What impact – positive or negative – do you expect this development to have on dealer software operations/options for your dealership’s size and scope? 


“I believe this is a good thing. The less options available to dealers, the more integration we can have with the manufacturers to work with the DBS systems instead of giving us ‘third-party’ systems to accommodate all dealers. Hopefully this will improve the communication between the manufacturer and the DBS systems. 

“It is imperative the dealer has a fast and improved system where we do not have to do dual data entry between the manufacturer and customer information. Hopefully with this merger, it will improve customer service and speed up new enhancements.”

— Kimberlee Sommer,
Service Motor Co., Greenville, Wis. 

“When DIS Challenger was purchased by Constellation, the price went up by a multiple of 4-5 times. The service got slightly worse. Longer response times. There have been investments into DIS in the online version Quantum that are good for the dealership. A very scary prospect for dealers.  Without competition, prices sky-rocket.

“With fewer choices, manufacturers can integrate more fully with the business systems for some things, such as parts pricing, telematics, invoice download/auto-populating and so forth.

“Could go either way. End result — price will go up.”

— Name withheld by request 

“I don’t think it will affect us either way. We have been using our current system forever, and I can’t imagine trying to switch to something else. I think the company we work with will continue to try and be innovative and bring us the things we need regardless of how many players are out there for business systems.”

—Scott Grundstad,
Plains Ag, Spearfish, S.D.

“I would say that this should have been suspected. As the number of dealer owner groups continues to go down, the amount of business systems designed around our business model would likely be affected, as well. I can’t say that it would be a bad thing as long as the remaining players continue to do a good job servicing their customers and adapt to dealers’ needs. 

“If they don’t, the open market will surely fill the void. You could predict the 2 remaining companies will compete hard for market share.”

— Jon Castongia,
Castongia Tractor, Rensselaer, Ind.

“It would be hard to say at this point if we will see much change, but the concern that most will have will simply be around a monopoly of ownership that understands that even though there would be another option for business solutions, it is not easy for a dealer to make the switch, so therefore likely price increases.”

—  Brent Bazin,
Young’s Equipment,Regina, Sask.

“They have not given us much information other than to say there will be no changes. In the future, we hope that their exposure to so many platforms and dealerships will drive some positive changes based off a wider sample of improvement requests.”

  — Kevin Vivian,
Agri-Service, Kimberly, Idaho

“Our hope is that it will improve the software useability and support, with a cost reduction. Our concern is if the cost goes any higher, it will become unaffordable, and we will have to look elsewhere.”

 — Tom Snyder,
Oneida New Holland, Caledonia, Ont. 

“I wasn’t aware that 6 of the dealer software options are owned by 2 companies. That is a bit concerning. 

“I feel there needs to be competition in order to keep the costs in line. I am hopeful that e-Emphasys will be able to bring the latest technology upgrades and apply them to CDK’s dependable software platform to create an even better dealership management system.”  

—Michele Lewandowski,
Farmers Implement & Irrigation, Brookings, S.D.

“We’re moving to e-Emphasys and believe this is overall positive. Each solution brings its own advantages and we’re hopeful to see some of the best aspects of CDK make their way onto the e-Emphasys roadmap within the next few years. I believe fewer stronger players will raise the product quality and impact for dealers. I guess we’re about to find out!

— Jeff Bowman,
Carter Machinery, Salem, Va. 

“We have been engaged with a supplier that was purchased, and we have seen the level of service drop over the edge of acceptability. We always like to partner with firms that have our best interest in mind. We’ve seen these buy-outs in other industries across the spectrum, and it is rarely a positive for the customers using the service or buying the products.”

— Name withheld by request 

“I’m very excited about the news of the merger. I have watched online demos of the e-Emphasys business system for agricultural dealerships and am impressed with the graphics capabilities for dashboarding and graphing, and its report generation capabilities look really intuitive. These are functionalities that CDK does not currently have or don’t do well. I would hope they incorporate these more modern aspects of today’s business systems into CDK, which has seen limited upgrades over the years.  As such, we can get rid of the current ‘bolt-ons’ we use that were purchased from other vendors in order to get these capabilities and hopefully get our total DMS software costs down.” 

—Owen Palm,
21st Century Equipment, Scottsbluff, Neb. 

“There are only a few reasons that companies buy out their competitors: either they have something they (the buyer) can use or just to eliminate the competition. I believe that innovation is driven by competition, and all of the software programs available to dealers have good and bad points. Will that change? That remains to be seen. Will the cost for the service increase? I would assume so. But if costs go up and the service received goes the other way, then we have issues. And that opens the door for more competition. Good or bad, this is going to happen and usually will take some time to level out, and hopefully a better solution will remain.”

— Don Ellens,
Ellens Equipment, McBain, Mich.

As a Deere software user, we will not be impacted. I would say, however, it will raise the bar as to our expectations going forward as they utilize their scale and develop new products.

—Don Van Houweling,
Van Wall Equipment, Perry, Iowa

Competition is a healthy thing for structure, service, pricing and improvement of integrations. Without competition dealers can easily be faced with a “take it or leave it” mentality from the monopolies being created for this industry. Ag dealers have faced difficult challenges and need every advantage possible including great support. Mega companies are rarely able to support their clients as well as their predecessor smaller companies have done. If service was a problem previously, mega, rapid growth and consolidation will not make improvements for the clients, but only benefits the larger conglomerate.

— Amy Lessing,
RIMMS Business System Technology, San Antonio, Texas