Kunes Country Auto Group is familiar to nearly everyone in the car business. The Illinois- and Wisconsin-based group recently ranked as a top retailer of used-vehicle sales in Automotive News’ annual list, and many of its 35+ retail stores have been featured in Automotive News’ “Best Dealerships to Work For” rankings.
But Kunes Country Auto Group wasn’t always this big. Ten years ago, Kunes had just four retail locations when it decided to switch from a legacy DMS provider to Auto/Mate DMS. “The main reason was the cost structure,” said Tom Fohr, a Regional General Manager who oversees five of Kunes’ retail locations in Walworth County, Wisconsin. “We were just starting to grow, and at that scale it was outrageously expensive to be with our previous vendor. Plus, the level of support just wasn’t there.”
After a thorough review of the “major players” in the DMS space at the time, Kunes Country Auto Group selected Auto/Mate.
Scalability Enables Growth
Fast forward and today Auto/Mate DMS is installed in every one of Kunes’ stores, as well as two subsidiaries. “The cost is reasonable, the support is phenomenal and we have had the luxury of growing quite fast,” Fohr said. “Sometimes that’s hard for companies to keep up with, but Auto/Mate has been awesome to work with.”
Typically, when an Auto/Mate customer acquires a new dealership, the install teams are scheduled and arrive onsite within days. Growth, and the required scalability of technology that comes with it, can be complicated. “Auto/Mate is definitely robust to handle multiple stores,” Fohr said. “I don’t know that we could have grown with another DMS provider as quickly as we did with Auto/Mate.”
User-Friendly Design Speeds Rollouts
As a software developer, Auto/Mate has always prioritized user experience. Fohr observes that in the last three to four years, the system has become even more user friendly. “I’ve seen every DMS out there, and by far this is the easiest to use,” he said. “We can literally onboard everyone in a store and have everyone trained on how to use the system in two days.”
Unlike other DMS’s that require users to memorize multiple keyboard commands, Auto/Mate uses Windows-style menus that require simple point and click actions. “All you have to do is click your mouse and everything’s intuitive. I’ve trained finance managers and even office personnel in just hours. You can use common sense and figure most things out,” Fohr said.