STAR (Standards For Technology in Automotive Retail) (updated March 29, 2012)
Download STAR Dealership Infrastructure Guidelines (DIG) (2.3MB .pdf)
View STAR Dealership Infrastructure Guidelines (DIG) in HTML format
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For more information see the Dealership Infrastructure Guidelines.
Today, computers are used throughout the dealership. Not only are computers important to managing a dealer's daily operations, but they are critical for processing Dealer Communication System (DCS) and financial transactions with the manufacturers. However, dealers have been limited as to how their computers could connect to those of the manufacturers.
Manufacturers have moved their DCS processing from the dealership to the Internet. Now, dealers have the opportunity to improve their businesses and reduce the “connection” cost to manufacturers and others.
Start with the STAR DIG
A good place to begin the project is with STAR, the auto industry's IT standards organization, and its publication, Dealership Infrastructure Guidelines (DIG), which describes what needs to be done in the dealership to get the entire dealership on the Internet.
Most dealers and dealership staff won't need to read the entire DIG document. However, they should give a copy to the technology vendor that's going to help them get all of the dealership departments on the Internet. You should find the Executive Summaries and checklists of value to you and your dealership staff. To access the document, click here (requires the free Acrobat Reader).
The DIG includes several checklists (see Appendix H, Project Checklist) that can guide dealers and their IT vendors during this project. Like other major projects, dealers should require written proposals from two or more vendors that they feel are qualified to do the work.
At a minimum, contact your IT vendor that provides the dealership computer system, the company providing the dealership's current Internet services, and the phone company. Dealers may also want to contact the local company that has wired the dealership for computers and telephones.
Contact the Manufacturer
Contact the manufacturer and get a schedule of the project that's using STAR standards to convert DCS and financial application processing to the Internet. Find out when and how the manufacturer will be converting to the Internet. Then, using the checklists in the DIG publication, develop a project plan that will have the dealership Internet-ready before the manufacturer's project is completed.
For more information on STAR, send an email inquiry or call (703) 556-8584.
For general information, email us or call (703) 821-7270.