Table of Contents
Getting Started with DMS Integrations
Updated by Marcia Lovell
Estimated Reading Time: 5 Minutes
What is a DMS Integration?
Dealer Spike links your DMS to your Dealer Spike website, which enables us to import the inventory from your DMS or a third party to your website. Inventory data files are sent to us via an FTP file drop, or we can pull data from an API. This inventory import is sometimes referred to as a “feed.”
The first step for you, the dealer, is to connect with your DMS provider and let them know you will be integrating your DMS with your new Dealer Spike website to feed major unit inventory to the website. The DMS provider may have additional requirements for you to complete before Dealer Spike can begin the integration process. There may be a cost involved from the third party.
Dealer Spike will need the DMS provider to send an inventory feed file before we can begin the integration process. Although we will work directly with the DMS provider on this, it is vital that you ask them to respond quickly to our request for this file as we cannot begin our process without it.
The second step is to complete the Import Request Form. This allows us to immediately begin building your inventory import logic. Your Dealer Spike Launch Coordinator will provide the link to you at the beginning of the website build process.
While your new website is in production, your assigned Project Manager will assist you in starting the process of getting your DMS integrated with your new website. Your Project Manager will guide you through determining what to bring over to your website from the DMS. A case will be submitted to the Integration Team, and you will work collaboratively with your Project Manager and Integration Specialist through the integration setup process.
Your assigned Account Manager will assist with the paperwork needed to set up a new integration for your existing website. Once the paperwork is complete, your Account Manager will submit a case to the Integration Team to get the setup started. You will work collaboratively with your Account Manager and the Integration Specialist throughout the setup process.
Frequency of Inventory Runs
The inventory feed process runs nightly at 12:00AM PST. Each dealer’s initial run brings over all major units, and only the units added or removed after the initial run are impacted during subsequent runs.
All fields for all units are set to update nightly. If there are fields you do not want updated, please open a case with the Integration Team to make this adjustment. Otherwise, any manual change you make to a unit in the Inventory Manager will be overwritten during the next nightly run.
Click HERE for more information on protecting manual changes to inventory units.
Matching Inventory to Stock Catalog Specs and Images
An integration will not automate your entire workflow. The inventory feed will bring over most of your inventory data, but there will be times where you will need to manually adjust inventory data via your Dealer Spike Inventory Manager or your DMS Software.
The integration will bring inventory over exactly how it was entered into the DMS. If there are errors in inventory data on the DMS, those errors will automatically post on the website, resulting in inaccurate listing information such as pricing and trims. These errors are corrected at the DMS level by the dealership and will appear on the website after the next nightly inventory run.
For inventory data to properly populate on the website, all unit uploads must include a valid year, make and model. If a unit is not in the Dealer Spike database, the dealer will need to add it through the Inventory Manager. Dealer Spike does not offer custom trim matching nor do we manually trim match individual units that don't match to OEM models within the database.
We may ask you to provide us with OEM SKU sheets/model code sheets if the requested models are not in our database. Because OEMs rely on dealers to sell their products, it is extremely likely that a dealer will have OEM SKU sheets from manufacturers sooner than Dealer Spike can obtain them. Providing OEM SKU sheets when requested is the quickest way to match your inventory with OEM stock specs and images.
Preferred Matching Process
The Dealer Spike platform uses the Year, Make and Model fields to attempt a match to our Catalog Data:
- Year: The Manufacturer Year of the unit as displayed on the OEM website
- Make: The Manufacturer Make as displayed on the OEM website
- Model: The recommended process is to utilize the OEM Model Code rather than the Model Name
(If your OEM does not use model codes, you will need to provide a list of the models or model codes you will be using and the corresponding OEM full model name. This will ensure our platform makes the correct translation. Dealers receive new model code sheets from the OEM much earlier than we do at Dealer Spike. If you notice new model year inventory not matching an imported vehicle, please send the OEM model code sheets to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can add them as quickly as possible.)
Example of data with high potential for matching success:
- Year = 2020
- Make = Can-Am
- Model = 12359671
Alternative Matching Process
You can enter the full model name as seen on the manufacturer website, and our platform will attempt to match the proper unit. This method has a lower success rate, and you may need to make some manual entries via your admin panel.
Click HERE for more information on Trim Matching.