Choosing a New Garage Software System
8th March 2013
When choosing a new garage software system for your business, generally, dealerships are changing to Dragon2000’s Dealer Management Systems from three distinct methods of working:
New Business or Paper Based Systems
This can often be the easiest implementation as no questionable data exists and no processes need to be unlearnt. In many cases, the time taken to input information from scratch – but accurately – will give a better long term result than attempting to ‘save typing’ by importing data from an old system. If you have the slightest doubt about the accuracy of your existing data we would recommend this route as the best long term solution.
Older Computer Based Systems
Dragon2000 has developed a tool which gives you the ability to port your historic data into your DragonDMS, making the data available for follow-up marketing and creating new service records. Your historic data will be stored in a separate database which means that your DragonDMS database is not clogged up with old records, at the same time making the information available within the system when it is required. We can extract data from most of our competitors’ systems free of charge but bear in mind that the transfer is only as good as the data stored in your existing garage system.
Whilst Excel is better at a lot of things – displaying charts, showing Pivot Tables, displaying different types of data on the same worksheet, it also has some pretty serious drawbacks when used for data storage. It is cumbersome to retrieve data from any but the most simplistic queries, offers little or no data validation and little or no protection against data corruption from well-meaning but poorly trained users. The information cannot easily be shared and there is often no relationship between individual cells. A relational database stores data in one place and minimizes redundancy. Data can be updated in one place and by many users consecutively. The worst nightmares ever seen in Excel have been caused by the Sort function. Someone sorted on last name, but not any of the other columns. Someone sorted on account code, but not on amount. The part number 0008742 which gets changed by Excel to 8742 or the part number 3/14 which gets changed to March 14 are other examples of data corruption which would not take place in a database. Data duplication is another reason for not using a spreadsheet. If the rows of your Excel spreadsheet contain redundant data like a customer name and address on each row of an order, the real problem is that redundant information eventually gets out of sync. For example, if a customer’s address is different on 3 of 100 lines, is that the new address or is it the old one?
There’s a saying about a man with two watches – he never really knows what time it is.