Ask almost anyone concerned with the business side of automotive retail and they will recognize the term DMS or Dealer Management System. The DMS model can trace its ancestry back to the earliest car dealerships, long before software based systems arrived.
As the name implies, a DMS was designed to help dealers manage their dealerships. The first systems were focused on managing the basic aspects of a dealership: accounting, inventory and possibly service. This allowed the dealer to manage their business, and handle basic accounting and reporting. In the U.S., the DMS software landscape was quickly dominated by a couple of large players and many OEMs focused their integration efforts on these systems. Initially, few could argue that this made sense from a business and technology standpoint. Several trends have now come into play that have many within the industry questioning if this focus is still necessary or even desirable.