DMS Less Document Scanning
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There is a new trend in dealerships and dealer groups around the industry. It’s called DMS-less (or DMS-free) document scanning.

As the DMS wars continue to escalate, more dealerships are making the decision to move to a new Dealer Management System (DMS).  They have discovered a new, more efficient, money saving option for document scanning and storage resulting in  true ownership of scanned documents.

Historically, most dealers’ document storage has been handled in one of two ways. First is a paper filing system. This requires on-site storage, typically a big file room in the back of the dealership proving to be the riskiest, most inefficient, time consuming solution also leaving client information unprotected. Second is document scanning, often offered as an add-on to the DMS.


DMS providers offer document scanning capabilities enabling the dealership to scan repair orders and deal jackets into the DMS.  While this solution has its merits, it typically comes at a steep price, with limited functionality, and lacks document portability. This makes it difficult or almost impossible to move previously scanned files to a new DMS.

As dealers change from one DMS provider to another, migration of the old data into the new system becomes imperative.  Because of unreliable industry standards and different file formats used with different systems, most of the dealership’s valuable customer and vehicle history data is often lost, or haphazardly transferred to the new DMS. The reality for dealerships is the scanned documents are seldom carried over to the new DMS due to the high cost of transferring scanned files. Without access to previously scanned documents, dealers experience significant frustrations during the transition. The result is usually loss of time and valuable information.

Here is a real-world scenario: A dealer decides to move away from a DMS where all their scanned documents are currently stored to a new DMS. During the transition, the dealer discovers that to transfer the stored documents, they will have to pay thousands of dollars to their previous DMS provider for their scanned files. Alternatively, in most cases, the new DMS provider does not accept the file format of scanned documents from the old system due to incompatibility. The previous work performed to scan these files, as well as the client information, is now lost.


This scenario is unacceptable and represents a security and liability risk. In a few months, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA), a U.S. federal law requiring dealerships to ensure the confidentiality and security of customers’ non-public, personal information will be effective. Updates to this law ensures the Safeguards Rule is implemented, which demands dealers to be diligent with sensitive data to prevent breach, cyber- attacks, and data loss as described in the scenario. This new rule took effect on January 10, 2022, and the FTC gave dealers one year to update their processes to comply.


Dealers are now choosing DMS-less document scanning services. These DMS solution providers are agnostic, which means they are not dependent on any singular DMS. Utilizing available open integrations, they work with any DMS, enabling the dealership to retain or move their scanned documents easily from DMS to DMS as needed.

There are many benefits for dealers opting to go the DMS-less route, especially as scanning requirements continue to expand.

One major benefit of DMS-less solutions is the variety of document types and sizes that can be scanned. Traditional scanning systems focused on scanning the uniform pieces of paper in a dealership, most often ROs and deal jackets, but could not accommodate others. Overcoming this limitation immediately improves adherence to compliance requirements.

Additionally, DMS-less scanning providers allow users to scan other categories of documents. This includes accounting documents such as accounts payable, receivables, vendor invoices, bank statements, also title documents, HR documents, inventory, floor plans, and more. The ability to scan any type of document for the dealership is a significant benefit not available in most DMS owned scanning systems.


Another major benefit of DMS-less document scanning systems is the integration with existing DMSs. Integration allows for dealers to freely use their scanned documents on any major DMS platform. Scanned data is never lost, therefore never risking violation of any compliance requirements.

DMS-less document scanning services allow the dealer to always own its scanned data. This means no hostage fees and no lost documents. Dealers can feel assured their scanned documents are always available regardless of which DMS they use.

The industry is trending towards dealers moving to DMS-less scanning solutions as they gain awareness of the options, risks, savings, and benefits of owning their scanned documents. DMS-less scanning solutions are gaining market share as dealerships across the country experience the freedom of breaking their dependance on legacy DMS scanning systems with this solution.

Cesar Augustus, CEO, of Dealer Scanning provides dealerships with a simple to use, document scanning system for all dealership documents. Cesar is also the founder of Atletico Americano, a non-profit soccer and technology academy supporting 200+ at- risk boys and girls in Cali, Colombia.

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