UPDATED: 1/26/17 4:46 pm ET – adds details
BMW Group Canada will convert all of its franchised stores in Canada to Reynolds and Reynolds’ Windows-based ERA-IGNITE dealership management system.
The automaker and Reynolds and Reynolds Canada inked a 6-year exclusive agreement to continue a technology partnership that has been in place for 15 years. The BMW and Mini dealerships will upgrade from an older Reynolds system, and the plan is to have all of the stores outfitted by the end of the year, said Reynolds President Ron Lamb.
The ERA-IGNITE DMS is the core of the Reynolds Retail Management System in Canada. Moving to the ERA-IGNITE platform will enable the BMW Group stores to use other Reynolds solutions such as the docuPad F&I tool that can be integrated with it.
Lamb said the stores are way behind the technology curve.
“We’re in the process of configuring and enrolling the dealers, so we have to go out and meet with each dealership, interview with each employee, talk to each manager in the dealership and design their customized system of what they want to their specifications,” Lamb told Automotive News, adding: “Then that drives the training plan. Depending on how aggressive they want to go, that can take a month or many months, and it also depends on the size of the retailer.”
Reynolds first debuted its ERA DMS in the Canadian market in 1988, a year after its U.S. launch. ERA-IGNITE was introduced in Canada in 2015, and Reynolds has since rolled out more products in the country including the Reynolds Integrated Telephone System, docuPad and Advanced Service in an aggressive push that Reynolds will continue in Canada.
Once Reynolds launches a product in the U.S., it typically brings out the modified Canadian version around 12 to 18 months later. The Canadian updates to ERA-IGNITE, for instance, include switching from miles to kilometers and conversion to French for some locations.
Reynolds said BMW Group Canada and its retailer technology subcommittee conducted an extensive review of DMS providers and their capabilities before making a selection. The BMW team visited Reynolds’ headquarters in Dayton, Ohio, as well during the evaluation process.
While not as large as the U.S., Canada is a hotly-contested market for DMS providers.
Lamb said, “There are people who will tell you it’s more competitive than the United States, which is hard to believe because this is as competitive and cutthroat as things get.”