One of the most interesting things about working in the tech industry is watching it slowly take over how you think. After a few months, you start to think about software everywhere.
You find yourself desperately wanting to know, “What POS is my server using?” And as you listen to hold music, you find yourself idly wondering, “What CRM is Verizon tracking me in when I complain to their customer service?” The world becomes an infinitely complex web of platforms, a beautiful symphony of code.
If you haven’t felt the glories of this way of thinking—don’t worry, it comes with time, young one. But if you have, today is your lucky day, because we’ll be solving one of those software mysteries. Specifically, the one having to do with the software automotive dealers use.
The DMS (or dealership management system—think of it as a do-it-all platform for auto dealerships) industry is one the average Utahn probably doesn’t think about much, but it turns out that one of the largest players is actually housed in Utah.
Dealertrack DMS came to Utah in 2008 when it acquired a software company called Arkona, and—perhaps like many of us—it fell in love and decided to stay. This love of the state has led to Dealertrack and its parent company, Cox Automotive, to announce the construction of a brand new office in Draper (opening February 2019).
“When we started talking about the new office, we knew leaving Utah was a non-starter,” says Randy Kobat, a Cox Automotive SVP who oversees multiple brands including Dealertrack. “We have team members who have been here since Arkona and bring a passion that is often hard to come by regardless of industry. It has always been important to us to respect the history of our startup beginnings and maintain this essence as we plan for the future.”
Staying true to those startup roots, Dealertrack has been laser-focused on their core customer since taking on Arkona.
“Dealer-centric is more than just a catch-phrase for us. Our dealers drive every moment, every design and every decision that we make,” says Randy. “One of the key tenets that makes our company special is that we offer an open platform, which enables dealers to control their own data and use the system in a way that best fits their needs. We also earn our client’s business every month with short-term contracts that keep us striving to deliver the best customer experience possible day after day.”
Dealertrack’s new Silicon Slopes office is just one way of many that the company is supporting Utah’s ecosystem. They’ve created more than 500 high-paying tech jobs since 2015 and are partnering with organizations such as Women Tech Council. They encourage their employees to give back to the community by offering 16 paid hours a year spent on volunteering. The Dealertrack team also recently raised more than $10,000 for the Harmon’s MS Ride for the Cure and had more than 40 members help set up a Girl Scout camp for the season.
This commitment extends to supporting Utah’s diverse tech community as well. Cox Automotive, Dealertrack’s parent company, was named to Women Tech Council’s 2018 Shatter List — a compilation of 44 tech companies with programs to accelerate shattering the glass ceiling for women in tech.
“When I first visited the Dealertrack DMS office in Utah, it was striking to me how diverse the organization was. This diversity makes for a rich culture and business, with different perspectives constantly being brought to the table,” Randy says. “The company has rich, dynamic professional development programming that is fully inclusive. Women hold leadership executive positions and we proactively implement programs to support women in technology, such as our Women with Drive mentorship program.”