When it comes to DMS systems, there’s no questioning their value to dealerships. That’s why I’ve created this short blog that outlines some tips that will be useful when it comes to looking after your DMS server.
Back It Up
An obvious one, I know, but it can be missed and the repercussions of not doing this can be damaging. Best practice would be to have a backup schedule in place that meets all of your requirements. My key tips here are to make sure the process you have in place is actually performing as required and is regularly checked, these can include simple things such as:
· Did your backup successfully complete?
· Is the correct data being backed up?
· Is the data secure?
· Is it in an off-site location?
· Is it checked on a daily basis?
· Are the back-up tapes secure?
When it comes to your server one of the most common and best practices is to have a purpose-built room or location for your DMS server. The location should have the following in place.
· Security measures in place to deal with fire, intruder and other hazards
· CCTV and restricted access to deal with any intruders or attacks
· Correct use of power feeds and supply so it’s uninterruptible
· Correct controls in place to deal with temperature and humidity
Nothing lasts forever so when it comes to replacing hardware components you want to avoid the risk of unavailability and component reliance, so you should schedule in to replace component or your hardware very few years. The best way to do this would be a regular review which includes a check list of questions such as:
· What is the age of our server?
· Is it still performing as is expected?
· Do you have enough capacity?
· Can we improve the performance of our existing server?
· Do we have a downtime procedure in place?
Always be prepared
This applies to so many things but you should always be prepared for the unexpected and the same applies to your dealership and server. Servers can take weeks to replace and you need to take this into consideration as well as the impact it can have on your business. The saying is true “fail to prepare, prepare to fail”, so to avoid this I suggest you have a staged plan and procedure in place so you can react efficiently should a disaster occur to your servers.
The bottom line is that your DMS server needs to be looked after in the first instance. Having these procedures will help you have the basic foundations in place for you to build upon. As the market continues to grow, new technology is developed and as the customers continue to change these will all impact how dealerships perform, interact and process. This will result in a number of opportunities for you to help your dealership perform, deliver and grow.