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Reynolds and Reynolds Plugs Auto Dealers Into the Internet

November 7, 2000

The Reynolds and Reynolds Company has introduced ERA3 featuring ConsumerReach, called by company officials "the most enhanced, integrated set of retail management capabilities the industry has seen to date." ERA3 is immediately available to retailers across the United States. The Canadian version will be released in February 2001.

Building upon the solutions and services of Reynolds' existing retail management systems, ERA3 is the core of Reynolds' suite of auto retailing services, which include dealership training, Internet buying services, customer relationship management solutions, and networking services.

ERA3 provides retailers with tools to increase profit and customer satisfaction by taking advantage of the Internet, according to company officials. With the new ConsumerReach capability, ERA3 provides everyone within a dealership - including both sales and service - the opportunity to communicate directly with their customers from any workstation or terminal in the dealership via e-mail. ERA3's text-based e-mail is available on any ERA(R) terminal, including existing "green-screen" terminals. It is the only system available that provides this flexibility, according to Reynolds and Reynolds.

ConsumerReach functions with any existing ERA terminal anywhere in the dealership, thus it does not require retailers to make additional investments in new terminals and PCs, according to the company. Because it is integrated as part of the ERA3 platform, retailers can quickly familiarize their sales and service personnel on how to use e-mail communication without requiring them to totally change their existing processes, spend a great deal of time on training, or understand new systems, according to Kurt Lieberman, general manager, Retail Management Solutions.

"ERA3 ConsumerReach addresses big issues for auto retailers," Lieberman said. "They need new tools to easily establish consumer preferences on how to be contacted. The retailer also needs new tools to communicate when, where and how the consumer prefers. ConsumerReach is that tool, providing a system-driven process for gathering all customer contact information at the point of reception - regardless of whether the customer enters through the door, the service bay, or the keyboard."

In addition to ConsumerReach, ERA3 provides auto retailers with these capabilities:

* Hand Held PCs: These provide dealership employees with mobility when serving customers, with access to all ERA3 and customer information. AHand Held PCs allow retailers to meet and greet their customers at their vehicles, providing faster service, improving the customer experience and increasing production, according to Reynolds and Reynolds.

* Thin Client: This is a graphical workstation that offers a smaller "footprint" at a more affordable price than the traditional ERA3 color terminal. The Thin Client provides an alternative upgrade path for customers at a lower cost than a PC.

* Software Value Packages: These applications enable retailers to take greater advantage of ERA3 functionality at more affordable pricing. They build upon the base services offered in ERA3 today, enabling retailers to better control costs and improve customer satisfaction across their business.

Reynolds' first in a series of Value Package offerings includes:

* Payroll Plus: Designed for the advanced payroll user who requires the ability to take greater advantage of today's trends, Payroll Plus enables direct deposit, employee wage reports and custom targeted reports.

* Service Plus: This is designed for service departments interested in gaining greater technician productivity through the use of Electronic Service Integration and Service Scheduling.

* Dashboard: This is a Windows-based PC tool designed to allow the dealer to better understand dealership performance, enabling tighter control of operations across the dealership.

"What's causing the most excitement with retailers is ERA3's green-screen functionality. But its integration with the other ERA3 capabilities is what really makes it sing," Lieberman said. "It's easy, it's automated, it's system-driven and it best positions our customers for the future. These words are like gold to automotive retailers."

According to Lieberman, Reynolds' offering of retailing solutions and services will further enable dealerships to take full advantage of ERA3 and ConsumerReach. These include Reynolds Transformation Services, which provides retailers with the appropriate training needed to successfully integrate the Web as part of normal business operations, and Managed Access, an advanced global, managed Internet service providing business quality communications through the use of e-mail, secure access to the Web, and Intranet/Extranet functions.

To discuss the ERA3 retail management system with ConsumerReach, or any other product or service offered by Reynolds and Reynolds, contact your local Reynolds account manager, call 1-800-767-7879, or log-on to the company Website at

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