Gillrie Institute Seminar Program

Our Mission: Help Dealers Negotiate with Confidence

In today’s rapidly evolving technology market, our mission is to provide automobile dealers with the tools and guidance they need to negotiate for their dealership systems with confidence. We have helped over 7,000 dealerships in the U.S. and Canada to dramatically reduce tech expenses and get the right system for the best possible price and terms. That track record makes us the most trusted dealer technology advisor in North America. By walking our dealers, step-by-step, through the technology selection process, we help dealers focus on what they do best: sell and service vehicles.

Our comprehensive research process and best-practice consulting approach build the base for delivering profound and yet executable recommendations. Our experts appeared in over 500 seminars and webinars over the years and we are regularly featured at NADA and NCM 20 Groups, ADA’s, AICPA, DealersEdge, and others. We deliver compelling insights that will help dealers negotiate for technology with confidence and achieve substantial savings.

Our Seminar Topics

Negotiation Principles to Avoid an Expensive DMS Misunderstanding

Selecting a Dealership Management System (DMS) can be a painful process. The DMS market is a dynamic market with (too) many moving parts–new products and services are introduced constantly, heavyweight vendors struggle to make dealers happy, new vendors enter the market, and of course lots of M&A talk. Ultimately these moving parts provide dealers with many options, but these moving parts also offer pitfalls.

Attendees will learn:

  • How to understand and utilize typical DMS selection and negotiation processes
  • What to take into account when creating a project plan
  • What DMS providers compete for your business and how vendors differ
  • What key attributes to look for when selecting a DMS partner
  • How to evaluate and analyze DMS proposals
  • What contract terms many vendors are trying to promulgate and enforce
  • How to protect dealer businesses in the long run

Five Questions About the 2019 DMS Market

We’ve spent 25 years advising automobile dealers about dealership technology and we’ve learned this: nothing is more constant than change. Focusing on what work and avoiding what does not will help dealers save a lot of money and avoid hassle. In this seminar, we focus more on the technology side than the negotiation side. Our goal is to help dealers understand what has changed technologically, and how those changes affect them in their decision making.

Attendees will learn about the latest technology matchups:

  • The latest vendor activities
  • Dealer feedback about notable product introduction from 1st and 2nd tier vendors
  • 1st vs 2nd tier DMS vendors: pros and cons?
  • Onsite vs cloud solutions: which is better?
  • Integrated approach vs best-of-breed: what to buy from DMS vendors and what to purchase from independent third parties?
  • Certified DMS interface vs individualized data extraction: pros and cons?

Are Independent CRMs Better than DMS CRMs?

Dealers are faced with tough choices when selecting the right CRM system, as they not only have to worry about functionality and workflow, but also about OEM approval and certification, DMS and phone integration, data ownership, training and support policies, and, of course, price point and terms. This seminar is designed to help dealers understand the current CRM landscape and enable them to make an informed decision about whether to sign up for a DMS CRM or an independent CRM system.

Attendees will learn:

  • How to understand and utilize typical CRM selection and negotiation processes
  • What key attributes to look for when selecting a CRM system
  • What CRM vendors compete for your business and how they differ
  • When to select a DMS vendor for providing CRM functionality
  • How to evaluate and analyze CRM proposals
  • What vital questions should be asked when negotiating a CRM deal

What to Consider When Picking Dealership Phones

When asked what IT solutions dealers cannot live without, most dealers say their phone system. They could go back to manual operations and run a dealership without a DMS, but they could never cut off customer communication. Being available via phone at all times is crucial for dealer success or failure. Unlike a DMS, Internet Protocol Telephony (IPT) technology is not sold directly from the manufacturer. Dealers must find the best reseller before deciding which phone system is right for them. This seminar aims to help dealers understand the complex telephony and communications solutions market, preparing decision makers for selecting and negotiating the right IPT system with the right channel partner.

Attendees will learn:

  • How to understand and utilize typical IPT selection and negotiation processes
  • How the sales and servicing approach for IPT systems differs from DMS
  • Which phone providers and resellers compete for your business
  • When to select a DMS vendor for acquiring, installing, and servicing an IPT system
  • What key attributes to look for in an IPT system
  • What IPT deliver models and key features might suit your dealership’s needs
  • How to evaluate and analyze IPT proposals
  • What vital questions to ask when negotiating an IPT deal

Choosing Technology to Drive Revenue in Every Department

One of a dealer’s biggest challenges is choosing the right technology solutions to increase revue and improve dealership efficiency. We share our experiences, from helping over 7,000 dealers with their dealership technology deals, to help you spend your money where you can make money. This seminar is geared toward covering systems for Business Office, Fixed and Variable Operations, and dealership-wide applications.

Attendees will learn about technology solutions in:

  • Business Office: Management Information Systems and Business Intelligence Tools
  • Fixed Operations: Parts Bar Coding, RFID/Vehicl Scanning, Service Appointments and Scheduling, Service Lane, and Vehicle Inspection
  • Sales and F&I: CRM/ILM, Equity Mining, Used Inventory Solutions, F&I Sales/Digital Contracting, DocuPad, Accessories
  • Dealership-Wide: Document Scanning, Voice-Over IP (VOIP) Phones, Integrated Communication Solutions

Controlling 3rd Party Turmoil and Managing Technology Vendors Effectively

As dealers add more and more features to their dealership management suite by working with supplementary technology vendors, the consequences also get more complicated. Third-party vendors may offer more system capability and generate more sales, but these vendors also have an impact on dealership financials, data integration, and data security. On average, a dealership has between 15 to 20 parties extracting data elements from its DMS. But what do these third parties really do with dealership data? Do they share sensitive customer info with affiliates? Do they sell information to brokers? How much data is really needed to provide the service? The goal of this seminar is to help key personnel understand how to work with third-party vendors. We want to support dealers as they manage their supplementary technology partners more (cost-)efficiently and securely.

Attendees will learn:

  • The major implications of 3rd party services
  • What individual and structural cost problems look like
  • Where to find potential service overlaps
  • What to know about data integration and circulation
  • How data security issues emerge
  • Tactics to improve 3rd party management

Improving Data Security & IT Expense Planning for Car Dealers

Most dealers aren’t spending sleepless nights worried about their IT and technology but they should be concerned. We see technology issues every day, and constant changes mean that dealers need to be vigilant and attentive to the technology they use–and we don’t see that in many auto dealerships. This seminar was introduced to educate decision makers about the newest trends in the auto dealership technology world. This course provides real financial benefits to every attendee by offering best practices and strategies about how to improve data security and IT expense planning.

Attendees will learn:

  • The causes of data breaches
  • How regulators are involved in managing sensitive consumer and customer data
  • How dealer data (like non-public personal information (NPI)) circulates between tech vendors
  • Six easy ways to improve the security of a dealer’s NPI
  • The forecast for IT spending
  • Eight simple strategies to reduce and plan for IT expenses

Service Applications: The Good, the Bad, and the Future

With decreasing margins in the variable business, most dealers are looking at Fixed Operations in general–and Service in particular–to boost profit. Deploying technology in the Service workflow promises the highest upside for dealers pursuing this strategy, but also offers endless options. What vendors and systems are available for service scheduling, service walk-around, or mobile technicians? What systems deliver and exceed dealer expectations? We researched these questions and this seminar presents our results along with insights about how to select the right tools and negotiate the best price and terms.

Attendees will learn:

  • Whether service technology should be a key element in dealership strategy
  • What applications and providers dealers are using in the service workflow
  • What overall level of satisfactions dealers have with service applications and vendors
  • What elements of the service workflow will see stronger adoption in the future
  • How to prepare for the negotiation of service application agreements

What Our Seminar Attendees are Saying

Wow. Excellent. Super Good. It was one of the best. One simple word – invaluable! Paul should be invited back. Every dealer needs to hear him.
M. G., California
Yes! Great subject for the dealers to openly discuss – Computers have become a top 5 expense at the dealership – Needs more attention and focus.
D. P., New Jersey
Great topic. Bring this guy back. Very helpful!
K. L., New York
Paul Gillrie’s negotiating seminar communicates real life experiences that the group can relate to. He has a high energy presentation and good comic interjection.
K. B., CPA, Ohio
Paul Gillrie showed us many ways to save money! He is an excellent speaker with a passion for his topics. He gives many inside tips and negotiating techniques.
R. A., New Jersey
Best seminar I have ever attended.
B. K., California

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