Challenge: Staying ahead of competitors on the technology front
Solution: Hiring the right people and never resting on your laurels
The next time you're shopping for a new car, take a moment to think about what might be under the hood at your local dealership.
For Quorum, it would hope it's their flagship dealership management software XSELLERATOR – a comprehensive solution that automates, integrates, and streamlines every department in a dealership (sales, service, parts, accounting), and includes full integration with original equipment manufacturer (OEM) data (GM, Nissan, Ford, etc.)
Founded in 1996 by President and CEO Maury Marks, Quorum has over 20 years of experience providing dealer management systems (DMS) to auto dealerships across North America.
While the company started in Calgary, its linkage to Atlantic Canada started early with some of the first employees coming from Newfoundland and Labrador.
"The College of the North Atlantic was one of the few places in the country offering a program in Powerbuilder – the software XSellerator was originally designed in," says Quorum CFO Marilyn Bown.
When those employees decided they had had enough of Calgary, the company opened its St. John's office. It did not want to lose those valued employees. Eleven years later, the St. John's office houses most of the company's divisions including development, software support, HR and Corporate Services. Almost 70% of the company's workforce is located in the St. John's office.
Not the only dealer management system of its kind, Quorum continues to face increasing competition across North America.
"Our biggest challenge is staying ahead of our competitors," explains Bown. "A lot of our competitors were using a Unix-based system so we became the first to offer the software build on a Microsoft platform."
XSELLERATOR is more than just a DMS. The tools and processes within allow dealers to not only enhance the sales process, but also provide dealerships with an integrated platform that allows them to increase the service and parts revenues by tracking maintenance opportunities.
"Our customers always want more," says Bown. "We are always working to stay on top of the latest and greatest in technology advancements."
Key to that continued innovation has been the partnerships Quorum has developed with various levels of government, including a repayable contribution through the Atlantic Innovation Fund that allowed the company to refactor the XSellerator to once again stay ahead of its competition.
"The assistance allows us to continue to evolve and develop new components for our software. Without that assistance, we wouldn't be nearly as competitive as we are today."
Bown says that despite the growth in competition, the dealership market remains relatively untapped.
"I don't ever see a point where we will coast and rest on our laurels," confides Bown. "Customers are happiest when we keep innovating."
Partnerships, such as the one with the Government of Canada, are key to Quorum’s continued growth. With support from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), the government is helping Quorum develop the next generation of its flagship software Xsellerator. An investment of over $1 million will help Quorum refactor several key functional areas with its software
Quorum is a prime example of how innovation and resourcefulness fuel Atlantic Canada’s economy, at home and beyond.
For more information on programs and services available to businesses in Atlantic Canada call 1- 800-561-7862 or go to www.acoa-apeca.gc.ca
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