Dealers Evaluate Business Management Systems

Many dealers who use a business management system (BMS) have a hard time imagining what life would be like without one. Having one saves time, money and resources.

“I could manage my business without one, but it wouldn’t be nearly as efficient and would require a lot more staff,” explains James Stoneham of Stoneham’s Motor Sports in Waynesboro, PA, and a Charter DealerWin software user.

Business management systems have several features for managing different aspects of the business, making it easier for dealers to track and analyze data.

Wholegoods and Parts Inventory Tracking – Used to see what parts or equipment are in stock and need to be ordered. It also tracks what is coming due in the floor plan or should be sold to free up cash and valuable shelf space.

“The BMS generates recommended parts orders for us,” explains Marvin Wainwright of Wainwright Lawn & Garden Equipment in Bordentown, NY, and a Charter user. “We check inventory and submit small stock orders once a day and heavier orders once a week.”

“I use inventory tracking more than anything,” says Terry Coffin, manager for Beards Outdoor Power Equipment where they have been using c-Systems Software for the past 20 years. “I can keep an eye on things we are getting low on and know when it’s time to reorder without having to do a time-consuming manual inventory.”

Service Department Work Orders – Users can assign equipment repairs within the system and track existing work orders. Reports also indicate technician efficiency and parts needed for repairs.

“We used to print out every work order,” says Ron Otten of Otten Small Engine in Sedalia, MO, and an Ideal Computer Systems user. “But now we just pull work orders up on the screen as they come in. It saves on extra paper and time.”

Cash Control and Accounts Receivable – Reports run monthly, quarterly and annually, helping dealers track sales.

“We utilize the accounts receivable module to generate account statements for customers on a monthly basis,” says Wainwright. “It’s good for keeping ourselves and the customers informed on accounts.”


There are few things dealers would change in their BMS, and they all agree that the most valuable thing you can find is a supportive provider. A supportive provider will listen to your cares and concerns, and help you fully utilize your BMS.

“I like Ideal because of the support that comes with the program,” says Angela Suggs of Suggs Lawn Equipment in Royal Palm Beach, FL. “It’s not as easy as selling you the software and hardware. It’s the service they give you after they’ve made the sale that counts.”

A c-Systems user since 1988, Coffin agrees. “I have worked closely with them on many of our concerns or changes we thought they should make,” says Coffin. “It’s a great tool that has come a long way since we started using it 20 years ago.”


Most BMS providers make it easy to manage multiple dealership locations from one site.

“It is almost limitless what you can get out of a BMS,” says Suggs. “It’s very helpful with a multi-location dealership because you can easily view inventory at other locations.”

“Charter addresses the needs of multi-location dealers in their Aspen product,” says Wainwright. “We will likely take it on if we become a multi-location dealer. But, as with any product, we will study the system fairly well before making any change.”


Charter Software Inc.
Charter Windows-based business management software is designed to improve efficiency and increase profitability. DealerWin is an affordable option for single-store dealerships, while Aspen, Charter’s newest, scalable solution, provides more sophisticated functionality for multi-store and single-store dealerships. Both systems offer EPC/e-commerce integration with leading industry suppliers.

Ideal Computer Systems
Ideal for Windows is a reliable, time-saving and user-friendly business management system designed to help dealers grow their businesses and free up time. A few features include inventory control, shop management, powerful reports, electronic parts ordering and optional accounting package. Ideal 6.3 includes enhancements that were generated from listening to the wants and needs of dealers.

c-Systems Software
c-Systems’ Infinity business system is designed specifically for outdoor power equipment dealerships. Packages are scalable to fit any size operation. Their Customer Connect feature allows customers to securely log onto a dealer’s business system and review account information or check the status of repair orders and backorders.