hired employees.

This is why you need to make the second investment, a dealership management system. A quality dealership management system is going to be more user-friendly for multiple users and better organized than any spreadsheet system. The main reason for the system's success is the dealership software you buy with the system.

RELATED: Dealership management software supporting growth, multiple locations

The dealership management system business has been around for many years. Over the years, there have been many developments to meet the demands of dealers. Each system is specifically designed to provide the solution to a host of problems and increase the efficiency of your business. 

The software each dealership system provides is going to be similar in some respects, but each one is unique to solve problems in its own way.

  • Some have their own accounting module, while others have integrated accounting with QuickBooks or another software company.
  • Some have a flashier layout while others keep a simpler layout.
  • Some might provide only a sales module, while others will provide sales, parts, and service.
  • The number and types of integrations will be different.
  • The hardware the system works with will be different.
  • How customer support is handled will also have slight differences.

RELATED: What the cost of EverLogic includes for your dealership

These differences that separate DMS companies are designed to meet the needs of a variety number of businesses. That is why the price and features of a DMS vary so much. What is important is that the solutions the dealership management system provide address what you need. Research is key to determining the price you want to play, the features you absolutely need, the features you may need in the future, and the right company that will support your future plans for your dealership.


What dealership management software provides

There are few "small investments" for small businesses. Each investment back into your business needs to be evaluated and compared with alternatives. A bad investment can set greatly set you back and also make you reluctant to invest in your business again.

When you evaluate different dealership management software, you should ask yourself these questions:

  • Do the modules and features of the software align with your dealership's business model?
  • Does it support the types of vehicles your sell?
  • Is it easy to use for you and your staff?
  • What is the overall cost including licensing, set-up and implementation, customer support, add-ons, third-party integrations, and hardware?
  • Is customer support available when you need it?
  • Is the software better for long-term growth or short-term success?

You can expect different dealership management systems to have different answers to these questions. 


What you can expect from virtually all software is customer relationship management, a sales module allowing you to buy, track, and sell your inventory, and accounting solutions, whether built into the software or integrated into it. Most software will also have modules for parts and service, document programming, pre-programmed local, county, state, and federal taxes, and integration with your dealership's website. 

In truth, there are slight differences between the features of different software. So it is important you are able to find one that is easy for you and your staff to use and understand, checks the important boxes you need, and within your budget.


There is no absolute time to switch to a dealership management system. With the right system, you might find a spreadsheet does serve the specific needs of your business more efficiently than dealership software. However, that system becomes more complicated as your dealership grows and expands. 

EverLogic's dealership management software is a top-of-the-line system that provides solutions to many of the problems faced by growing dealerships. It keeps your dealership organized and offers the features you may not know you need. The software is priced at $129 per license per month with a $3,999 implementation fee. This is roughly the median price for a DMS.  

There are of course many cheaper options with fewer features that you may need or more expensive features you may not need. However, we are experts in the DMS field and our goal is to see your business succeed. If that means pointing you in the direction of another DMS that can better serve your needs or no DMS at all, we are happy to help you in any way we can.

If you are interested in how EverLogic's dealership management software works, click the button below to view our free demo.

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Matthew Copeland
Post by Matthew Copeland
June 1, 2023