Push Cars, Not Paper - InformationWeek

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Software // Enterprise Applications

Push Cars, Not Paper

GM--General MotorsGM thinks its dealers need to spend more time hawking cars and less time filling out purchase orders, processing warranty claims, and scouring the Internet for deals on plaid jackets. And who can blame it? Sales dropped 10% in December. So General Motors has tapped two vendors--Reynolds and Reynolds and Quorum Information Technologies--to roll out enhanced dealer-management systems designed to reduce back-office work for its U.S. and Canadian sales force.

"The more time dealers can spend with customers, the more they can sell," says Nick Bell, GM's process-information officer for sales, service, and marketing. GM isn't releasing financial terms of the deal, disclosed last week. Dealers have to foot the bill for installation and support, and they're still free to use existing systems from other vendors.

GM is working with the vendors to make business data stored in legacy computers available via the systems' Web interfaces. That means dealers should be able to use an application from one vendor or the other to tap into GM for real-time information about inventories, parts, and services. For jackets with matching belts and shoes, they'll still have to hit eBay.

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