It’s been an exciting year for IDS and the RV, Marine and Trailer dealership industry as a whole. Over the last 12 months, industry growth and consolidation have allowed us to continually improve our capabilities and provide services and software solutions that scale to your needs. Since we are currently in the middle of several long-term strategic projects, this trend will continue as we move into 2018.
We feel that a high-value, high-quality product is the single most important thing we can deliver as a software provider. That’s why our product investment rate has doubled in the last three years, and why we will continue to invest heavily in product development.
By prioritizing usability, quality and performance, here’s what our development team has achieved in the last 12 months:
We addressed much of the feedback from our users in a major update to our CRM this year. The highlights of this release include:
In our latest releases, we have focused on marginal improvements in usability, stability and performance based on your feedback rather than major enhancements. Improvements include:
The IDS API allows you to easily share your valuable DMS data with third-party software or service vendors, such as your website provider, menu-selling systems, extended warranty companies and inventory management tools, all of which have historically existed outside of IDS.
The current API allows you to pull information related to:
Future API development will also include:
With the API, these other software or service vendors can use web services to access your data in real time, while we provide the infrastructure and blueprint of the services offered through the API. You can find a complete listing of the specific data that can be accessed and documentation at http://developer.ids-astra.com/.
Boat Launch and Haul capabilities are now built into our rental module and are part of our mobile application. This allows field people, deck hands or technicians to use a mobile device to conduct Launch and Haul operations.
Cloud Based Server Hosting and Cloud Based Development
We are undergoing a major technology refresh of our Cloud services, which will impact our hosted customers. We are currently replacing all of our server equipment with the latest and greatest networking devices, servers, storage and software, which will result in improved performance and greater expansion.
We will also be integrating Microsoft SQL Server into this environment to power our reporting capabilities and customized dashboards that have been added to the CRM.
Over the last few years, we have held several customer conferences. During these conferences, our Professional Services Team emphasizes valuable ways of using our product, while our guest speakers – and industry experts – shed light on the challenging problems faced by many dealers. We also offer a look at our product roadmap and development plan, so that you can understand our future vision of the product.
What our customers love most about these conferences is the opportunity to interact with other dealers and our employees.
We are already looking into the timing and venues for our next conference. We will keep you informed, so that you can pencil it into your calendar.
In October of last year, we added a Director of Customer Service, Frank Tamburrini, to our team. Frank brought with him a wealth of customer service experience from other software companies. His sole charter is to ensure that your experience dealing with us is prompt, professional and complete.
A few of his key goals based on your survey feedback are improving response time and close rates. Here are some of his achievements:
Although our support team has gotten faster at responding and closing tickets, we do recognize that at times it still takes too long to make changes to the actual software. However, we are confident that moving to the Agile methodology of continuous delivery will help us make those fixes at a much faster rate.
The current trajectory of product and service improvements is positive reinforcement for the investments we have made in the business. We will continue to strive for greater improvements and I look forward to keeping you apprised of our progress.