Auto dealers, if you’re still not sold on the idea of electronic document management, would you believe NADA, the National Automobile Dealers Association?
The NADA website has a whole page dedicated to frequently asked questions about what they call Dealership Document Management (DDM), which is just electronic document management for car dealers. Let’s see what they had to say and how Scan123 measures up. Note: Throughout this page, quotes from the NADA FAQ will be in bold so you can quickly spot what they wrote.

So why would you want a dealership document management system? In describing the key benefits, NADA says, “documents are accessible immediately, and they are secure and safe. There will be no more storage costs, and human labor is reduced dramatically since trips to the file room can be reduced to seconds with the click of a mouse.” I couldn’t have said it better myself. A good DDM system will save your dealership both time and money by eliminating physical storage costs (file cabinets, folders, paper, ink, etc.) and by reducing the time it takes to put away and find documents. To get an idea of how much filing paper documents is costing your business, you can use our online calculator to do the math.

What would a car dealership do with a DDM? According to NADA, it is used “for storing, retrieving, printing and forwarding (transmitting) documents including technical manuals, sales documents (deal jackets), R.O.s [repair orders], warranty claims, vehicle photos, and marketing brochures.” That’s a great summary of what our auto dealer customers use Scan123 to do. I’d add that you can also use Scan123 to store any other electronic files you choose, including audio, video, spreadsheets, and more.

One of the most important questions about document management that NADA addresses is, “How do I choose a vendor?” Their answer focuses on choosing between an in-house DDM solution and what they call an ASP (application service provider), also known as a SaaS (Software as a Service) or “cloud” solution: “Web-based systems allow an authorized employee to access the system 24/7. However, if the Internet connection fails, you cannot access your documents until the connection has been restored. On the other hand, your data is secured at the remotely located ASP computer center and does not require dealership employees to manage the system and backup the documents stored in the DDM.”

Scan123 is a web-based document management solution, and we consider that an asset, not a liability. Their concern over an internet connection failure is not untrue, but it is almost irrelevant because of the extreme dependability of high-speed internet access today. Because we are a web-based service, Scan123 requires very little I.T. resources in time and equipment. All you need are a document scanner and our simple, lightweight software that scans your documents, encrypts them, and uploads them to our secure data facility. We handle all backups, saving your data in multiple, geographically distinct locations. And because there’s almost no equipment to deploy, you can get up and running very quickly.

Two other important criteria for choosing a document management vendor are reviews and referrals. Scan123 has both video testimonials from satisfied businesses as well as reviews from verified auto dealerships on Furthermore, a bona fide, quality solution should be able to provide you with a list of other car dealers that are using their product and can recommend it. If you’d like to talk to some Scan123 customers, we’d be happy to provide you with a list of referrals upon request.

The NADA FAQ makes an excellent point about the importance of having a simple, easy-to-use dealership document management system: “If the system is too difficult to use, employees will avoid it.” This is absolutely true. If you choose an overly complex or poorly designed solution, it will frustrate your employees and undermine what you’re trying to accomplish. Getting to see and use the product yourself is crucial: “Ask for a trial CD or online demo and include the staff that will use the system frequently in the evaluations.” Scan123 offers a free 20-minute online demo that lets you log in and actually use the product, hands-on, so you can decide for yourself whether Scan123 will meet your dealership’s needs.

In regard to security, NADA advises dealers that a DDM system “should restrict access only to authorized employees. Look for standard features that allow you to create multiple access levels for different groups of departmental employees.” Scan123 boasts two access levels, seven granular user control options, and the ability to grant or restrict access to individual cabinets for each user. This allows you to make sure that your employees have access to the files they need to do their jobs, and don’t have access to other files.
The very last sentence of the NADA FAQ is another vital point: “Ask about monthly fees for an ASP solution and how they will provide all of your scanned documents and reports if you choose to leave their service and store the information at another ASP.” Your monthly fee with Scan123 will depend on the size of your auto dealership or dealer group and the number of documents you generate. You can request a free quote for your dealership here.

In regard to getting back files if you ever choose to leave Scan123, your contract comes with a free one-time master data backup at contract termination. We call it our “No Hostage Data Guarantee.” Some other cloud document storage solutions will either charge you for your data or will give it to you in a proprietary file format that can only be read with their software. Scan123 saves scanned documents in the open PDF file format that can be read on any computer with free software.

All in all, the NADA FAQ is a great resource for auto dealerships considering a dealership document management system, and we feel that Scan123 is a great fit with their recommendations. Take a free 20-minute online demo, and see for yourself why hundreds of auto dealerships use Scan123 to scan and manage their documents.