UK car dealers wincing at the cost of automotive software can take heart from a new system designed from the roots to grow all aspects of a business.


It has been created, researched, tested and developed in close consultation with senior managers in the motor business by a man with a foot in both IT and motor retailing camps.


The MAC Automotive Dealer Management System (macam) has been developed with Filemaker Pro, is Mac or PC compatible, and will work with any standard accounting system such as Sage, Access for Windows or MYOB Accounting for the Mac.


It provides everything from point of sale to customer relationship management data and features real time controls for decision makers at each level. It comes with its own suite of personalised standard forms.


The software covers enquiry management and marketing, administration, sales, workshop traffic and recording, parts tracking and allows individual system preferences to be set up for a bespoke service.


And since it is accessible by all departments within a company, when data is entered into the system, the software automatically emails any relevant employees, detailing related tasks and potential costings — a feature that really comes into its own when a business is spread across several different sites.


It’s even multilingual. As Chris developed macam from his base in rural Wales, the system is able to generate customer letters in Welsh, and the same ingenious principle can be applied to ensure that the system supports other languages. macam also displays prices and costings in pounds sterling or euros.


Apple has spent 10 months researching the product before agreeing to support it. The package comes with optional full maintenance and support from a dedicated centre and regular upgrades.


macam is the brainchild of Chris Parrott, who has spent 30 years in the motor trade and is a firm believer in the harnessing the power of computers to maximise opportunities and profits.


His passion for computers led him to develop an easy-to-use, no nonsense business management tool running on the Mac OS X system.


Chris said, “There are a lot of systems on the market but they are either expensive, complicated and over specified or not necessarily what a dealer really wants in today’s business world.


“I simply applied what I know about the business and what I know about computers to come up with an off-the-shelf package that works right through the dealer process, without breaking the bank.


“In a nutshell, it’s perfect for independents and small dealers who do not want to spend enormous amounts of money on highly complex systems, or who may not be happy with their current management system.”


Businesses can buy a 10-user licence for the system for £20,000 and have three years training and maintenance support, supplied direct from the macam team, for a further £10,000.