CDKs legacy Dealer Management System (DMS) was slow and difficult to operate with inconsistent user interfaces. In addition, it required special hardware to connect to its server, and came as a one-size-fits-all software suite that didn’t meet the needs of both large and small dealership clients.
Redesign the original DMS, with an intuitive and simplified user interface, flexible service packages, and hardware-free, cloud-based accessibility.
CDK saw an opportunity to redesign their DMS to provide an improved user interface, modern technology features, and flexible service packages to better fit business needs.
Product Designer for the following teams within Drive Flex: Payroll, Sales and F&I, and Component Design Library
Upon validating our assumptions and ideas with users, the following key findings were identified:
Users were accustomed to using a keyboard while utilizing the original DMS application. This required our team to design DriveFlex in such a way that users could still use a keyboard for the most commonly used functions, such as navigating the table grids and using contextual search.
As preferences varied regarding the amount of information being displayed, users wanted an option to individually filter and manage the information shown within table columns.
MANAGING TABLE DATA
Users needed a simplified and more efficient way of searching, adding, and managing data within the table columns.
CDKs $2.73 billion revenue and 28,000+ clients were leveraged on the Dealer Management System redesign.
The application was designed to enable users to continue using keyboard commands to perform the application’s most commonly used functions.
The example shows a contextual search workflow which primarily uses keyboard commands. Also Drive Flex keyboard navigation primarily follows the Keyboard Testing table from WebAim.
DRIVE FLEX DASHBOARD
To provide users with an efficient and simplified operations system, Drive Flex DMS includes fourteen powerful management, efficiency, and security features to manage every aspect of dealership businesses.
PAYROLL ETC – EMPLOYEE TIME CLOCK
Electronic Time Clock (ETC), the single most-used function of the Dealer Management System, provides dealerships with a simple and reliable way to track, report, and calculate employee work hours and payroll using an identification login system.
PAYROLL ETC – SUPERVISOR WORKFLOW
The supervisor workflow within ETC allows dealership supervisors to manage, update, and edit the employee hours worked.
PAYROLL ETC MATCHING – SUPERVISOR
Payroll ETC Matching allows supervisors to match and manage the data that they receive via third-party sources.
SALES AND F&I OPERATIONS
Sales and F&I Operations provides automotive dealerships with the resources needed to manage their sales, finance, and insurance departments.
SALES AND F&I OPERATIONS – DEAL TRACKER
Deal Tracker allows Drive Flex users to manage and track their vehicle deals, including vehicles sales history and customer financing and credit options.
SEEING THE BIG PICTURE
The information architecture of the original DMS presented a holistic overview of the application. This overview was necessary to plan and establish the product strategy.
IDENTIFYING THE USERS
By conducting formative research our team was able to identify all of the DriveFlex users, including their user roles, the department they belong to, and how they interact with the application.
UNDERSTANDING THE APPLICATION
A heuristic evaluation provided an overview of the application workflow, and highlighted the pain points and usability issues within it. This established the functionality and usefulness of the application’s features, and helped identify and assess the adequacy of the current solution.
BUILDING A RELATIONSHIP WITH USERS
To build a relationship with users and understand their goals, objectives, and pain-points each team within Drive Flex conducted one-on-one user interviews, and contextual inquiries by observing users in their daily tasks. To empathize with the users, we developed personas for each user type.
ENHANCING THE WORKFLOW
Application flowcharts illustrated and documented the sequence of actions performed by users while completing tasks within a specific DriveFlex module. This helped our team account for the required use cases for each of the workflows.
Example shows the flowchart of a supervisor using the ETC function within Drive Flex Payroll.
USER VALIDATION TOOLS
Offering simplicity and low cost, wireframes were used during usability testing sessions to make quick iterations as we identified which functions best served user needs.
BUILDING THE DESIGN SYSTEM
Our team composed a library of preset design components. This component design library helped accelerate the design and development process by providing an agile structure that was able to accommodate rapid iterations.
“The simplified processes allow us to spend more time with customers – that’s big, especially when it comes to providing a better customer experience and driving customer satisfaction.”
PAM GUYER – CONTROLLER, KINDRED CHEVROLET