Graham brings 27 years of automotive experience to DealerSocket as executive vice president and general manager of Auto/Mate

DALLAS, September 1, 2020 — DealerSocket, Inc., a leading software provider to the automotive industry, today announced the appointment of Tony T. Graham as executive vice president and general manager of its Auto/Mate business unit. Graham brings a proven track record of success, experience, and leadership working with automotive dealerships to his new role.

Graham served in various leadership roles during his 26 years with CDK Global and ADP Dealer Services, including vice president of sales, multiple regional general manager roles, and chief customer experience officer.

“I am thrilled to welcome Tony to DealerSocket and our executive team,” said DealerSocket CEO and President Sejal Pietrzak. “Tony has a deep understanding of and experience in the automotive retail industry, especially the DMS space, and he shares our commitment to our dealers and team members. Tony will be a tremendous leader of our Auto/Mate business unit.”

Credited with successfully launching CDK’s Minority Dealer Business in 1999 and running the program until last year, Graham also served as executive sponsor of the company’s diversity and inclusion initiatives. In 2019, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers (NAMAD).

“I’ve known Tony for well over 20 years. He has a tremendous amount of integrity and empathy for his dealership customers and just has a real passion for whatever he’s doing,” said Ernest Hodge, CEO and President of Atlanta-based March/Hodge Automotive Group. “I have been thoroughly impressed with him throughout his entire career. He’s just outstanding.”

Graham now joins DealerSocket as executive vice president and general manager of Auto/Mate, which DealerSocket acquired in February 2020 to offer dealers a comprehensive new choice for an all-in-one, intelligent software platform for their dealerships.

“The two things I’m most proud of are the number of employees I helped develop and grow as their mentor, and that I have been dedicated to supporting automotive dealerships from the smallest to the largest operations. My focus has always been on customer relationships and service, and that matches DealerSocket’s and Auto/Mate’s commitment to customer service for dealers,” Graham said. “These are important times in the industry, and the combination of DealerSocket with Auto/Mate offers dealers a full platform solution with deep focus on customer support and innovative software. I’m excited to get started with DealerSocket.”

Award-Winning Website Provider Partners with Fully Integrated Digital Agency

DALLAS, July 14, 2020 — DealerFire, a business unit of DealerSocket, and Stream Companies, a full-service, fully integrated, tech-enabled ad agency, today announced a strategic partnership that brings together expert advertising solutions with award-winning technologies to offer dealers a consolidated approach to digital marketing management.

This new partnership taps into the power, strengths, and capabilities of both companies to provide dealers with an innovative way to accelerate their digital marketing performance. Stream will serve as the full-service ad agency and ad tech provider and DealerFire as the website and SEO provider for dealers who will now have the best of both offerings combined together. Dealers will continue to receive the white-glove customer service for which both companies are well known.

“Stream’s partnership with DealerSocket’s DealerFire will allow both companies to innovate faster and provide the best client service in automotive marketing,” said Dave Regn, co-founder of Stream Companies. “Innovation and integrated advertising, plus retailing, are key to long-term growth and competitive positioning in the marketplace.”

By leveraging each company’s technology and expertise, the ongoing partnership aims to drive client success under the following “Core Four” goals:

“When I took a closer look at Stream’s offerings and what it has done to accelerate automotive dealerships’ advertising returns on investment, I knew it would be a perfect partnership and complement our websites and SEO offerings at DealerFire,” said Darren Harris, executive vice president and general manager of retail solutions at DealerSocket. “Today’s announcement allows us and Stream to jointly deliver successful digital marketing that dealers need right now. Our partnership will allow dealers to optimize their clicks-to-showroom buying experience with DealerFire websites while fulfilling their broader digital advertising needs with a full-service, fully integrated ad agency with Stream Companies.”

DealerFire’s website platform is now available through Honda’s Digital Certified Program

DALLAS, June 29, 2020 — DealerSocket, Inc., a leading SaaS provider to the automotive industry, today announced that its award-winning DealerFire website platform earned acceptance into the Honda Dealer Website Solutions Certified Program. This certification means DealerSocket’s DealerFire website platform is immediately available to Honda’s approximately 1,000 U.S. dealers.

Today’s announcement marks the 20th OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) certification for DealerFire, which completed Honda’s robust selection process that measured best-in-class services, a national reach, and extensive automotive industry expertise.

“Honda was looking for a cutting-edge website and search engine optimization partner, and they found that with DealerFire,” said Eric Giroux, vice president of product management for DealerSocket’s digital solutions. “Our DealerFire website platform helps dealers have a seamless shopping experience, the fastest mobile websites in the industry, and more control over their virtual showroom versus any other solution on the market today.”

Capable of mobile load speeds of less than one second on 4G and less than three seconds on 3G networks, DealerSocket’s DealerFire websites are built on the first platform specifically designed for the automotive retail industry. The result is fully responsive websites optimized for maximum visibility right out of the box.

DealerFire websites feature native mobile functionality for an app-like shopping experience designed to efficiently connect car buyers to the inventory they’re looking for with Google-like, search-as-you-type functionality, and a search-by-features module.

For dealers who want more control over their virtual showroom, DealerFire websites tout a robust back-end editing system for do-it-yourself web and landing page creation with no HTML coding required. The platform also offers more than 100 different inventory and incentives modules users can drag and drop onto a page, as well as a set of optimized webpage templates and container themes through DealerFire’s new Snapshot Studio.

A winner of 12 Automotive Website Awards, DealerFire also offers a host of digital marketing capabilities, including digital advertising, content development, and social media marketing.

The new solution is fundamentally redesigned and re-engineered for a faster, more flexible, and cohesive experience for dealers and their customers.

 

DALLAS, June 22, 2020 — DealerSocket, Inc., a leading SaaS provider to the automotive industry, today crossed another milestone in its drive to improve the clicks-to-bricks experience for dealers with the release of its next-generation Desking solution. Sporting more intuitive, easy-to-navigate workflows designed to prevent errors and reduce time to first pencil, the all-new Desking tool comes equipped with a robust calculations engine, flexible payment options, custom presentation capabilities, and seamlessly integrates with DealerSocket’s PrecisePrice digital retail solution.

The sleek new interface, which has been architected within DealerSocket’s award-winning CRM, gives the new Desking tool a uniform user experience with other DealerSocket solutions. The solution opens up a host of new opportunities to modernize a dealer’s road-to-the-sale process, and enhance save-a-deal and data-mining activities, CRM-generated campaigns, and remote deal-making.

“There are several critical storylines captured in this exciting launch of Desking. For DealerSocket, our next-gen Desking solution represents another critical step as we unify our suite of integrated solutions,” said Darren Harris, executive vice president and general manager of retail solutions at DealerSocket. “Then there’s what the tool can do for dealers from a clicks-to-bricks perspective. Yes, our new Desking solution allows dealers to reimagine their buying journey, but it also puts them in total control of just how far they want to go.”

The main advantage of DealerSocket’s new Desking tool is that it operates within the CRM as an in-app program, allowing dealers to seamlessly move between Desking and throughout the CRM to update a sales opportunity’s vehicle of interest, follow up with appointments, or send communications. That deep integration within DealerSocket’s CRM also means no pop-up windows for Desking and an efficient and easy process that begins with a single click on a sales opportunity to start desking a deal.

Once engaged, the Desking tool displays a calculations worksheet, customer details, and payment options on one screen. The latter views are collapsible when structuring deals using the calculations worksheet, which eliminates the need for mental math with smart fields within Desking that can calculate dollar value increases or decreases in MSRP, selling price, cash down, and rebates.

Users can then compare and present a variety of lease and finance options with different cash-down amounts, term lengths, and APRs, as well as view and adjust other deal influencers like doc fee, buy rate, and gross. Dealers can also take advantage of the following innovations:

“Especially in the digital environment, dealers need a platform that allows data to flow across a single ecosystem, and allows users to easily navigate software tools and features seamlessly,” said Alok Tyagi, DealerSocket’s chief product and technology officer. “Today’s release of our next-generation Desking tool represents another significant step toward delivering a simplified experience to our dealers, who now have a tool that allows them to create new opportunities.”

ARLINGTON, Texas, June 9, 2020 — Agora Data, Inc. (Agora), a provider of data, analytics and liquidity solutions for the buy-here, pay-here segment of the automotive industry, announces its integration with DealerSocket’s web-based IDMS. This integration will increase dealer visibility into portfolio and loan performance, as well as create access to much-needed capital and cashflow. The addition of DealerSocket further expands the number of Agora integrated DMS partnerships.

“Access to reliable analytics is the difference between success and failure in today’s market,” stated Agora founder and CEO Steve Burke. “Trying to run a business without all of the information is like trying to build a puzzle without knowing what the picture is — it’s possible, but far more difficult.”

AgoraInsights is Agora’s first of its kind portfolio and loan valuation analytics. It empowers BHPH dealers to manage more effectively their most significant asset, their loan portfolio, and confidently manage liquidity negotiations. By combining this technology with DealerSocket’s innovative IDMS, dealers will now have a more holistic picture and greater control of their business operations.

Historically, auto dealers have relied on “book value” guides to buy and sell vehicles. Now, BHPH dealers can leverage AgoraInsights to understand the current value of their loans. Additionally, they gain the ability to compare their underwriting strategies with their industry peers through Agora’s benchmarking analytics.

“The partnership with Agora’s Insights platform provides incredible opportunities for our dealers to be empowered to better manage their business. More importantly, they gain access to capital through various finance channels,” said Jeff McCurry, DealerSocket’s vice president of product. “Agora’s program is one of a kind and is an exciting addition to the IDMS platform.”

About Agora Data, Inc.
Founded by industry veterans, Agora Data, Inc. is an Arlington, Texas-based developer of AI-infused financial services software and solutions. Agora was launched in 2017 to improve the lives of every BHPH dealer in the industry, providing access to actionable industry information, robust portfolio analytics, and a reliable source of liquidity/capital. Agora has empowered a community of thousands of BHPH dealers across the nation. Visit AgoraData.com for more information.

DealerSocket’s new report provides a snapshot of inventory and web traffic trends

DALLAS, May 12, 2020 — DealerSocket, Inc., a leading SaaS provider to the automotive industry, today released new insights based on aggregated Inventory+ data that shows positive signs for the automotive market. Contained in the company’s new “DealerSocket COVID-19 Impact Report,” the aggregated data set of insights will be updated on a bimonthly basis. The first edition reveals a 34.3% increase in consumer trade appraisals between the weeks of April 6 and April 20 this year.

The report’s first edition also provides a deeper dive into inventory management trends during the COVID-19 period between the weeks of March 2 and April 20. Aside from insights from DealerSocket’s Inventory+ team, the report includes online shopping trends from DealerFire (DealerSocket’s digital and websites business), and regional lists outlining the top 10 pre-owned vehicles based on sales count, average turn, front-end gross, and average sales price.

“Dealers are optimistic by nature, and the data outlines trends pointing to potential recovery signs for the industry from the COVID-19 pandemic, with activity spiking since the U.S. Department of Homeland Security deemed auto sales essential on April 17,” said Brad Kokesh, general manager of DealerSocket’s Inventory+ business unit. “The report also outlines a pick-up in activity among consumers. What’s interesting is consumers continued to initiate appraisals through online lead forms throughout the month of March, and consumer trade appraisals have jumped more than 30% since the first full week of April.“

Here are key findings from the DealerSocket COVID-19 Impact Report:

To access the DealerSocket COVID-19 Impact Report, click here.

The combination of these two dealer-dedicated companies offers a full platform solution with deep focus on customer service and innovative software.

DALLAS, February 10, 2020 – DealerSocket, Inc., a leading provider of automotive software solutions, announced today the completion of its acquisition of Auto/Mate, a leader in Dealer Management Systems (DMS) for automotive dealerships. The closing of this acquisition brings together two customer-service focused companies and offers dealers a comprehensive new choice for an all-in-one, intelligent software platform for their dealerships.

 

“The combination of DealerSocket and Auto/Mate gives dealers a long-awaited and much-needed alternative for an integrated, connected platform of mission-critical software for dealerships,” said Sejal Pietrzak, CEO and President of DealerSocket. “Auto/Mate has built a reputation as a transformative, fast-growing DMS with an unmatched commitment to customer service. As we look at our combined company, there are tremendous opportunities for innovation, while we maintain our strong focus on support. I am excited about this acquisition and what it represents for us, dealers, and the broader market.”

 

Integrating Auto/Mate’s DMS with DealerSocket’s current suite of software products for franchise dealers, including DealerSocket’s CRM, Inventory Management, Digital Retail, Equity Mining, and Digital Marketing / Websites, will offer franchise dealers a complete platform of industry-leading and innovative software solutions. DealerSocket will now offer independent dealers two DMS options: DealerSocket’s iDMS and Auto/Mate DMS, both best-in-class software solutions supporting the needs of the independent and buy-here-pay-here markets.

 

“Auto/Mate is thrilled to become part of DealerSocket. We have a shared mission of serving dealers with great software and customer service, and that makes this a winning combination for our customers, partners, and team members,” said Mike Esposito, President & CEO of Auto/Mate. “Our combined company will be a powerhouse in the market, offering dealers industry-leading service and software, and most importantly, continuing to be dedicated to our “By Car People, For Car People” motto. We are excited about this new chapter for Auto/Mate and the industry.”

 

The combined company now supports more than 9,000 dealerships and well over 300,000 active users across its products. DealerSocket plans to invest significantly in seamless integrations with Auto/Mate. The roadmap includes important and valuable technology developments including artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), and continuous improvements to user interfaces with a focus on making all aspects of the combined company’s software products even easier to learn and use, ultimately helping dealers sell more vehicles and increase profitability.

 

“Offering a full platform to the automotive industry has been DealerSocket’s vision for several years,” said Jonathan Ord, co-founder of DealerSocket. “Both DealerSocket and Auto/Mate share similar core values, and both have dedicated teams who have always cared deeply about dealership customers.”

 

“After years in the making, it is terrific to finally see the combination of these two companies that are so focused on the needs of the dealer,” said Brad Perry, co-founder of DealerSocket. “I believe we will look back years from now and realize that bringing together DealerSocket and Auto/Mate was one of the most impactful and game-changing combinations for dealers and the automotive software industry,” shared Pietrzak.

 

DealerSocket and Auto/Mate will formally launch and celebrate their merger at the NADA 2020 show from Feb 15-17. To learn more about the acquisition and combined company’s plans, visit both DealerSocket and Auto/Mate’s booths inside the Las Vegas Convention Center’s Central Hall.

 

Presidio Technology Partners served as the exclusive financial advisor to Auto/Mate.

 

About DealerSocket

DealerSocket is a leading provider of software for the automotive industry, with a suite of seamlessly integrated products to help dealers sell and service vehicles more profitably, while improving their customers’ experience. DealerSocket’s suite of products includes advanced Customer Relationship Management (CRM), data focused Equity Mining, innovative Digital Retail, Marketing and Websites, robust Vehicle Inventory Management, insightful Analytics Reporting, and solutions to streamline dealer operations such as Desking, Credit Reporting, Compliance, and an independent-geared Dealer Management System (DMS) for dealers of all sizes. DealerSocket serves over 8,000 dealerships, and its software has helped customers sell more than 100 million vehicles throughout its 18-year history. For more information, visit DealerSocket.com, or follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

 

About Auto/Mate

Auto/Mate Dealership Systems is a leading provider of dealership management system software to retail automotive dealerships, typically saving dealers thousands of dollars per month from their current provider. AMPS® is a user-friendly, feature-rich DMS in use by more than 1,500 auto dealers nationwide. Auto/Mate has received multiple consecutive DrivingSales Dealer Satisfaction Awards. Auto/Mate’s employees have more than 1,500 years of combined experience working in franchised auto dealerships, the foundation of its By Car People, For Car People™ slogan. Auto/Mate is committed to winning its customers’ business each and every month with no long-term contracts and free software upgrades.

 

Contact:

Patrick Mendoza

PMendoza@DealerSocket.com,

469-828-6325

 

Mike Esposito, President & CEO

MEsposito@automate.com

 

Larry Colson, Chairman

Auto/Mate

LColson@automate.com